Newry British agent gives evidence to Smithwick Tribunal

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
A Provisional IRA informer from Newry has begun giving evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal. The British Agent, ‘Kevin Fulton’ said his work for the intelligence services began by having to identify known republicans and sympathisers by looking at army intelligence photographs. The public hearings, which began on Tuesday 7th June 2011, aim to establish whether there was Gardaì collusion in the Provisional IRA murders of two senior RUC officers – Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan – near the border in 1989. Smithwick has called in evidence from a wide range of sources since it began in June. The legal team for the Tribunal held face-to-face meetings with three former Provisional IRA members in recent months, one of whom allegedly had a commanding role in the attack. According to the legal team, the Provisional IRA members gave “detailed accounts” and replied to all questions from the inquiry team. Fulton, who also released a detailed book (Unsung Hero) -documenting his Provisional IRA and covert British Army career – told the Smithwick Tribunal that there was “not a day when the IRA was not trying to kill a member of the security forces.” Fulton went on to tell Judge Smithwick that he has been supplied with a Triumph Dolomite car by the security services and asked to drive through notoriously IRA active parts of South Armagh to check for checkpoints. The two RUC men, the two highest ranked police officers killed during the ‘Troubles’, were killed on their way home from Dundalk after a secret meeting with senior Gardaì officials. Earlier this year the Smithwick Tribunal heard how Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Robert Buchanan had promised not to cross the Irish border just four days prior to their murder. One witness spoke of his ‘surprise’ that Buchanan had crossed the border a staggering ten times in the four weeks before his murder. Another witness, an Assistant Chief Constable for the RUC, told the hearing that he had told Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan that “under no circumstances should you cross the border”, to which both RUC officers agreed and promised not to. The witness went on to state his belief that both RUC officers should not have been across the border. From behind an identity protective screen he stated, “I asked both men to give me a promise that they would not go across the border. And they did, because there was no necessity in it.” The hearing continues.
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