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16 Mar 2012
Undercover British agent Peter Keeley was described as a “trusted member” of the Provisional IRA in Garda intelligence documents, the Smithwick Tribunal has been told.
Keeley, who has told the tribunal that former Det Sgt Owen Corrigan of Dundalk Garda station supplied information to the IRA, was described in the intelligence documents as being seen in the company of senior IRA figures.
Kevin Fulton/Peter Keeley
The documents, summaries of which were read out at the tribunal this morning, included an intelligence report which noted Keeley – also known as Kevin Fulton – was stopped by gardaí on August 22nd, 1988 when he said he was travelling to see the wife of a named senior IRA figure.
The documents also noted that Keeley was seen driving IRA bomber Patrick ‘Mooch’ Blair and well-known Co Louth republican Michael Collins.
Supt Brian Brunton, reading from a précis of a intelligence document, said: “It would appear at this stage he [Keeley] was a trusted member of the PIRA”.
Keeley has given extensive information to the tribunal alleging Garda collusion, which he said he became aware of while undercover in the IRA.
Mr Corrigan’s counsel at the tribunal has described Keeley as a “liar”. Mr Corrigan has consistently denied he colluded with the IRA.
The tribunal is looking into suggestions that members of the Garda or other employees of the State colluded with the IRA in the murders of two RUC officers.
Chief supt Harry Breen and supt Bob Buchanan were killed in an IRA ambush on the Edenappa road in south Armagh less than half an hour after leaving a meeting in Dundalk Garda station, on March 20th, 1989.
Tuesday December 27 2011
The Irish government should order an investigation into claims a garda officer may have helped target an IRA murder victim more than 20 years ago, the Democratic Unionist Party has said.
Jeffrey Donaldson said his party will be contacting the Fine Gael-led administration after evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal raised questions over the murder of Co Louth farmer Tom Oliver.
In July 1991 the father of seven was kidnapped, tortured and shot dead by the IRA, before his body was dumped north of the border at Belleek in Co Armagh. There was outrage at the time of his killing and his family rejected allegations he had been passing information on republicans to security forces in the Republic.
But a former British agent testifying at the Smithwick Inquiry into alleged garda collusion in the murder of two senior Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) members in 1989, also indicated that a garda officer had identified Mr Oliver to the IRA.
Mr Donaldson said his party now planned to lobby the Irish government on the murder of Mr Oliver following the claims of the agent known as Kevin Fulton.
“Based on the evidence that Kevin Fulton gave to the Smithwick Inquiry, I believe that there have been new revelations that need to be examined to determine whether they would assist the police in apprehending those who were responsible for the murder of Tom Oliver,” said the Democratic Unionist MP.
“I am calling on the Irish government to initiate a review by the Garda of the police investigation south of the border and also involving the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland).”
He said a review of the murder investigation in the south, and of the circumstances of the discovery of the murdered man’s body on the northern side of the border, may determine whether a garda officer had helped initiate the killing.
The Smithwick Tribunal is investigating alleged Garda collusion in the murders of RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan in south Armagh in 1989.
The Democratic Unionist Party has recently spoken to Taoiseach Enda Kenny about IRA murders in border areas and claims that the authorities failed to address republican violence at the height of the Troubles.
Freddie Scappaticci, who denies being British agent inside IRA known as Stakeknife, may give evidence in police collusion investigation
16 Dec 2011
A man accused of being a British agent operating inside the IRA known as Stakeknife may give evidence to a public tribunal in Dublin investigating alleged collusion between the provisionals and members of the Garda Siochana.
During evidence on Friday at the Smithwick tribunal, counsel for Freddie Scappaticci – accused of being the former head of the IRA’s spy-catching team and an agent for Britain – indicated his client might give evidence.
Freddie Scappaticci, aka ‘Stakeknife’
As his lawyer, Martin O’Rourke, applied for a second counsel for Scappaticci, the judge heading the tribunal asked about his client’s willingness to co-operate with the inquiry.
When the tribunal chairman, Judge Peter Smithwick, asked if Scappaticci would make a statement to the inquiry or turn up to give evidence, O’Rourke replied: “That is being given active consideration by my client.”
The presence of Scappaticci at the tribunal would enable lawyers for the families of two police officers the IRA murdered in 1989 to quiz him about his alleged role as the provisionals’ spy hunter and claims he was at the same time one of the British state’s most important agents inside the republican terror group.
The Belfast republican has always denied he was the agent known as Stakeknife, even though several former IRA members and former members of the army’s force research unit have claimed he was working inside the provisionals for the British state.
