Garda mole's information 'led to IRA murder of senior judge'
Irish intelligence reports revealed yesterday suggest that an IRA mole in the Republic’s police leaked information that led to the murder of a senior judge in Northern Ireland.
The Smithwick tribunal heard that two deadly IRA attacks were based on information leaked from within the Garda.
The reports said the information led to the bomb which killed senior judge Lord Justice Gibson and his wife Cecily in 1987, and the 1989 shooting of two senior RUC officers.
The tribunal was set up to look at allegations of Garda collusion in the March 1989 deaths of the officers, Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.
Garda Chief Superintendent Brian Brunton outlined the precis of Garda “sensitive intelligence” reports to the tribunal, including a report prepared “sometime proximate to the murders” which said a named IRA member had a Garda contact who supplied |information on short notice about the visit to Dundalk Garda station by the two officers.
IRA units covered four roads leading from Dundalk back to Northern Ireland, the reports said.
Another report based on “double hearsay” indicated that a contact within the Garda “had passed on information that facilitated the murders” of Lord and Lady Gibson.
Earlier, former Garda Commissioner Lawrence Wren said he did not act when he received a report alleging Dundalk Detective Sergeant Owen Corrigan was “fiddling” by importing materials illegally from Northern Ireland to build a house.
The former Commissioner said he was not told of a 1985 RUC intelligence report expressing concern at links between Mr Corrigan and IRA members, and “would have taken action immediately” to launch an inquiry if he was told.
Mr Corrigan denies supplying information to the IRA, describing the claim as “a monstrous lie”.
Retired Assistant Commissioner Edward O'Dea said he later became aware of the intelligence reports and agreed the source was “reasonably reliable”.
The Assistant Commissioner conducted an investigation days after Mr Breen and Mr Buchanan were shot in March 1989, but said he did not believe he had overlooked anything.
He concluded that there was no Garda collusion in the murders of Mr Breen and Mr Buchanan.
Lord and Lady Gibson were killed when the IRA detonated a remote-controlled car bomb as they drove over the border back into Northern Ireland in April 1987. The case was investigated by the retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory as he examined cases of potential collusion between security forces and paramilitaries. However, he found no evidence to warrant a public inquiry into the incident.