Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Judge Smithwick finds there was indirect evidence of collusion between Garda(i) and the IRA

Tue 3 December 2013, 8:08pm

So, Judge Smithwick resisted any political pressures to wind up his inquiry early. The BBC provide a summary of his conclusions:

  • Collusion: Peter Smithwick said that while there had been no “smoking gun” he was “satisfied” that there had been collusion by one or more Garda officers in the murders
  • Former garda sergeant Owen Corrigan: “I also find that what may have started out as a professional relationship with subversives for the legitimate purpose of intelligence-gathering ultimately developed into a relationship of an inappropriate nature”
  • Earlier investigations: O’Dea and Camon investigations were “inadequate”
  • Missed opportunity: “The best opportunity of establishing the truth of the matter arose in the days and weeks following the ambush. In these circumstances, it is particularly regrettable that both police services acted swiftly to dismiss speculation of the possibility of collusion rather than to deal with that by means of a through and credible investigation”
  • Culture: “The culture of failing adequately to address suggestions of wrongdoing, either for reasons of expediency or by virtue of misguided loyalty, has been a feature of life in this state”
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Comments (59)

  1. cynic2 (profile) says:

    A shocking report into the corruption and misbehavior of a few. Just as in the North they should be tracked down and punished where possible – or does Larkin want an amnesty on this one too?

    But the evidence at the Tribunal was also stunning in other respects. Cases where politicians at the very top ordered that evidence in cross border murders be destroyed or not released to the RUC to protect the IRA – an organisation that the Taoiseach himself had conspired to arm.

    A shameful and corrupt period of Irish History but – just like the RUC – the actions of a few shouldn’t discredit the work done by the vast majority of decent and honorable men and wormen in the Garda

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  2. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    It is good to see truth coming out.

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  3. the future's bright, the future's orange (profile) says:

    Good to see the truth but does is it really worth all the money? we know some pretty horrific things happened back in the day but is anyone going to be brought to justice over it? No.

    There has to be a better way of dealing with these cases.

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  4. Count Eric Bisto von Granules (profile) says:

    The balance of evidence suggested that information came from the Garda station but not any hard evidence to name individuals.
    It aint quacking like a duck to me. I sense a returned ‘back scratch’ to allow unionists equivalise (word?) the RUC with the Gardai. A few bad apples etc etc
    If the balance of probability was the weight of evidence required on collusion north of the border the list would be long.
    However, I suspect Enda will do much public handwringing and apologising which will be jumped on by Edwin and Jeffrey.
    Much like the darker days of the troubles, this is a post conflict tit for tat with accusations proven and each side taking comfort, twisting the knife and solidifying their position within the communities but little for the common good.
    Roll on the next tit

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  5. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Gerry’s verdict…

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/28176#.Up47-wl-IQk.twitter

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  6. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    The two Garda officers Smithwick suggests guilty of collusion are very obvious. There is now a question over them that is intolerable to leave hanging in the air.

    They need to be charged and tried.

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  7. Ulick (profile) says:

    “They need to be charged and tried.”

    Maybe you missed the bit which said there was no direct evidence of collusion – can hardly charge someone on no evidence now – thankfully the courts are a little more stringent in reaching conclusions than Smithwick.

    Also is no one going to mention the different definitions of “collusion” used north and south?

    Nothing more than a spineless sop to the Brits on behalf of unionism.

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  8. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    Ulick

    The finger has been pointed at two specific individuals, and a civil court can work on balance of probabilties.

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  9. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    Ulick

    “Nothing more than a spineless sop to the Brits on behalf of unionism”

    Don’t you welcome truth coming out? Isn’t it brave and good to tell it, rather than spineless and a sop?

    A little surprised at this comment Ulick I hope you don’t really mean it.

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  10. tacapall (profile) says:

    If there is any evidence other than assumption that Garda officers colluded with the IRA in murder then the evidence Smithwick found to convince himself of collusion should be used against them in a court of law unfortunately this case is based on assumption not fact.

    “Unionist politicians called on Dublin to acknowledge the role the Irish government played during the Troubles after the release of the Smithwick report.

    Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson expressed fears over the Haass talks process aimed at resolving Northern Ireland’s difficult issues.