His atttendance would also allow the families’ legal team to question him over his role in the IRA at the time of the double murder and his dealings with other senior provisionals, some of whom were also and remain prominent members of Sinn Féin.
The Smithwick tribunal was established to investigate claims that a Garda “mole” set up Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan after they left a police station in the Irish Republic.
The suggestion that Scappaticci might attend came on the third day of evidence to the tribunal from Newry man Kevin Fulton, a former British agent who admits he infiltrated the IRA.
He repeated claims that Scappaticci was a British agent in the IRA known by the code name Stakeknife. At the time of Breen and Buchanan’s killing, Fulton claims Scappaticci was aware of the plot to ambush and kill the two senior Royal Ulster Constabulary officers on the border.
The tribunal was told of an IRA death threat sent to Fulton’s address in Newry in February 2001.
“You have been sentenced by court martial in your absence. You are charged. General order no 5 part 5, general order no 11, on both charges you were found guilty. The penalty for both charges is death. Sentence to be carried out at our convenience.”
The letter was signed “P O’Neill, Oglaigh na hEireann”.
When asked why he had travelled from the UK to give evidence to the tribunal, Fulton said: “I started something and I had to finish it.”
When asked what the IRA would think about what he was doing in giving evidence, Fulton said: “It’s treachery. They would kill me.”
He denied he was lying about the collusion allegations he made against a former Dundalk-based garda who has consistently denied any wrongdoing or links with the IRA.
15 Dec 2011
A former British agent has claimed that he knew of two RUC men who passed information to the IRA.
Kevin Fulton was testifying at the Smithwick tribunal into alleged Garda collusion in the IRA murders of two other RUC officers on 20 March 1989.
Earlier, he denied being a “pathological liar” at the tribunal in Dublin.
It is investigating the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.
They were shot dead in south Armagh shortly after leaving a meeting at Dundalk Garda station.
Mr Fulton, a former British agent who infiltrated the IRA, was cross-examined at the tribunal on Thursday. He spoke of how “top IRA men in Newry thought I was a great IRA person”.
He described his work as a double agent as a “labour of love” and confirmed that he had previously worked for the British Army, MI5, Customs and Excise and the police.
Mr Fulton claimed there were “cops in the north also helping us”. When asked to clarify if he was suggesting some RUC officers helped the IRA, he said: “Of course there was. Certain ones are public knowledge, others are not.”
“One was convicted and the other was arrested and they managed to get him out, he was an RUC reservist, he was associating with an IRA man in Dundalk, Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy, the police knew about it as well.”
Mr Fulton wrote the names of the RUC officers for the chairman of the tribunal, Judge Peter Smithwick, and said he had no objections to the names being passed on to DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson.
Mr Fulton was also asked for his reaction to previous evidence from RUC witnesses who described him as a “fantasist” and intelligence nuisance.
“I have done things that I am not proud of and they would be party to that” he said, “Maybe it’s good to discredit someone who could do them harm.”
“Sir Ronnie Flanagan called me a ‘Walter Mitty’ character but he later apologised for that.”
Mr Fulton has claimed that Owen Corrigan, a former detective sergeant in Dundalk was passing information to the IRA and was regarded as a “friend” of the group.
Describing that allegation as “astonishing”, Jim O’Callaghan, counsel for Mr Corrigan, asked Mr Fulton if he had informed his handlers.
“Yes, you might describe it as astonishing information but when it becomes day-to-day, it is no big thing,” Mr Fulton said.
Mr Fulton, who is giving his evidence behind a screen, would not name the handler but wrote the name down for Judge Smithwick.
Mr Fulton conceded that he could not give the tribunal any specific examples of where Mr Corrigan assisted the IRA before 20 March 1989. He later denied that he was a “pathological liar” in respect of his evidence to the tribunal.
He claimed an IRA member told him that the IRA operation to mount an IRA ambush had started after they were tipped off that the RUC officers were at Dundalk Garda station on the afternoon of 20 March 1989.
In a statement to an earlier inquiry held by Canadian judge Peter Cory in 2003, Mr Fulton alleged that former Detective Garda Corrigan saw the RUC officers “at the station” and “telephoned the IRA”.
Mr O’Callaghan pointed out the difference in the statement he gave to the Smithwick Tribunal where he said “our friend” helped out.
“I am putting it to you that a lot of what you are saying is speculation” said Mr O’Callaghan.
“I never said it was anything else” Mr Fulton answered. He refused to withdraw allegations he made about Mr Corrigan.
