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Monday 20 January 2020

Tribunal reviews fatal bomb attack

Alan Murray

THE killing of 18 British soldiers in the North over 30 years ago is being reviewed by the tribunal investigating the deaths of the two most senior RUC officers to be killed by the IRA.

Detectives involved in the original investigation into the Narrow Water bombings, which claimed the lives of 16 members of the Parachute Regiment and two members of the Queen's Own Highlanders, have been interviewed by lawyers working for the Smithwick Tribunal.

The tribunal is probing claims that a member of the Garda colluded with the IRA in south Armagh and County Louth to set an ambush for Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.

The two senior RUC officers were ambushed at Jonesborough as they drove North from Dundalk garda station in March 1989 after discussing how to combat a major IRA fuel-smuggling operation along the Border controlled by the organisation's former chief of staff Thomas 'Slab' Murphy.

The tribunal, which is hearing evidence in Dublin, sent lawyers to Belfast 10 days ago to look at RUC files relating to the Narrow Water bombings and speak to retired RUC officers who investigated the deadly attack on August 27, 1979.

The lawyers are examining whether a rogue garda officer based in County Louth interfered with the evidence site from where the IRA detonated two bombs and destroyed any potential evidence left by the terrorists involved in the attack.

Sunday Independent

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