    “I believe that the finding of collusion on the part of the Garda with members of the IRA is significant and has major implications for the way in which we deal with the past under the current talks process being overseen by Dr Richard Haass,” he said”

    Some brass necks on show from the same DUP politicians who have ignored the pleads of Raymond Mc Cord for support in his ongoing fight for justice for his son an ex British soldier murdered by RUC controlled agents or for all the other 100s of victims of RUC collusion. It is sickening and disgusting that Unionist politicians have the gall to point the finger at the Irish government and every Garda officer on the evidence of one case while at the same time claiming a few bad apples or ignoring the overwhelming evidence that is emerging almost daily about the collusion by the RUC and British intelligence in the murders of hundreds of innocent people.

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  11. Count Eric Bisto von Granules (profile) says:

    British govt apologises for Bloody Sunday, general acceptance from nationalists that this was a positive step that allows more forward movement in the process.
    Irish govt apologises for likely collusion in Dundalk GS station and unionists say the outcome has major implications for the Hass talks process.
    Is there any likelihood by accepting the lighter burden of proof that the Irish government is looking to outcomes for future inquiries north of the border?

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  12. Zig70 (profile) says:

    There hasn’t been any truth here. Smithwick maybe doesn’t understand what it was like in S Armagh. I spent a good few summers there as it’s my ancestral home and I was immediately noticed as an outsider when I drove around Forkhill in the late 80′s. It’s not outside the realms of possibility that they were noticed driving through or back. There had been a few incidents at that time also that pitted the local IRA against the Guards. Balance of probabilities isn’t worth much.

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  13. Charles_Gould (profile) says:

    Zig70 I think Judge Smithwick will be aware of such matters; he has been studying the case in immense detail.

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  14. Barney (profile) says:

    The tribunal was deeply flawed, key witnesses refused to be cross examined, the RUC and MI5 flooded it with last minute uncorroborated documents. Witness 62 an RUC special branch man testified there were no touts in the area involved yet the narrative is that it was riddled with agents of the state.

    There is nothing Smithwick assumes without evidence that Corry didnt tell us.

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  15. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Good enough for what Zig? This was a tribunal not a court case. And part of an long term attempt to target six high level accusations of collusion: five in the north and one in the south.

    I think this is one of the clearer outcomes, but by definition they are being asked to come to a quasi judicial judgement.

    The real problem is, as Newt has highlighted in the past, that collusion in the discourse does not have a fixed character: http://youtu.be/8wfxzBy6lPc

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  16. Barney (profile) says:

    It may be one of the tribunals Corry recommended but not all have been investigated. Cross examination is a key method of testing the validity of evidence do you not find it strange that this was lacking?

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  17. Barney (profile) says:

    Mick Fealty wrote

    “I think this is one of the clearer outcomes”

    An outcome is only as clear as the process and this process was deeply flawed others havent been investigated at all.

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  18. iluvni (profile) says:

    I take it President Higgins is currently drafting his speech apologising to the people of Northern Ireland on behalf of the people of the Republic of Ireland.

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  19. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    I see that arse-licking, pro-Brit fantasist Lt. Col. Kevin Myers DSO (did I leave anything out?) has once again been proven, now what’s the word I am looking for, oh yes. Right.

    Like the other Irish journalist/observer who was smeared, lampooned and derided by all right-thinking lefties, Conor Cruise O’Brien, Myers is usually correct on the big issues.

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  20. Alias (profile) says:

    It shows that Ian Hurst/Martin Ingram was spot-on in his statement to the Smithwick Tribunal:

    “Dundalk Garda station was seen as a vipers’ nest and Mr Owen Corrigan was at the centre of it. Dundalk also had a reputation of being protected from on high in Dublin Castle, in other words it had political cover. I remember having one conversation with Mr Stephen Noakes – Joint Intelligence Research Officer (JIRO) – civilian researcher attached to Northern Ireland Office (NIO) but stationed permanently on HQNI G2 staff during my tour within 121 Int Cell. Mr Noakes was responsible for advising the G2 staff upon political matters and clearly Garda infiltration has a major political dimension. 121 Int Cell supported Mr Noakes work on a daily basis and he was an ever present fixture within our p card system.

    I can remember one specific conversation regarding Gardai.

    There was a sense that Dundalk Garda station was toxic in the same way Ballyshannon and Bundoran areas were playgrounds for terrorists with open caravan parks used for rest and recuperation for terrorist on the run (OTR). Being young and naive – I remember asking why the Irish government allowed Garda to pass information and for terrorists to use border towns openly without fear of arrest – His answer was clear but not fully understood at the time?