A witness at the Smithwick Tribunal has claimed a former IRA bomb-maker was a secret agent or was being protected by some state agencies “north and south”.
Kevin Fulton, a former British agent inside the IRA, is giving evidence for a third day to the Dublin tribunal.
It is investigating allegations of Garda collusion in the 1989 murders of two senior RUC officers.
Mr Fulton spoke of how he came to the conclusion that Patrick ‘Mooch’ Blair was effectively another agent.
“After the Omagh bomb I did target him specifically but it was all thwarted by police,” he said.
Mr Fulton claimed he had passed on information about Blair to his handlers and what he described as “golden opportunities” to arrest him were not followed up.
“He was being protected by some state agency north and south,” he said. “He walked on water, so more or less, he was an agent.”
Blair was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Northern Ireland 1975 for the attempted murder of an RUC officer and possession of firearms.
He has previously acknowledged to the tribunal that he was active in the IRA over three decades but denied he was a commander, saying he was no more then a “volunteer”.
The tribunal is investigating the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.
They were shot dead in south Armagh shortly after leaving a meeting at Dundalk Garda station.
Mr Fulton was also cross-examined by Martin O’ Rourke, legal counsel for Freddie Scappaticci.
Mr Scappaticci denies being the agent in the IRA known as ‘Stakeknife’.
“Do you deliberately overstate your own importance,” Mr O’Rourke asked.
“No, I am not as important or unimportant as anyone else” Mr Fulton replied. “Maybe your client is understating his importance.”
During heated exhanges Mr Fulton told Mr Scappaticci’s legal counsel that it was an “actual fact” that your client “is an informer and he is ‘Stakeknife'”.
Mr Fulton also spoke of his wish to “recede into the background”.
“I would like to disappear, I am sure there are some people who could arrange that,” he said.
Peter Keeley has refused to withdraw his claim at the Smithwick Tribunal that Owen Corrigan passed information onto the IRA which led to several murders.
15 Dec 2011
The former British agent who worked undercover within the IRA has refused to withdraw his claim at the Smithwick Tribunal that a now retired Detective Sergeant passed information onto the IRA which led to several murders.
Peter Keeley, who also uses the name of Kevin Fulton, was asked by Jim O’Callaghan, Counsel for Mr Corrigan, to “withdraw your false statements and false claims”.
However, Mr Keeley replied: “Absolutely not. I can’t.”
The witness has said he believed Mr Corrigan passed information onto the IRA which led them to murder RUC officers, Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan, just minutes after leaving a meeting in Dundalk Garda Station in March 1989. His allegations led to the establishment of the Smithwick Tribunal.
He also claimed Mr Corrigan told the IRA that a Cooley-based farmer, Tom Oliver, was passing information to the gardaí and that he removed evidence to protect IRA members.
During his cross-examination this afternoon, Mr O’Callaghan accused Mr Keeley of making false accusations against his client to further his own agenda and disputes with his former employers.
“Effectively you’ve accused him of being a murderer,” said Mr O’Callaghan, to which Mr Keeley replied “yes.”
During his evidence today, Mr Keeley said Mr Corrigan had also removed fingerprints from a 1,000lb bomb being made in Omeath, Co Louth, when it was found by the gardaí and that he removed evidence from the vantage point used by the IRA in the Narrow Water attack where 18 British soldiers were killed by two large bombs.
Mr O’Callaghan has insisted that his client had no involvement in the first case and only interviewed one person in the second case.
Under cross examination by Michael Durack, Counsel for the Garda Commissioner, Mr Keeley claimed that he was told that the Real IRA had one million Viagra tablets to sell and as it was believed he was now working as a drug smuggler he was asked to try and find a buyer.
He got four tablets from Patrick ‘Mooch’ Blair and it was checked that the tablets were genuine. They sold legitimately for £10 each but he told Mr Blair he would get £5, which would have raised £5m for the paramilitary group.
Mr Durack said there was no record in the Garda Fraud Bureau about anything like this. Mr Keeley suggested there was a problem with the record keeping in the bureau.
He also alleged that when in the IRA he was involved in a deal with the mafia. To ensure that no one had any recording devices on them, they all had to strip naked and jump into a swimming pool before any talks took place.
Mr Keeley claimed that in his IRA unit there was at least one person, or maybe two other people, supplying information to the security forces. Mr Durack asked him did that concern him.
“No,” he replied “why would it?”
“Because you were in the internal security unit. Isn’t that what they’re supposed to find out?” said Mr Durack.
