Belfast Telegraph

IRA collusion report 'ignored'

A top Irish police officer who became head of the force ignored allegations a sergeant was colluding with the IRA, a major corruption inquiry has heard.

The late Eugene Crowley was told in 1987 that a Garda officer stationed near the border was "unnecessarily assisting" the terror group but appeared disinterested, a retired chief superintendent has claimed.

The Smithwick Tribunal also heard claims Mr Crowley had been warned of death threats against an RUC officer up to a year before he was killed in an IRA ambush.

Superintendent Bob Buchanan was murdered with colleague Chief Superintendent Harry Breen near the Irish border after a meeting at Dundalk Garda Station in March 1989. The tribunal is investigating allegations of IRA/Garda collusion.

Retired Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Curran said he wrote to Mr Crowley, the then Assistant Commissioner in charge of crime and security, in Garda Headquarters in Dublin about a threat against Mr Buchanan's life between March and October 1988.

"At one stage in my service in Monaghan when, during Bob Buchanan's time there, I was speaking to a man who I believed was a member of the IRA and he told me that Bob Buchanan was going to be shot," said Mr Curran.

"The words he used was 'there's a fella crossing the border there to see you and he is going to be shot'.

"You're never sure about the validity of stories like that from informers but it was a serious matter as far as I was concerned so I wrote direct to crime and security giving that information."

Mr Curran said while Mr Crowley was the assistant commissioner when the allegations were made, he thought a Michael Diffley handled security reports.

The tribunal heard the document noting the threat has never been located, while Mr Diffley has said any report would have been acted on.


From Belfast Telegraph