    Political corruption.

    Corrigan was small fry in the context of passing information to PIRA, both North and South, that said, because PIRA was extensively penetrated at all levels, most sources of the information to PIRA were readily identified but seldom compromised, sometimes for very good reasons. Indeed only this month one recent case has come to my attention from information sourced from the MOD of a former FRU (W) agent being targeted by PIRA in the early 90`s using information supplied by a social security employee in the North – incidentally that employee remains employed today in the same office.

    In some ways he Mr Corrigan was a victim of the whole thing, a small pawn in a big game of chess – most people who pass information to all sides of the conflict do it for a variety of motivations but all believing they will remain anonymous without understanding that all sources have a shelf life.

    I do not know Mr Corrigan and have no personal animosity towards him. The fact that a Garda was passing information to the IRA did not bother me anymore or any less than in the same way members of the RUC/UDR/BA occasionally passed information to the IRA and regularly to members of various loyalist paramilitaries. It was a matter for HQNI and the RUC and way above my pay grade.

    My concern as a handler was, for example, the possible compromise of an Army patrol’s security especially in border areas when patrol reports were often leaked. The source of the compromise and what to do about it was a matter for my superiors in other words it was a strategic and not a tactical problem.

    Neither Corrigan, nor Colton nor Corbett or Irish army soldiers working from Finner Barracks registered massively on the Richter scale, it was just a fact of life, indeed it was well within the rules of our game!”

    He also had another interesting comment:

    “Freddie Scappaticci was Mr Owen Corrigan’s handler.”

    It is interesting because a British agent within PIRA was running agents within the Gardai – but on whose behalf? At any rate, if Freddie took the call from Corrigan then did Freddie’s handlers not intervene to save the two RUC officers?

    The Smithwick Tribunal is really a bit of a damp squid.

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  21. gendjinn (profile) says:

    Is there a link to Smithwick’s report? I’m curious as to what the difference in evidence is between a smoking gun & being satisfied.

    Are the charges of collusion limited to the murders of Breen & Buchanan does Smithwick cite other instances of collusion?

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  22. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    Imagine, if you will, the amount of vitriol by the usual suspects if this had been the RUC setting up two Guard Officers for bloody murder ?
    A united Oirland ? Yeah.

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  23. Gopher (profile) says:

    Has anyone tried to quantify how many terrorist murders here were due to collusion from a member of the public?

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  24. tacapall (profile) says:

    “Freddie Scappaticci was Mr Owen Corrigan’s handler.

    It is interesting because a British agent within PIRA was running agents within the Gardai – but on whose behalf? At any rate, if Freddie took the call from Corrigan then did Freddie’s handlers not intervene to save the two RUC officers”

    It gets murkier by the minute then Alias as John Joe McGee, Freddie Scappaticci’s OC, was an agent inside the IRA for the Irish security services. So both sides were pulling the strings of those who were involved in the murders of Breen and Buchanan and both sides played their advantage although its not impossible or surprising the possibility of the British setting up one of their own as they have a history of ensuring dead men dont talk and Chief Inspector Harry Breen had he been alive today would most definately be in the spotlight or the dock regarding accusations by former RUC officers and HET evidence of his involvement in the acitivities of the Glenanne gang who carried out the murders of up to 120 innocent people including involvment in the Dublin Monaghan bombings.

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  25. carl marks (profile) says:

    I don’t think anybody is surprised, Smithwick must base his finding on probability of truth as the only complete proof would be a full confession by those involved, I really don’t see how revealing that members of your police force collaborated with terrorists can be interpreted as a sop to Brits/ unionists.(that incidentally is one of the lines used when any investigation into the Army/RUC reports back .not good enough from unionists =not good enough from nationalists)
    I doubt there will be prosecutions because while the probability of truth is sufficient to apply to how the murders went down it’s not good enough to prosecute individuals.
    On the bright side Smithwick didn’t play games with the definition of collusion and it is interesting to see unionists accept a much broader definition of collusion for the Garda than they do for the RUC !

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  26. Politico68 (profile) says:

    So now we now that the Gardai have questions to answer relating to the above. The British state also has questions to answer too……..and, oh wait a sec, the Irish Government has questions to answer, and Oh My God but I think the IRA have questions to answer and Loyalists too and Unionists and the RUC and infinitum. Sorry, what did u say Politico? are u suggesting that questions should not be asked? No, if as it appears that EVERYBODY has questions to answer, why not do it all together, i dunno, maybe a truth and reconciliation process? Independant of all groups? Refereed by neutrals? …. I mean, why has nobody thought of this before? …Jesus Wept!

