Smithwick: “the evidence keeps pointing back to the desire of the IRA to acquire information as to how the British Security Services had gotten advance warning of the IRA ambush on Loughgall Police Station…”

As the findings of the Smithwick Tribunal report [RTÉ-hosted 22mb pdf] continue to be digested, it’s worth recalling the reported concerns of “members of the PIRA” in May last year. The Smithwick Tribunal is becoming a “significant issue” among republicans who are concerned it is uncovering information on past murders, the tribunal has been told. According to a précis of intelligence information gleaned by the PSNI within the last year, and aired at the tribunal this morning, “members of the PIRA are …

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Is there any strategy behind Sinn Fein’s loud defence of killings 25 years on?

Well, if you didn’t see Vincent Browne last night on TV3, try and catch it here. Padraig MacLochlainn is the latest of the party’s talented southern parliamentary team sent out to sell ‘the legitimacy of the armed struggle’. I’ll let others be the judge of how well he does in selling the chosen narrative of ‘a risen north’ to a southern audience. The only woman on the panel, Sarah McInerney of the Sunday Times barely gets a word in, but what …

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UPDATED Recrimination of the day: Adams blames policemen for their own death.

Gerry Adams’ ‘let me put this as sensitively I can’ mannered bombshell on NewsTalk (that’s Newsweek to Gerry, BTW – Ed] this morning, ie that the two deaths were the victims own faults. It did achieve one thing for the cause of a united Ireland. It persuaded Talkback to run a live or near live feed into the programme from Dail Eireann, to listen to Micheal Martin and the Tanaiste take advantage of the clear water he’d just offered them. What Mr …

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“Maybe your client is understating his importance.”

Yesterday Dublin High Court rejected an application by Freddie Scappaticci, who denies he was a British army agent within the Provisional IRA known as “Stakeknife”, for a judicial review of the Smithwick Tribunal’s decision to allow witness Kevin Fulton to give evidence from behind a screen – and for a halt in the hearing of that evidence until the matter was resolved to Scappaticci’s satisfaction. Today, the Smithwick Tribunal continued to hear evidence from Kevin Fulton – a former British army agent also known as …

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Former Assistant Garda Commissioner Kevin Carty fails to turn up at Smithwick Tribunal. Again.

The latest updates on proceedings at the Smithwick Tribunal in the BBC and the RTÉ reports both lead with news that the tribunal is to relocate to the Special Criminal Court for Monday’s appearance by convicted Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt.  But the bulk of both reports concern the [repeated] non-appearance of former Assistant Garda Commissioner Kevin Carty.  As the BBC report notes Kevin Carty assisted in an internal garda probe conducted in the days after the murders, into what garda officers or …

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Judge Smithwick: “I therefore anticipate that I will be able to submit my final report by the end of May 2012.”

Having expressed his concern at the 30 November ‘deadline’ initially imposed by the Irish Government, Judge Peter Smithwick has now formally requested a 6 month extension for the tribunal he chairs.  From the Irish Times report The tribunal, now six years in existence, began its public hearings only in June this year. Judge Smithwick stated in his letter that since the public hearings had begun, a number of people previously unknown to the tribunal had come forward with potentially important information, …

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