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Monday 22 January 2018

Real IRA chief denies garda gave him tip-off

Sarah Stack

A REAL IRA leader has denied he ever had a tip-off from a garda before his property was searched.

Michael McKevitt yesterday told the Smithwick Tribunal into alleged Garda-IRA collusion he did not get a call warning him to get rid of a package, believed to be a forged passport, more than 20 years ago.

The dissident republican chief, who is serving a sentence for directing terrorism and IRA membership, was also later found liable for the Omagh bombing in a civil court.

The 62-year-old from Co Louth maintained he was not told his home would be searched on January 27, 1990.

"I never got any phone call like that from anyone," he said.

The tribunal in Dublin previously heard a phone tap on a prominent republican's house had picked up a voice telling him to get rid of a package.

The inquiry is investigating allegations of garda collusion over the IRA murders of senior RUC officers Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan at the Border in 1989, minutes after a meeting with gardai.

The convicted Real IRA leader took the stand for about 10 minutes and he repeatedly rejected claims he ever had a "friendly contact" or "friendly garda" in the Irish police force.

"Nobody ever told me about a passport and nobody ever tipped me off," he said.

Irish Independent

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