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  27. Delphin (profile) says:

    Well P. 68 exactly what Mr G. Adams is saying on Twitter. May be he should set an example and tell the truth about how he put his political career above justice for his niece and protection of young people in Louth.

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  28. Politico68 (profile) says:

    Delphin, and Maybe he should the go on to explain why he put his life on the line for the peace process too while he is at it.

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  29. Big Boss (profile) says:

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/gerry-adams-two-murdered-ruc-officers-had-laissez-faire-attitude-to-own-safety-29809290.html

    These comments are quite frankly idiotic from Gerry. Is he now blaming the RUC officers for thier own death? Oris be boasting that the IRA got them despite them “thinking” they were “immune”

    Im not quite sure what is actually going on in Gerrys head, or indeed in SFs head regarding this. Add this to Ian Milnes statment about the conviction for Proctor (which went unreported by tv media)

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-call-for-ira-killers-release-after-vindictive-murder-trial-branded-as-callous-29794173.html

    and it is very worrying what SF are doing regarding past actions. They are taking a very hardline repsonse to these issues, and of the SDLP and/or parties down south had any wit they would be exploting this, as it is, it seems very minimal interest from either, while SF moveforward with this type of language unchalleneged.

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  30. Delphin (profile) says:

    P68
    http://youtu.be/8wfxzBy6lPc
    I think the halo suits him!

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  31. Son of Strongbow (profile) says:

    So Gerry A starts banging the whataboutery drum (and has now moved on and downwards to blaming the murder victims themselves – still in nationalistspeak the RUC officers ‘colluding’ in their own deaths is pretty much par for the course) and the drones pick up their own instruments and join in the Shinner Grand Guignol parade).

    And what of slugger’s very own collusionista posse? Why they rubbish Smithwick for a lack of evidence! Christ! You just couldn’t make it up. Seems that they have extended the Stevens/Corry/O’Loan definition to include the requirement for Prods to be active (other than as victims of course) for ‘collusion’ to exist.

    As they have exposed themselves as purveyors of heavily sanctimonious cant any further commentary on their behalf on collusion should be responded to by one word – Smithwick.

    As for my view of collusion, south or north of the border, it is so widely defined, so nebulous, as to be meaningless. So those allegedly involved within AGS in the murder of the two police officers either left evidence of their criminal actions or they did not. The rest is simply name calling.

    However Smithwick did produce some interesting points. Primarily the exposure of Sinn Fein terrorists, those who ‘lobby’ for a ‘truth and reconciliation’ process, as presenting ‘evidence’ that amounted to an odious parody of the truth. As with the DFM’s “honour” at Saville they again show that their interest, or even understanding, of truth is nonexistent; or rather it is revealed as nothing more than partisan political posturing.

    At the end of the day two elderly unarmed police officers were murdered by a heavily armed nationalist murder gang who knew they would be there. Such was their “war”.

    Contemporary insults about the victims by the Shinner leader or his acolytes on this site or elsewhere pale into insignificance in comparison to that heinous crime.

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  32. Ulick (profile) says:

    “At the end of the day two elderly unarmed police officers were murdered by a heavily armed nationalist murder gang who knew they would be there. Such was their “war”.”

    One of which according to RUC Special Patrol Group and UVF member John Weir was supplying weapons to the Glenanne Gang who were responsible for almost one hundred sectarian murders.

    The other was a religious nut who believed it was okay to frequently take his own car through a hostile war zone without taking even the most basic precautions because he thought “God would protect him”. – Gerry’s laissez-faire comment is pretty generous comment in those circumstances.

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  33. Lionel Hutz (profile) says:

    After the Rosemary Nelson inquiry, I came to the conclusion that seeking out a finding of collusion is really unhelpful. Not only is it a moveable feast, as Mick has pointed out, but, whatever definition is used, it creates a moral equivalence between some actions that are not equivalent at all and can also draw a distinction between some actions which feels like splitting hairs.

    I’ll have to read this report before commenting on it. The finding is of a serious act of collusion but seemingly on the basis of assumptions made from the circumstantial evidence. I take the view that the more serious the allegation, the stronger the evidence should be. That is the position in civil courts, and i would have thought tribunals too. So the circumstantial evidence must be glaring.

