Saturday 24 February 2018

O Caolain echoes Adams's remarks on police deaths

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Caoimhin O Caolain Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Caoimhin O Caolain Photo: Frank Mc Grath

Sam Griffin

SINN Fein TD Caoimhghin O Caolain reiterated remarks made by party leader Gerry Adams that two murdered RUC officers acted dangerously in travelling south of the Border.

Following the publication of the Smithwick Tribunal report into the deaths of Chief Sup Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchannan, the Sinn Fein leader said the officers had a "laissez-faire attitude" in their own personal safety.

The remarks have caused outrage among political classes north and south of the Border, with Mr Adams being accused of undermining the peace process.

Mr O Caolain yesterday rejected those accusations and said he too felt the deaths of the most senior ranking policeman during the Troubles were a result of their refusing to travel with more security – a view he said was echoed in the report.

"The fact of the matter is that in that period from January 1 to that date in March, Officer Buchanan perhaps and Officer Breen certainly went across that border stretch 21 times, in that just two-and-a-bit months, in very dangerous terrain without any back-up or support that they had rejected," he told the Irish Independent.

When further pressed, the TD for Cavan/Monaghan said the officers had put themselves in a dangerous 'situation' like others who lost their lives during the Troubles.

"My point is that because of course there was a conflict taking place, it would have been (dangerous) for them. There was no RUC presence on the ground in that area because it simply wasn't safe," he added.

Irish Independent

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