Wednesday 24 May 2017

Tribunal slates ex-garda's no-show

Carty's failure to answer summons is a sign of 'contempt', says judge

Gerard Cunningham

THE Smithwick Tribunal has described the failure of a former assistant garda commissioner to answer a summons to appear to give evidence as a sign of "contempt" and a "great discourtesy".

The inquiry heard that no response was received to registered letters sent to Kevin Carty, who retired from An Garda Siochana last year.

But although several registered letters were signed by a 'Kevin Carty' in the past year, the tribunal had not heard from him.

The tribunal heard that Mr Carty works with the United Nations and is based in Vienna. In 2003, he was appointed as an adviser to the independent panel on safety and security for UN personnel in Iraq.

He was later appointed to another body, the UN Security in Iraq Accountability Panel.

In 1999, then assistant commissioner Carty led an inquiry into allegations of garda wrongdoing in Co Donegal which laid the groundwork for the Morris Tribunal.

Ten years earlier, as a detective inspector, he worked with Assistant Commissioner Edward O'Dea in taking statements from gardai based in Dundalk following the murder of two senior RUC men by the IRA.

The tribunal was set up to look at claims the movements of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan were leaked to the IRA by a "mole" in Dundalk garda station, leading to their deaths in an IRA ambush as they returned from a meeting in the border town.

Mr Carty met tribunal lawyers in 2007 and made a statement at the time, and was then sent several letters this year asking him to come and give evidence or at least confirm that the statement he had given back in 2007 was accurate and to sign it.

Tribunal barrister Mary Laverty said she was at a loss to explain why Mr Carty had not turned up. She said she was aware that he was working in Vienna but the letters had been signed for with his name and signature.

Judge Smithwick said it was very, very wrong for a former senior garda to treat the tribunal "with that sort of contempt".

Denies

He said he would offer Mr Carthy another opportunity to appear and give his evidence and warned he would "take a very, very strong view if he doesn't."

Later, a garda sergeant was questioned by lawyers representing Freddie Scappaticci, the Belfast republican who denies allegations he was a member of the IRA internal security unit that abducted and killed Tom Oliver.

Mr Oliver, a Cooley farmer, was abducted and murdered in 1991.

Barrister Niall Mooney put it to Sergeant James Kilcoyne that if someone was a garda informer would they not be likely to tell their handler they'd been abducted?

The witness replied that it was not something he would be aware of.

Carlingford-based Sgt Kilcoyne said he did not know if there had been an earlier abduction of Mr Oliver, prior to his murder in 1991.

He said people living in border areas would be unlikely to speak about it afterwards if they had been abducted by paramilitary groups.

Irish Independent

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