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  34. Alias (profile) says:

    Good post, SoS, and the failure of the Gardaí to take seriously the risks to life posed by their members passing information to a murder gang shows a disregard for life that is out of sync with the history of that organisation. Why did they tolerate agents within their ranks? And just as saliently, why did the British security services tolerate them within the ranks of the Gardaí when they posed a real threat to their own security services? It’s not like they didn’t know who they were (they knew exactly who they were because they were passing information to British agents within the murder gang) or that they had no orthodox and unorthodox means of ensuring they were dealt with by the Gardaí Commissioner, not least a public statement in the last resort and a refusal to cooperate with stations where they knew those agents to be based. Like it or not, it isn’t just the Gardaí who have questions to answer about their role in this sad affair.

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  35. tacapall (profile) says:

    “And just as saliently, why did the British security services tolerate them within the ranks of the Gardaí when they posed a real threat to their own security services? It’s not like they didn’t know who they were (they knew exactly who they were because they were passing information to British agents within the murder gang)”

    Are you not answering your own question Alias. Just who was controlling the murder gang that the British agents Freddie Scap and ex royal marine John Joe Magee who was an agent provocateur for both the Irish and British security services were the people who provided the intel and issued the gangs orders.

    We have the bizarre situation where puppets of the British state were involved in murdering their puppet masters coleagues, one of which also happened to be implicated by another agent of the Northern state in a murder gang comprising of RUC and UDR officers and including members of the UVF that murdered over a hundred people on both sides of the border.

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  36. cynic2 (profile) says:

    “One of which according to RUC Special Patrol Group and UVF member John Weir was supplying weapons to the Glenanne Gang”

    I am delighted to see you place so much reliance on the word of fanatical murder, terrorist and proven liar

    “The other was a religious nut who believed it was okay to frequently take his own car through a hostile war zone ”

    So it was all his own fault then. Tell me, are you a professional scumbag or have you been specially trained for the role?

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  37. cynic2 (profile) says:

    Mick

    You will see my comment above which clearly breaks the site rules. I apologize to you but was so incensed by the comment in question that I could do nothing else. I will welcome by card as a badge of honour I am afraid.

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  38. Ulick (profile) says:

    @cynic2
    “The other was a religious nut who believed it was okay to frequently take his own car through a hostile war zone ”

    So it was all his own fault then. Tell me, are you a professional scumbag or have you been specially trained for the role?

    Hey don’t shoot the messenger, I’m only repeating what Suzanne Breen wrote about him. I thought you guys loved her round these parts:

    http://goo.gl/agmoAi

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  39. socaire (profile) says:

    Most people are aware of the number of exit roads from Dún Dealgan that lead across the partition line. It is possible to literally change your mind maybe 10 times. Did the Provos have a heavily armed unit at every possibility or were they just lucky? Anyway, if I was a high ranking member of the UVF in S Armagh, I certainly would not have come unarmed via the road that the two elderly policemen came.

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  40. ArdoyneUnionist (profile) says:

    According to Gerry (I was never in the IRA, and I did not withhold the rape of my brothers daughter from the authorities for 9 years) Adams, not only was there no collusion, but it was the two RUC officers own fault that they were murdered.

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  41. socaire (profile) says:

    They were in ‘enemy territory’. They were unarmed. They were in a known personal car. They were given a chance to surrender. It may not have been their fault but you have to admit that they were at the least a wee bit reckless.

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  42. Henry94 (profile) says:

    If there is one lesson and message out of all these stories that are slowly coming to light it should be for young people to steer miles clear of the whole murky world. Nobody comes well out of it. If you want to make a contribution do it through peaceful politics.

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  43. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    “We have the bizarre situation where puppets of the British state were involved in murdering their puppet masters coleagues, one of which also happened to be implicated by another agent of the Northern state in a murder gang comprising of RUC and UDR officers and including members of the UVF that murdered over a hundred people on both sides of the border.”

    When I suggested in an earlier thread that British Intelligence was the driving force behind much of the Troubles by the early 1990′s as they tried to wind the whole thing down to its obvious conclusion (not always successfully and not always omnipotently) and that we ordinary mugs hadn’t a clue about 90% of what was really going on behind the scenes I was dismissed as a tinfoil hat-wearing, conspiracy theorist on a par with David Eyke.