Mr Keeley replied that his only involvement with the unit was to provide transport and other items like food when people were being questioned.
Keeley denies ‘liar’ claim
Earlier, Mr Keeley denied that he is a “pathological liar”.
Mr O’Callaghan accused Mr Keeley of being an “attention seeking, egotistical, fantasist and liar.” Mr Keeley rejected the assertion.
Mr O’Callaghan also put to Mr Keeley another claim he was in a car with IRA member Patrick ‘Mooch’ Blair when Mr Corrigan got in and told them Tom Oliver was passing information to gardaí.
But Mr Corrigan was on extended sick leave when the witness said this happened, so his evidence was that of a “pathological liar” according to Mr O’Callaghan.
The witness was adamant what he said was what happened and he denied lying to the tribunal.
It was also put to him that he was part of the IRA internal security unit who murdered Mr Oliver.
In his book ‘Unsung Hero’, Mr Keeley said he was in Ireland when Mr Oliver was kidnapped and murdered but said in direct evidence he was in Paris at the time.
Mr Keeley said there were inaccuracies in the book.
“You had a man tied up, in your own words, like a chicken in the back of a van and you drove him to his death,” said Mr O’Callaghan.
Mr Keeley insisted he was not involved in what he said was the second “arrest” of Mr Oliver and his subsequent murder.
It was also put to Mr Keeley that his claim Mr Corrigan had helped remove incriminating evidence from a bomb found in Omeath could not be true because Mr Corrigan was not involved in the investigation.
The witness said he was told that “our friend” had removed fingerprints and that “our friend” was Owen Corrigan.
High Court rejects Scappaticci review
The High Court has rejected an application for a judicial review brought on behalf on Freddie Scappaticci, the man who denies he is the British agent known as ‘Stakeknife’.
He brought the action following the decision of Judge Smithwick yesterday not to allow the legal teams observe Peter Keeley while being cross-examined by all lawyers at the Smithwick Tribunal.
Mr Keeley is giving evidence from behind a screen and only when cross-examining him can counsel see him.
Its been alleged at the tribunal that Mr Scappaticci was a member of the IRA and its internal security unit known as the ‘nutting squad’.
Mr Scappaticci has denied the claims or that he was the highly-prized British agent known as ‘Stakeknife’.
16 Dec 2011
A FORMER British army agent who infiltrated the IRA yesterday denied he took part in murders carried out by the organisation.
Kevin Fulton, also known as Peter Keeley, told the Smithwick Tribunal inquiring into claims of Garda collusion in the IRA murders of two RUC officers in south Armagh on March 20th, 1989, that he had helped the IRA abduct Cooley farmer Tom Oliver for “questioning” and had seen him gagged and “trussed up like a chicken” in the back of a van.
He said Mr Oliver had been betrayed by a member of Dundalk Garda station, Det Sgt Owen Corrigan, who had told the IRA Mr Oliver was passing information on them to the Garda.
Mr Oliver was murdered by the IRA in July 1991 but Mr Fulton said this happened during a second abduction, after he had left the country and he was not involved in the killing.
Mr Fulton also denied he was involved in the murder of 34-year-old RUC officer Colleen McMurray, who was killed in an IRA attack in Newry in March 1992. Newspaper reports to the contrary were incorrect, he said.
However, Jim O’Callaghan SC, for Mr Corrigan, said Mr Fulton was a “pathological liar” and “a fantasist” who could not be trusted.
Mr O’Callaghan said that when Mr Fulton had described Mr Oliver bound and gagged in the van, he had in fact been describing Mr Oliver’s “final hours” and not an initial questioning. He said Mr Fulton had been one of the murder gang.
Earlier, Mr Fulton had recounted a series of occasions on which he said Mr Corrigan had assisted the IRA – including the murder of two RUC officers in 1989.
However, Mr O’Callaghan claimed details of these events were inconsistent and inaccurate, and when examined showed Mr Fulton was telling lies. He asked how Mr Fulton could claim to have been out of the country when Mr Oliver was murdered, when his book Unsung Hero had maintained he was in Ireland at the time.
He also said Mr Fulton’s evidence that Mr Corrigan had provided information to the IRA which led to Mr Oliver’s murder was incorrect as Mr Corrigan had left the Garda by the time Mr Oliver was killed. Mr O’Callaghan also took Mr Fulton through a claim that Mr Corrigan had destroyed evidence left by one of the Narrow Water bombers. The bomb at Narrow Water Castle at Warrenpoint, Co Down, caused the British army’s largest single loss of life in the Troubles. It was detonated from the Republic and Mr Fulton claimed Mr Corrigan had removed material, possibly including a firing mechanism.
