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Officer’s family urges fresh murder probe after revelations

Police on both sides of the Irish border must launch fresh investigations into the murder of two top RUC officers following intelligence reports of Garda collusion in the killings, the family of one of the men has said.

The Smithwick Inquiry was presented with the new evidence by the PSNI on Wednesday as the probe into the IRA killing of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan in 1989 draws to a close.

The police were heavily criticised for withholding the information which blamed an unnamed retired Garda officer for tipping off the killers, and not the three Garda officers who have been under scrutiny during the inquiry.

The Buchanan family said they found the withholding of the information deeply hurtful, but added that sufficient new information had come to light to warrant further criminal investigation.

“The family of the late Superintendent Bob Buchanan have taken time to reflect on the evidence presented,” they said.

They added: “It is apparent that the intelligence material produced by the PSNI ... confirms that collusion involving members of An Garda Siochana did exist.

“As to who (was) involved, the family would seek assurance from the Commissioner of An Garda Siochana that a full investigation into these revelations has been initiated ... (and an) assurance that both police organisations will provide a full, open and transparent exchange of (evidence).

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“They should provide further assurances that they will work tirelessly towards bringing to justice (those involved in the murders) irrespective of what jurisdiction or organisation those persons may belong.”

The two murdered police officers were the most senior ranking members of the RUC killed during the Troubles.

They were caught in an IRA ambush in south Armagh as they returned from a meeting with Garda officers in Dundalk, sparking claims the IRA was tipped off.

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