I've long suspected Provos had mole in Garda, says MP Elliott
A Unionist MP has said he has long suspected that the Garda Siochana harboured "deep moles" working for the Provisional IRA.
Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott said he was "not really surprised" after the Sunday Independent reported Garda concerns that one of its members had worked as a mole for the Provisional IRA-controlled mafia in the border area.
A top-level Garda review has been launched into a number of its investigations, due to mounting concern that evidence in several sensitive cases may have been tampered with.
The probes relate to Provisional IRA-controlled cross-border smuggling rackets and massive money-laundering operations.
Mr Elliott, the MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, told the Belfast Telegraph: "It's nothing really new, to be fair - we've been saying this for some time.
"We have always believed that, while the Garda by and large are very professional, there are a few people in it that are deep moles within the Garda who are working for the IRA.
"You only had to look at some of what is going on in border areas, that there has to be information being moved to ensure that people aren't apprehended.
"I just think it is incumbent on the Garda and the Irish authorities to acknowledge this themselves and do something about it. I've been saying it for many years now, but it goes unnoticed - it needs to be taken on board.
"It would appear from this article that they are putting resources into it, but I am assuming that it is their mechanism for dealing with it and whether it works or not remains to be seen."
One of the main Provisional IRA figures at the heart of the review is thought to be related to a close associate of Adrian Crevan Mackin, who murdered Garda Tony Golden in Co Louth last week. This associate, a south Armagh man, is one of the main suspects in the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in Co Louth in 2013.
While Mackin is referred to as a dissident, gardai believe this is a ruse to deflect attention from the border mafia, which is under control of the Provisional IRA.
Yesterday, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin referred to "Provisional Sinn Fein" as a "mafia-like organisation" which had failed to expose child abusers, racketeers and murderers.
Fianna Fail's border region development spokesman, Brendan Smith, has called for a new multi-disciplinary agency to be established to tackle cross-border fuel and cigarette smuggling and associated criminal activity.
The mole suspicions have increased concerns over the failure of major investigations, including those into the murder of Det Garda Donohoe and the IRA murder of Paul Quinn in October 2008. The suspect garda was not assigned to either investigation but other investigations may have been badly compromised.