Friday 19 January 2018

Jim Cusack: Garda-PSNI relationship is now in tatters

Commissioner's attack at tribunal into RUC deaths is unprecedented.

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

The PSNI refused to hand over intelligence files about alleged garda collusion with the IRA before its most senior anti-terrorist officer gave public testimony at the Smithwick Tribunal last October, it has been learnt.

This sparked the attack on PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris by counsel representing Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan at Friday's final day of hearings at the tribunal in Dublin into alleged garda collusion in the murders of two senior RUC officers in 1989.

Now, senior sources say, Government intervention will be needed to heal a "massive" rift between the Garda and the PSNI over the allegations made by Harris at the tribunal, which were vigorously rebuffed by Callinan's counsel as "nonsense on stilts". Harris heads the Criminal Operations branch of the PSNI and is in overall charge of serious organised crime and terrorist investigations.

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