Smithwick Tribunal: Witness 68 questions Garda cooperation with RUC after bomb

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012
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The Smithwick Tribunal has heard evidence that suggested a serious lack of co-operation by the Irish Police in the aftermath of the Narrow Water bomb attack. Giving evidence via video link from Belfast to Dublin, a man known as ‘Witness 68′, claimed he was the chief investigating officer of the bomb attack.

The ambush, known as the Warrenpoint massacre, occurred on the 27th August 1979 when the Provisional IRA’s South Armagh Brigade detonated two bombs near Narrow Water Castle. At 4:40pm a 500 pound bomb exploded when an army convoy was passing the castle, killing six soldiers. The second explosion happened at 5:12pm when an 800 pound bomb exploded at a nearby gate lodge where the army had set up a incident command point. A further 12 soldiers were killed in this explosion.

The tribunal, which is investigating the murders of two senior policemen in 1989, heard how “nothing was made available” to the RUC from the County Louth site used in the Narrow Water attack. ‘Witness 68′ stated, “Our objective was to attain something evidential from the scene and we wanted that at all costs but it has to be said that the help was non-existent.”

‘Witness 68′ described how in the aftermath of the explosion senior RUC officers were advised to “keep the gardai on side.” ‘Witness 68′ continued, “I was given a briefing and told not to discuss anything with Detective Sergeant Owen Corrigan because of the risk of a leak. My instruction was that Mr Corrigan was a risk, that said my co-operation with Mr Corrigan was of a limited nature and at times could be described as obstructive.”

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