Saturday 21 April 2018

John-Paul McCarthy: Culture of turning a blind-eye is now in clear view

The rumours that gardai on the Border were in 'the pockets of the IRA' have been substantiated

John-Paul McCarthy

EVEN though some of Judge Smithwick's conclusions in his tribunal report are shocking, it is important to remember that these problems have been with us for a long time.

The judge concluded that a person or persons unknown in Dundalk garda station helped the IRA to murder two of their most sought-after RUC targets in 1989. His conclusions touched on minute issues such as the rhythms of the intelligence world, internal garda disciplinary practices and police work along the Border.

But more generally, Judge Smithwick has really produced one of the most important State papers on Irish attitudes towards violence since Conor Cruise O'Brien's States of Ireland in 1972. The judge forensically examined long-standing rumours of a culture of ambivalence in Dundalk garda station concerning the Provisional IRA campaign.

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