Belfast Telegraph

Smithwick Tribunal: A probe into some of the murkiest waters of the Troubles

By Rebecca Black

From delving into how the IRA communicated by CB radio to how the RUC worked with the Garda, the Smithwick Tribunal has been a crash course on the Troubles.

The remit of Mr Justice Peter Smithwick was to examine all the evidence relating to a Provisional IRA ambush that resulted in the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan in 1989.

However, it also touched on a number of other incidents which took place on the border, including the Narrow Water massacre in which 18 soldiers were killed, the murder of Tom Oliver in Co Louth, and the bombs at Killeen which killed Lord Justice Gibson and his wife, and the Hanna family.

Three former Garda officers were named by the tribunal in connection with collusion – Detective Sergeant Owen Corrigan, Sergeant Leo Colton and Sergeant Finbarr Hickey.

All three strenuously denied the allegations. Mr Corrigan has successfully defended his name in libel proceedings.

In the final weeks of the tribunal the PSNI presented a dossier of fresh intelligence it had gathered since the start of the inquiry from republicans discussing what had emerged.

The final report will include both findings and recommendations which are currently being considered by the Irish Public Prosecution Service and Northern Ireland's Attorney General. Some portions of the document may be redacted if they relate to national security.

Belfast Telegraph


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