But Mr O’Callaghan said Mr Corrigan was not involved in the investigation proper and his role was confined to one interview with a suspect.
Mr O’Callaghan also said a claim that Mr Corrigan had destroyed evidence relating to a bomb find in Omeath, Co Louth, was incorrect. He said Mr Corrigan was again not involved in this investigation.
Similarly Mr O’Callaghan said a claim that Mr Corrigan had tipped off the IRA that two RUC officers were in Dundalk Garda station was incorrect. Mr O’Callaghan said the claim was that Mr Corrigan had telephoned the IRA after two RUC officers arrived in Dundalk station for a meeting, at about 2.10pm on March 20th, 1989. The two officers were murdered minutes after leaving the meeting at about 3.25pm.
However, Mr Fulton agreed with Mr O’Callaghan that the timeline envisaged would not have allowed the IRA to carry out the murders.
16 Dec 2011
FREDDIE SCAPPATICCI, who denies he was a British army agent within the IRA known as “Stakeknife”, has been refused leave to bring a High Court challenge arising from the Smithwick Tribunal’s decision allowing witness Kevin Fulton to give evidence from behind a screen.
Mr Scappaticci claimed his lawyer’s inability to see Mr Fulton, a former British army agent also known as Peter Keeley, while Mr Fulton was giving evidence to the tribunal was “procedurally unfair”.
He sought orders which would have the screen before Mr Fulton set up to allow lawyers representing all parties to see Mr Fulton while he was giving evidence.
In dismissing Mr Scappaticci’s application for leave to bring a judicial review challenge, the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, said the issue was a matter for the tribunal itself.
The tribunal was set up to inquire into suggestions that gardaí or other employees of the State colluded in the fatal shootings of RUC Chief Supt Harry Breen and RUC Supt Robert Buchanan in March 1989. Mr Fulton began giving evidence to the tribunal on Wednesday.
Mr Scappaticci also sought to prevent the tribunal proceeding with Mr Fulton’s evidence until that evidence was provided in a manner fair to Mr Scappaticci.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Kearns was told the screen around Mr Fulton was set up so that he could not be seen by the public. Only the lawyer asking Mr Fulton questions, the chairman of the tribunal, and tribunal staff were able to see the witness.
Lawyers representing Mr Scappaticci argued that allowing Mr Fulton to give his evidence in that manner was unnecessary, unduly restrictive and ignored the rights of lawyers to see the witness.
The court was told that, in his statement to the tribunal, Mr Fulton had made serious allegations of criminal participation against Mr Scappaticci who had been given representation at the tribunal as his character may be impugned by evidence given by Mr Fulton.
In an affidavit, Michael Flanigan, a solicitor acting for Mr Scappaticci, said his client disputed the allegations against him. Mr Fulton’s credibility is a central issue in the proceedings and there was no reason to screen Mr Fulton from other parties’ lawyers.
Mr Fulton had not objected to being seen by legal representatives from various interested parties, he added. The tribunal could sit in a court where appropriate screening would be set up allowing lawyers see Mr Fulton while he was giving his evidence, he added.
15 Dec 2011
A former British agent inside the IRA has denied being a “pathological liar” at the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin.
Kevin Fulton is testifying at the tribunal which is investigating alleged Garda collusion in the IRA murder of two RUC officers in March 1989.
He claimed a senior Garda officer destroyed vital evidence after the 1979 Narrow Water IRA bomb attack which killed 18 British soldiers.
He also claimed some RUC officers set up colleagues for the IRA.
The tribunal is investigating the murders of Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan, who were shot dead in south Armagh shortly after leaving a meeting at Dundalk Garda station.
Mr Fulton, whose real name is Peter Keeley, has claimed Dundalk-based Detective Garda Sergeant Owen Corrigan assisted the IRA on several occasions over the years.
Mr Corrigan denies all such allegations.
On Thursday, Mr Fulton told the tribunal: “After the Narrow Water bombing it was said that Owen Corrigan helped the IRA that time.”
Kidnapped and murdered
The 51-year-old again alleged Mr Corrigan had also been involved in tipping off the IRA off that Mr Breen and Mr Buchanan were in Dundalk, cleaned fingerprints off a 1,000lb bomb found in Omeath and had told the IRA that County Louth farmer Tom Oliver was an informer.
Two months later, in July 1999, Mr Oliver was kidnapped and murdered.