    I wonder how confident people are about my odd-ball theories today?

    The high-contracting parties, as Enoch Powell called them, had a lot of fun in our wee province.

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  44. Morpheus (profile) says:

    No Harry, I for one dismiss your theories as much today as I did 2 days ago because British Intelligence pulling all the strings is simply not plausible. To think that this was all by design by some faceless spook just doesn’t carry water. How does yesterday’s report fit into your theory? Did British Intelligence allow 2 high-ranking RUC officers to be murdered? If so, to what end?

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  45. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    socaire
    “They were given a chance to surrender.”
    I was under the impression that Harry Breen was killed while trying to surrender. Is that not so?

    What do you think?
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  46. Morpheus (profile) says:

    I’m confused. From this BT Report it looks like the tribunal found that the 3 guys that they thought did the colluding between the Guards and the IRA to kill these officers didn’t do the colluding? So who did?

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  47. sectarianheadcount (profile) says:

    It’s the amount of collusion between the Garda and the RUC that disturbs me. British border – let the Brits police it if they want it.

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  48. socaire (profile) says:

    babyface, the provos knew that it was illegal for the RUC men to carry arms into the free state and as they were law abiding they would be unarmed. They were very anxious to question them. What happened after that is debatable but the locals would have been aware of Breen’s supposed sympathies and acted accordingly.

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  49. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    socaire
    Did the IRA members who gave statements claim they gave them a chance to surrender? If not how do you know it happened?
    I would have thought when Breen staggered from the car injured, unarmed (as they knew), and waving a white handkerchief it might have been a good chance to take him prisoner and question him about his alleged links to the glenanne gang about which they would have been eager to know..
    After which, of course, they could have executed him as they were not well known for taking prisoners of war.

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  50. gendjinn (profile) says:

    Henry94,

    nail hit squarely on the head.

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  51. socaire (profile) says:

    babyface, you know the wee airfreshener man that hangs from the rearview mirror? Well, that was me.

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  52. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    socaire
    You mean like a wee windbag thing? Ok.

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  53. socaire (profile) says:

    Exactly. Everybody else, from Smithwick to Drew Harris to Enda Kenny to Uncle Tom Cobley (especially him) is extrapolating, so why not me too?

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  54. Zig70 (profile) says:

    Back then you had a few considerations when buying a car. Cost, style, engine size and whether it looked like a cop car so that someone didn’t take a pop shot or throw a half brick at you. I don’t understand the route they took but that’s all irrelevent to the fact that they were murdered. The fact is the truth is still not known and all we have is the same stories as before except that the top brass have to acknowledge it and wring their hands for a day. People still believe their own truths, especially bigotry backed truths. The measure most people will have is that enough evidence is uncovered so that someone gets a conviction. All we ha have here is fireside stories from overpaid legals.

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  55. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    socaire
    Well I see from the report that one of the IRA statements did indeed claim that Breen did not get out of the car but was shot inside it, contradicting the witness statement.
    So I guess it comes down to who you believe.
    Either way no attempt was made to take any prisoners.

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  56. EngCatLoyal (profile) says:

    can the people on this board who have linked Harry Breen to the Glenanne Gang provide documentary proof that this is accurate or is this more hearsay republican propaganda, it is important that claims like these are substantiated as a senior SDLP politician threatened legal action against Gerry & Co at the time of the murders as he was a childhood friend of one of the RUC Officers.

    The Irish traditionally full back on throwing collusion accusations at the brits for the Troubles, but as I said in an earlier post, until clarity is provided on the relationship between FF & PIRA in the late 60s & the almost non existant extradition laws between the North & South can lead to the british people having legitimate & unanswered concerns about the role of successive irish govts & their tacit support either real or imagined to PIRA & other violent republican groups during the NI troubles.

    What this tribunal has shown is that collusion seemed to be a 2 way process encouraged by certain parties within both sides of this conflict, whether the Garda & their UDR counterparts were acting as part of a greater institutional conspiracy on behalf of the british/irish govts of those days I very much doubt.

    I also wouldn’t take all of John Weir’s statements about the UVF mid ulster brigade at face value, for instance there is no mention of the roles of the support that these 2 UVF units enjoyed from people across the border in the IR leading up to & including the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, one brigade was a mixture of protestants & catholics.

