Dáil Éireann - Volume 534 - 12 April, 2001

Written Answers - Garda Investigations.

[1265] 63. Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the main findings of the investigation into allegations that a small number of gardaí operating in the Border areas may have been involved in acts of collusion with paramilitary organisations in the late 1980s and early 1990s; if it is intended to publish the report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11003/01]

Mr. O'Donoghue (Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform): In 1999, a book entitled Bandit Country – The IRA and South Armagh was published which contained an allegation that the murder of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan of the RUC on 20 March 1989 was facilitated by the passing of information on the policemen's movements by a member of the Garda Síochána to the Provisional IRA.

On 10 March 2000, Mr. Kevin Myers wrote an article in The Irish Times in which he alleged that Garda collusion with the Provisional IRA had, in addition to the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan, facilitated ten other murders, namely, those of Tracy Doak, Steven Rodgers, David Baird and William Wilson, all RUC officers, at Killeen, County Armagh on 20 May 1985; Lord and Lady Gibson at Killeen, County Armagh on 25 April 1987; Robert, Maureen and David Hanna at Killeen, County Armagh on 23 July 1988; and Tom Oliver, following his kidnapping at Riverstown, Dundalk, County Louth on 19 July 1991. These additional allegations were also included in a revised edition of Bandit Country – The IRA and South Armagh, which was issued in 2000.

On 11 April 2000, the Garda Commissioner directed Detective Chief Superintendent Seán Camon, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, with Detective Inspector Peter Kirwan, security and intelligence branch, to re-examine all available files and investigate these allegations. I informed the Dáil of this investigation in an answer to a parliamentary question on 13 April 2000.

As part of the investigation, the investigating officers carried out inquiries in this jurisdiction, Northern Ireland and the United States. All available relevant correspondence was also examined. The authors of the book and The Irish Times article, as well as other persons relevant to the investigation, were interviewed. The investigating officers did everything that could be expected in order to ascertain whether evidence exists to support the allegations made.

The report of the investigating officers was submitted to me on 20 February 2001. While I do not intend to publish the report because of its confidential nature, the investigating officers have stated that they found no evidence of collusion between members of the Garda Síochána and subversives in these murders. In addition, they were informed by the RUC, which also carried [1266] out an investigation into the allegations, that no evidence existed, nor could any documentation be located, which evidences any such Garda collusion with subversives.