Cross-examining Mr Fulton, Mr Corrigan’s barrister Jim O’Callaghan said he could prove the witness was a pathological liar.
He told tribunal his client had no involvement with the Narrow Water and Omeath bomb factory investigation, and that he was on sick leave when Mr Oliver was killed.
“Owen Corrigan went on certified sick leave on 4 December 1989, 20 months before Tom Oliver was murdered,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
“After going on sick leave on 4 December 1989 he was totally unavailable to An Garda Siochana in 1990 and 1991 and retired from the forces on 4 February 1992.
‘Walter Mitty character’
“He had no access to any Garda information to say who or who was not an informer.”
Mr O’Callaghan told Mr Fulton several former police officers – on both sides of the Irish border – had questioned the agent’s credibility, calling him a liar, fantasist and a Walter Mitty character.
“I have done things that I’m not proud of – things my handlers know I have done and I’m party to that,” Mr Fulton replied.
“Maybe it’s because if I go down the road, they’re coming with me.
“Maybe it’s good to discredit people who can do them harm.”
Mr Fulton was asked on Thursday if the IRA would have had enough time to mount an operation if they were told of the RUC officers meeting in Dundalk Garda Station after 14:10 GMT.
“That would have been too short notice” he said, “they would have to have known well in advance.”
But he said there would have been enough time to mount the type of IRA ambush that killed the officers if evidence showed that the operation started at 11:30 GMT.
15 Dec 2011
IT WAS an open secret in the IRA that it had a “friend” among the gardaí in Dundalk, the Smithwick Tribunal has heard.
Former British army agent Kevin Fulton, also known as Peter Keeley, who said he infiltrated the IRA in the 1980s, named the “friend” as retired detective sergeant Owen Corrigan.
Mr Fulton told Judge Peter Smithwick the mole in Dundalk was referred to in IRA circles only as “our friend”, but he had met him when undercover as the IRA in north Louth was abducting Cooley farmer Tom Oliver.
Mr Oliver was abducted twice and ultimately killed by the IRA, which said he had been informing gardaí about their activities.
Mr Fulton said he had driven Dundalk IRA member Patrick “Mooch” Blair to a meeting with Det Sgt Corrigan at a “céilí house” pub near the Border. He said Mr Corrigan sat into the car and told Mr Blair that Mr Oliver was informing gardaí about IRA activity.
Mr Fulton also said he had befriended Mr Blair, who had taught him how to make bombs.
He told the tribunal Mr Blair used to grind fertiliser using Bewley’s coffee grinders. On a number of occasions, Mr Fulton said he had notified his handlers that Mr Blair was planning a bombing.
Lives were saved through the action of his handlers, he said. He also gave the tribunal an account of how a tip-off foiled a mortar attack on Newry courthouse.
In addition, he said he had been ordered to shoot a cleaner in Newry RUC station, but following his tip-off to his handlers, the cleaner had retired.
He also said he had informed his handlers a few days before the Omagh bomb that Mr Blair, who was then a dissident republican, was dusted in white powder and smelled of diesel, a sign that he was making a bomb.
He said the Police Ombudsman’s report on the Omagh bombing had referred to a bombmaker, whom he knew to have made bombs with Mr Blair. He passed his information on to his handlers.
He also gave evidence of the involvement in the IRA internal security unit of Freddie Scappaticci, the man who denies he was a double agent known as “Stakeknife”.
Mr Fulton said he thought there might have been a number of informers in the IRA at the time as his handlers preferred to “turn” members rather than prosecute them.
Mr Fulton yesterday also named former RUC chief constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan as the senior security source who confirmed to Jeffrey Donaldson MP Mr Fulton’s status as an informer.
Mr Donaldson named Mr Corrigan as an IRA mole in a speech in the House of Commons in 2000. He has previously told the tribunal that he got Mr Corrigan’s name from Mr Fulton and had checked Mr Fulton’s status with an unnamed senior security source.
In a further development at yesterday’s hearing, Donal O’Rourke SC, for Mr Scappaticci, objected to Mr Fulton giving evidence from behind a screen from where he could not be seen.
He rejected a compromise put forward by Mary Laverty SC, that would allow cross-examining barristers to approach the bench and see Mr Fulton, as he said he wanted to see the witness under cross-examination from other legal teams and when the main body of evidence was taken.
After his objections were overruled, Mr O’Rourke told Judge Peter Smithwick he intended to seek a High Court review of the decision.
December 14, 2011
A British agent who infiltrated the IRA revealed there “wasn’t a day” when the terror group was not trying to kill a member of the security forces.