    99% of the Garda, their counterparts in the RUC, UDR were honourable people trying to stop a civil war in all, but name in Ulster, the accusations of collusion all involve low level operatives, the terrorist organisations of both sides PIRA & UVF are happy to promote this collusion & try to absolve themselves from their murderous activities, it’s high time that Adams & Hutchinson amongst other puckered up & told us the truth about their organisations, now we are informed that paedophiles & rapists were active in their groups & protected from the full weight of the law by insidious threats against their own communities & some people out there think they are the heroes of this conflict

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  57. Harry Flashman (profile) says:

    Morpheus, once again I have to make it clear what I said:

    “British Intelligence was the driving force behind much of the Troubles by the early 1990′s as they tried to wind the whole thing down to its obvious conclusion (not always successfully and not always omnipotently)”

    I did not say:

    “British Intelligence pulling all the strings… To think that this was all by design by some faceless spook just doesn’t carry water.”

    As you constantly claim.

    Let me put it this way, someone familiar with the Army told me that there were basically two British Armies operating in Northern Ireland, the “Green Army”, ie the squaddies in combat gear, berets and carrying rifles that we all saw day in day out, patrolling the streets, dealing with riots, getting shot at and blown up etc. Then there was the secret army, the SAS and the intelligence operators whose work we never saw except on the news when some group of Provos was wiped out in East Tyrone or somewhere.

    I was told that for all the work done by the poor bloody infantry they were simply there holding the line, providing the boots on the ground until the settlement could eventually be achieved (a settlement that by 1989 the powers that be knew was coming). The “real” war in Northern Ireland was fought by the secret army.

    So it was with the Troubles as a whole, there was the stuff that the majority of us assumed to be the Troubles, bombs, shootings, riots, protests, funerals etc involving policemen, British soldiers, civilians, paramilitaries, politicians, UDR men etc which we watched on Scene Around Six every evening as we ate our tea and which we assumed we understood.

    Then there was the odd stuff that made us scratch our heads and wonder what was really going on. As you look back on those things now it suddenly dawns on us that actually what was going on in the shadows was the real Troubles and we were all patsies lapping up the optics while not having a clue what our masters were up to with the smoke and mirrors.

    It’s a long list, the Arms Trial, the Littlejohn brothers, the Hooded Men, Frank Kitson, Four Square Laundry, 1972 bombs in Dublin, the UWC strike, Kincora, Clockwork Orange, the Glennane gang, 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings, Nairac, Colin Wallace, Airey Neave, Fred Holroyd, Maurice Oldfield, shoot to kill, John Stalker, the Eksund, Ulster Resistance, FRU, Donegal Gardai, Breen and Buchanan, Pat Finucane, Scappatici, Rosemary Nelson, Brian Nelson, the Hole in the Wall Gang, Denis Donaldson, Billy Wright, Stormontgate etc etc

    Like you I thought that the pictures of the grieving family following the funeral cortege of the latest victim that seemed to play on an endless loop for thirty years was the real Troubles, as I get older and with the perspective of distance I begin to get a clearer picture, if that were possible, of what was really going on.

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  58. gendjinn (profile) says:

    EngCatLoyal,

    John Weir Affidavit details Breen providing loyalists with machine guns.

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  59. Morpheus (profile) says:

    “Someone familiar with the army” told you eh?

    Stating that there was infantry and then the SAS etc is not news, that has always been the case since the second world war. I have no issue with the SAS taking out terrorists – play with fire and all that – but what I find completely implausible is your assertion that that “by the early 1990s the Brits were controlling a majority of the main actors in the troubles.”

    Hundreds of people were killed in that period including civilians, security force personnel and then let’s not forget the bombings of the London Stock Exchange, Canary Wharf, Bishopsgate, Heathrow, Docklands etc. If “the Brits” as you say, controlled the main actors then why was all this (and much, much more) allowed to continue.

    Either “the Brits” controlled the main actors and allowed this to happen or didn’t control the main actors – which is it?

    If “British Intelligence was the driving force behind much of the Troubles by the early 1990′s” and used innocent civilians and their own security forces as cannon fodder “to wind the whole thing down” then no wonder they are so liberal with the truth and refuse public inquiries.

    It’s not such “an obvious conclusion” when you scratch just a little is it?

    Could it be that all sides thought “hang on, we could keep on bombing and shooting the crap out of each other with innocent civilians suffering on a daily basis or we can start talking to bring about peace in a democratic way.” Which is the more obvious conclusion?

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