Irwin calls for investigation into other border killings
Following the publication of the Smithwick report into Garda collusion with the IRA local DUP MLA William Irwin has called for other murders in the border area around Newry and South Armagh to be reopened in light of the ‘Smithwick’ findings.
The MLA, who represents the area near Jonnesborough where C/Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan were brutally murdered, has called for the authorities on both sides of the border to immediately reopen several cases where Police officers and civilians were murdered close to the Killeen border outside Newry.
Speaking to Newry Times, Irwin stated, “The findings of the Smithwick report are a damming indictment of decades of collusion and cover up by the Garda and the failure of the Irish government in relation to the IRA and its activities particularly along the border.
“This report comes 24 years too late for the families, friends and former colleagues of Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan. It just confirms the suspicion held all along by many in the local community that these two courageous senior Police officers were set up by rogue Garda officers working from Dundalk station.
“However the question many are asking is how many more RUC officers and indeed civilians were murdered as a result of information passed to the Provisional IRA in South Armagh by rogue officers. I recall the murder of four young RUC officers at Killeen in 1985, blown up as they provided security for a cash in transit van crossing the border.
“The murders of Lord Chief Justice Gibson and his wife in 1987 whilst crossing the border at Killeen and already the subject of the ‘Cory Report’into collusion. The Hanna family blown up at Killeen in 1986 apparently in a case of mistaken identity and the abduction and murder of RUC Constable Louis Robinson again whilst crossing the border at Killeen in 1990.
“These are just a few of the cases that need to be looked into as a matter of urgency so as to establish if their personal details, including vehicles and travel plans, had in fact been passed to the Garda at Dundalk in advance by either the victims themselves or the RUC,” Irwin continued.
“It is unbelievable to think that information that should have been used to protect these innocent people could have been used by rogue elements to have them murdered. In relation to the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan, the judge points to two acts of collusion carried out by one or possibly two members of An Garda Siochana.
“This substantiates the allegations which have existed right from the time of these murders that the IRA were assisted in this crime by someone from within the Garda. Judge Smithwick also poses a serious challenge to the Irish Government that it must tackle the culture of failing adequately to address suggestions of wrongdoing from within that state.
Irwin added, “All too often we have seen the Irish Government call for investigations into events in Northern Ireland but take grave offence at suggestions of wrongdoing from within their state.”
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