Peter Keeley, who is also known as Kevin Fulton, told a tribunal into alleged Garda-IRA collusion in Ireland that he was recruited for intelligence shortly after he joined the British Army in 1980.
He said he first started putting names to faces in photographs taken from dole queues in his home town of Newry before he was given false discharge papers from the army so he could begin infiltrating the terror republican group.
Giving evidence at the Dublin inquiry behind a screen to protect his identity, the 51-year-old said the republican group did not just make bombs.
“They shot people and targeted people,” he said.
“There wasn’t a day they weren’t trying to kill a member of the security forces.”
The Smithwick Tribunal is investigating allegations of Garda collusion over the IRA murders of senior RUC officers Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan on the Irish border in 1989, minutes after a Garda meeting.
Allegations by Mr Keeley that retired Dundalk-based Detective Garda Sergeant Owen Corrigan had assisted the IRA led to the establishment of the tribunal in 2005.
Mr Corrigan and two other named gardaí, former sergeants Leo Colton and Finbarr Hickey, all deny any collusion.
Mr Keeley told Judge Peter Smithwick he became very good friends with convicted IRA bomb-maker Patrick “Mooch” Blair in 1982/83.
“His reputation was that of an IRA man, it would have been an inroad. He took me under his wing,” said Mr Keeley.
The former British agent was jailed for two years for his role in a smuggling operation before being finally ‘green booked’ by the IRA in the mid-1980s by an unidentified member (known as Man A in the tribunal) and Mooch.
Mr Keeley revealed he helped out with the terror group’s notorious internal security unit, driving suspected informers to two properties for interrogation, but denied ever taking part in them. He also claimed Freddie Scappaticci and the late John Joe Magee were in the internal security unit.
“They (suspects) would be arrested, blindfolded, sometimes cable tied – the guy in the back would always have a pair of scissors in case we were stoppered, it would be a snip, and their hands would be free,” he continued.
Interrogators also used voice stress analysers, like polygraph, Mr Keeley added.
He said he was later taught by Mooch to make fire bombs and mercury tilt switch bombs.
While always made in the Republic, particularly in Dundalk and Omeath, they were sent north – but Mr Keeley stressed he did not know where the bombs he helped make were detonated.
Mr Keeley told the tribunal that by the early 1990s he wanted out because he was stressed after a couple of incidents went wrong.
He took a job at Disneyland Paris where he got a post painting movies and the Big Thunder Mountain ride.
“I wasn’t there too long and newspaper stories appeared ‘IRA gang was in Euro Disney’,” he added.
“We lost our jobs.”
He claimed the tip-off to the Sunday Express came from the security forces.
“I was trying to rebuild my life… It was to drag me back in,” he added.
Wednesday December 14 2011
A former British agent has accused a retired Garda of being involved in the murder of two senior RUC officers.
Peter Keeley (aka ‘Kevin Fulton’) told a tribunal into alleged Garda-IRA collusion the detective’s friendship with the terror group was the worst kept secret in the unit.
The agent, who infiltrated the IRA in the 1980s, claimed Dundalk-based Detective Garda Sergeant Owen Corrigan also told volunteers that a farmer was an informer.
The man, Tom Oliver from Co Louth, was later abducted and murdered.
The Smithwick Tribunal is investigating allegations of Garda collusion over the IRA murders of senior RUC officers Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan on the Irish border in 1989, minutes after a Garda meeting.
Giving evidence in Dublin behind a screen to protect his identity, 51-year-old Mr Keeley said another IRA activist who told him about the murders mentioned the words “our friend”.
“There was only one friend I knew in the gardai and that was Owen Corrigan,” said Keeley, who is also known as Kevin Fulton.
“The reference that day to ‘our friend’, I took it that it was Owen Corrigan.
“I didn’t know of anyone else in the gardai.”
Mr Corrigan has strenuously denied the allegations of collusion, which he has called a monstrous lie.
14 Dec 2011
A former British agent who worked undercover in the IRA has begun giving evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal.
Kevin Fulton said he began working for army intelligence by putting names to faces on photographs taken around social welfare offices in Newry.
‘Kevin Fulton’/Peter Keeley back in the day
He claimed he was inducted into the IRA by convicted bomb-maker Mooch Blair.
The Smithwick Tribunal was set up to look at the murders of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.
They were killed in an IRA ambush close to the border in March 1989.
In his evidence, Mr Fulton said there was not a day when the IRA were not trying to kill a member of the security forces.
