Gardaí would take exactly the same action today as they did during a robbery in which Real IRA member Ronán MacLochlainn was shot dead, a senior member of the force has said.
The member, who was identified as DS01 and is currently head of the National Surveillance Unit (NSU), was giving evidence to the MacLochlainn Commission of Inquiry into the man's death.
MacLochlainn (28), from Ballymun in Dublin, was shot dead by gardaí during the armed robbery of a Securicor van just outside Ashford, Co Wicklow, on May 1, 1998.
The garda giving evidence said: "If I had to plan the same job today, I would do exactly the same thing."
He said An Garda Siochana regretted the fact that MacLochlainn died that day and they had done their best to revive him.
The gardaí that day had been involved in an intelligence gathering operation, trailing two vans known to be used by the Real IRA.
He said up to the time the Real IRA blocked the road outside Ashford with one of these vans it was an intelligence operation - but at that point there had to be an intervention.
He said the NSU had no intelligence on what the vans were likely to do that day, and he assumed they were involved in moving explosives.