independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Officers named in the tribunal

Garda Sergeant Finbarr Hickey

FINBARR Hickey joined the gardai in December 1980. He came to garda attention in 1998 during a probe into false passports, which ended his career.

Between January 1995 and April 1996 he had signed eight false applications which led to false passports being issued to the Provisional IRA. He said he was doing it as a favour for Leo Colton, who denied the claims.

In May 2001, he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment after pleading guilty to four charges of uttering false documents. The judge said he was "satisfied" that Finbarr Hickey was "not in a position" to have colluded in the murders.

SERGEANT LEO COLTON

From Belturbet in Co Cavan, he joined in 1958. He was questioned by gardai after Finbarr Hickey was arrested for stamping false passport applications. Mr Colton was the subject of disciplinary proceedings in 1991 after providing a letter of support in June the previous year for an application for a trade plate certificate for Brian Ruddy, who Mr Colton said was a garage owner and car dealer.

Senior gardai took the view that Mr Ruddy was an associate of leading members of the Provisional IRA. He retired before an inquiry could take place.

He denied being involved in the passports affair, which the judge rejected. The report says that the evidence does not establish that he colluded with the IRA in the murders.

DETECTIVE SERGEANT OWEN CORRIGAN

Also from Belturbet, he joined the gardai in September 1960 and retired in February 1992. He was named in the UK House of Parliament as being the "mole" who passed information to the Provisional IRA that led to the murders, a claim he always denied.

The judge said he did not believe Mr Corrigan was "truthful" in relation in some matters.

However, Judge Smithwick was not satisfied that the evidence was of "sufficient substance" to establish that he had colluded in the murders.

Irish Independent

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