Saturday 3 December 2016

Crackdown on Provo border rackets after Garda killing

Gardaí deployed to Border area after murders

Adam Cullen and Jim Cusack

Published 19/10/2015 | 02:30

After almost two decades of a blind eye being turned to the activities of Provos in so-called ‘bandit country’, the death of Garda Tony Golden has finally sparked a response
After almost two decades of a blind eye being turned to the activities of Provos in so-called ‘bandit country’, the death of Garda Tony Golden has finally sparked a response

Smuggling and racketeering by IRA criminals along the Border will finally be tackled through a special operation by the gardaí.

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After almost two decades of a blind eye being turned to the activities of Provos in so-called ‘bandit country’, the death of Garda Tony Golden has finally sparked a response.

The criminal republican culture on the Border, which led to two garda murders, is now being taken on, with extra gardaí on patrol and a heavyweight investigation into serious crime in the area.

The move comes as Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described Sinn Féin as a “Mafia-like organisation” which is “incapable of respecting anyone outside its own ranks”.

“How dare they claim to own Irish republicanism? No organisation which fails to expose child abusers, racketeers and murderers can call itself republican,” he said.

Gardaí are also “examining” reports that one of their ranks has been acting as an informant to the Provisional IRA – with associates who had links to Adrian Crevan Mackin, who murdered Garda Golden.

The killing of Garda Golden, following on from the death in 2013 of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe, has now drawn a response from Garda Headquarters.

The activities of the IRA criminals have become increasingly blatant in recent times, with large scale fuel smuggling and the pumping of massively toxic waste into water supplies.

Twenty-five uniformed gardaí are now being deployed to Dundalk Garda Station in Co Louth and they will be backed up by support from national units.

The PSNI is also being challenged to match the Garda’s move to put more boots on theground along the Border.

Last night, the Garda Press Office confirmed that Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan had ordered the deployment.

It said: “The Commissioner has directed an additional 25 uniformed gardaí to Dundalk Garda Station to support frontline policing and uniform patrols. In addition, a targeted intelligence-led investigation has been established into serious crime in the area, which includes resources attached to the National Units,”

Gardaí are also “examining” reports that one of their ranks has been acting as Provisional IRA informant. A garda spokesperson said the force could not comment any further on the shocking revelation in the ‘Sunday Independent’ yesterday, but stressed that the matter was under review.

“We are currently examining the content of the article and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time,” said a spokesperson.

It has emerged that an officer has allegedly leaked sensitive information that relates to garda investigations into Provisional IRA-controlled cross-border smuggling rackets and money-laundering operations.

Concerns have also been raised into the alleged tampering of evidence in a number of investigations.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins called on the Commissioner to investigate the matter. He said the issue required a review, with the findings to be relayed to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

It is understood that the garda in question has links to a Provisional IRA figure who is a close associate of Adrian Crevan Mackin, who murdered Garda Golden last week.

This associate, from Armagh, is also reported to be a suspect in the murder of Det Garda Donohoe in Co Louth in 2013.

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