Monday 16 October 2017

Justice ministers to discuss Smithwick report

Paul Williams and Tom Brady

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter and his Northern counterpart David Ford will discuss the implications of the Smithwick Tribunal report at a meeting with their two police chiefs next week.

The report claimed, on the balance of probabilities, that an unidentified garda mole in Dundalk station colluded with the IRA in setting up RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan for murder.

The matter will top the agenda at a scheduled security conference between the two justice ministers, Commissioner Martin Callinan and PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott in Dublin next week.

The meeting comes after Garda Commissioner Callinan explained the force's "devastation" in the wake of report.

Speaking at a reserve force graduation ceremony at the Garda training college in Templemore, he said it was his job to reinforce the message that An Garda Siochana was an organisation that had the trust and confidence of the public and that they, as individuals within the force, had never betrayed that trust and confidence.

Ministers Shatter and Ford have already held preliminary discussions about the report, at a bilateral meeting in Brussels last week.

This will be the first opportunity to discuss it with the two police chiefs at the round-table meeting.

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