The tribunal is investigating alleged Garda collusion in the murders of the two high-ranking RUC officers.
13 Dec 2011
A retired senior RUC officer has told a tribunal he was hindered in murder investigations because of alleged Garda collusion with the IRA.
The Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin is investigating the IRA murders of two senior RUC officers in March 1989.
Witness 70 claimed it was “common knowledge” that former Detective Sergeant Owen Corrigan in Dundalk Garda station was actively assisting the IRA.
Mr Corrigan denies all allegations of collusion.
Witness 70 said he had been briefed by Special Branch and warned not to go to Dundalk.
The former CID inspector spoke of his frustration that RUC colleagues were being shot dead by an IRA unit based in Dundalk, but he could not seek assistance from Dundalk Garda station.
The Dublin tribunal is investigating suggestions that a Garda mole passed information to the IRA which led to the murders of Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan.
They were shot dead in south Armagh shortly after leaving a meeting in Dundalk Garda station.
Witness 70 said it was “commonly spoken” following the murders that they were set up by the garda in Dundalk.
Witness 70 also told the tribunal he was introduced to a former British agent within the IRA, Kevin Fulton, in the late 90s.
He described him as a “likeable rogue” who had “a sinister side”, and knew a lot about IRA activists in Dundalk.
He said it did not surprise him that Mr Fulton was described as “an intelligence nuisance” by Special Branch, because he said they did not want an informant of theirs talking to CID.
The witness, giving evidence from behind a screen, spoke of how Kevin Fulton had brought him and a colleague to a remote location south of the border where the Omagh bomb was alleged to have been made.
But they had no authority to enter or inspect the location.
By Jennifer O’Leary
29 Nov 2011
A convicted IRA bomb-maker has said claims that he was involved in the 1998 Omagh bombing were made by a “fantasist”.
Patrick Joseph Blair, also known as ‘Mooch’ Blair, made the remarks in evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal.
The Dublin tribunal is investigating allegations of Garda collusion in the IRA murders of two senior RUC officers.
Blair admitted he had been actively involved as a “volunteer” in the south Down unit of the Provisional IRA.
He was named as a suspect in the Omagh bomb atrocity by Kevin Fulton, a Newry man who claims to have been a British army agent who was undercover in the IRA.
“I had no part in any shape or form in the Omagh bombing,” Blair told the tribunal.
“Kevin Fulton is a liar and I would take a lie detector test in relation to the Omagh bomb, I would prefer if he took one as well.”
Patrick ‘Mooch’ Blair was confronted at the tribunal by the daughter of a man murdered by the IRA.
Manya Dickinson was visibly upset after confronting Blair who refused to answer any questions about the bomb that killed her father.
Kenneth Graham, a Kilkeel contractor who supplied building materials to the security forces, died after a bomb exploded under his car on April 27 1990.
“That’s what we have to put up with, him laughing and knowing that,” she said.
“It’s not good enough, something has to be done for victims of IRA violence, and this is awful – that man laughed in my face.”
“He said I made the bomb; it is a fantasy on his behalf,” he said.
He also described claims of a 59-second phone call from a phone attributed to him to the Real IRA unit which planted the Omagh bomb as a “big coincidence”.
The tribunal is investigating whether there was collusion in the murders of Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan in March 1989.
They were shot dead near Jonesborough, south Armagh, shortly after meeting Irish police in Dundalk Garda station.
Blair is giving evidence to the tribunal because of suggestions, made by Mr Fulton, that he had met with a Garda officer serving in Dundalk station.
In 1975, a court in Northern Ireland sentenced Blair to 15 years for attempted murder. He was released in 1982 and moved to Dundalk.
On the day of the RUC officers’ murders Blair said he was in a pub and bookies and learned of the shootings later that evening.
Mary Laverty SC, for the tribunal, put it to Blair that Mr Fulton had visited his home on the evening of the murders along with an unnamed person who claimed “our friend was involved in the operation”.
“That ‘friend’ was a garda who it is alleged assisted you on occasions?” she asked.
“No garda ever assisted me, or to my knowledge anyone,” Blair replied.
He also denied that Mr Fulton was in his home that evening, describing him as a “gopher” when asked if Mr Fulton was active in the IRA.
“Kevin Fulton was unreliable, that was why he was not a volunteer,” he said.
“The Garda were not pro-republican to my knowledge.”
He also denied he was a member of the IRA unit that handed out punishment beatings or interrogated suspected informers.
When asked about “taunting” phonecalls made to RUC and army stations following IRA murders he said: “Psych ops happened on both sides.”