Irish Times
11 May 2012

The republican source who told the RUC the name of an IRA mole among Dundalk gardaí, was this morning named as Warrenpoint businessman and grain smuggler John McAnulty.

Giving evidence by video link from Belfast, and identified only by the cipher Witness Z, a former special branch detective told the Smithwick Tribunal McAnulty had provided the name of then det sgt Owen Corrigan of Dundalk Garda station as a man who was keeping the IRA informed of Garda and RUC activities. McAnulty was shot dead in 1989.

However, the naming of McAnulty by Witness Z led to heated exchanges at the tribunal with counsel for the PSNI Mark Robinson asking on a number of occasions for a recess, and claiming the naming of McAnulty “beggars belief”.

Mr Robinson said it put the lives of others at risk, and could “seriously damage the flow of information” from existing sources.

Mr Robinson told the tribunal it was “outrageous” that a source, even one who was now dead, could be named and he accused the tribunal of maintaining “radio silence” when he had attempted to find out what was scheduled to happen this morning.

He said this was symptomatic of the tribunal’s attitude to the PSNI since public hearings began last June.

In an unusually tense exchange Mr Robinson was told by chairman of the tribunal Judge Peter Smithwick “there must be a limit to the amount of things the PSNI can cover up and sweep under the carpet”.

Witness Z told the tribunal he was the author of an intelligence report known as an SB50, which he sent to his superiors naming Mr Corrigan as an IRA mole.

He said the SB50 was based on information received from McAnulty four years before was abducted and murdered in July 1989. Witness Z said the IRA had subsequently claimed McAnulty had been an informer for 17 years.

Michael Durack SC for the garda asked Witness Z to confirm the SB50 had been written as “police speak” and not a verbatim report of the source’s own words, as it should have been.

However Witness Z said the SB50 “fully reflects what he [Mr McAnulty] told me, what he meant to say. It may not be in the words he spoke but certainly it is what he inferred, what he said”.

Witness Z said Mr Corrigan was well known among the Newry special branch at the time as someone to be avoided when sensitive information was being shared.

He also said he was present in Dundalk Garda station on at least one occasion at a meeting with Insp Dan Prenty when Mr Corrigan walked into to the room. He said Mr Prenty immediately signalled him to stop talking.