Irish Times
24 May 2012

Intelligence that a detective sergeant in Dundalk was in collusion with the IRA was considered so unreliable that it was never passed to An Garda Síochána, the Smithwick Tribunal was told yesterday.

Senior counsel Michael Durack for the Garda Commissioner said an RUC intelligence report, known as an “SB50” was categorised as little more than “hearsay” and “gossip” by senior RUC officers.

Mr Durack was cross-examining one of the SB50’s two authors, a former detective constable in the RUC special branch regional taskforce based in Newry.

The former detective gave evidence by video link from a location in Belfast, sitting with his back to the camera. He was referred to only as Witness Q.

Witness Q told the tribunal that he, along with a fellow detective who gave evidence to the tribunal last week, had been told by a usually reliable source that Owen Corrigan of the Garda in Dundalk was keeping the IRA supplied with information.

He said the intelligence report had been drawn up in June 1985. In February that year the IRA had launched a mortar attack on Newry RUC station killing nine RUC officers. In May he said a further four colleagues were killed by a landmine on the Border at Killeen.

He said there was concern about the level of information available to the IRA. This was particularly true in relation to Killeen, as the IRA appeared to know exactly where the van, which had been escorted to the Border by gardaí, would be travelling.