Trump’s America (cont’d)………..


September 22, 2017
By Joe Kloc

U.S. president Donald Trump, who has called the United Nations one of the world’s “most valuable institutions,” arrived at U.N. headquarters in New York to deliver his first speech to the General Assembly, then praised the international body for having increased the value of his nearby Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential building whose construction the United Nations had opposed. The U.N. secretary general told Trump that “fiery talk” could lead to “fatal misunderstandings”; Trump said that Venezuela is “collapsing,” that Iran is a “murderous regime,” and that North Korea is on a “suicide mission” that might require him to “totally destroy” the country of 25 million people; and North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, went apple picking. Trump warned that parts of the world are “going to hell,” then nominated for federal judgeship a man who once said transgender children are part of “Satan’s plan.” Four Republican senators introduced their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a bill that would take away insurance from 32 million people and raise the cost of annual health care for the average senior citizen by $16,000; a senator from Kansas, which would lose an estimated 16 percent of its health-care funding by 2036, said voting for the repeal was necessary so Republicans could “maintain control” of Congress; a senator from Iowa, which would lose an estimated 27 percent of funding by 2036, said he could think of “ten reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered” but would vote for it anyway; Vice President Mike Pence, who once exacerbated an H.I.V. epidemic in Indiana when as governor he forced the state’s Planned Parenthood facilities to close, defended the bill by saying that the “government that governs least governs best,” a quote he attributed to Thomas Jefferson, who never said it; Trump said he would sign the health-care bill, which would allow states to waive protections for people with preexisting conditions, because it included “coverage of preexisting conditions”; and the New York Port Authority announced plans to build a fence on the George Washington Bridge to stop people from killing themselves. Trump praised African leaders for the “increasingly self-sufficient” health system of the nonexistent country of Nambia and told the group that “so many friends” of his were “trying to get rich” on their continent; a senior Trump Administration official said the White House was working to give more “leeway” to U.S. arms dealers selling assault rifles to buyers in other countries; and the secretary of the interior installed the video game Big Game Hunter Pro in the employee cafeteria. U.S. first lady Melania Trump called for an end to cyberbullying, Trump retweeted a video edited by a white supremacist that appeared to depict Trump hitting and knocking down his former Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, with a golf ball, the G.O.P. majority whip in the South Dakota House of Representatives shared an illustration of a car running over protesters with the words “All Lives Splatter,” and the Twitter account of a Florida state representative who once declared pornography a “public health crisis” liked a porn video, days after a porn video was liked by the Twitter account of a senator from Texas who once called Trump a “rat” with whom he had “no desire” to have sex. “Outstanding,” said former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, whom Trump reportedly passed over for secretary of state because he didn’t like Bolton’s bushy white mustache.

The Tom Oliver Killing – Transcript Of Drew Harris’ Testimony To Smithwick Tribunal


This is a very lengthy posting, some 35,000 words in length, but it is worth the read if you can manage it. Otherwise regard it as a useful and accessible reference document. Or you can just go to the sections highlighted in bold.

This document is the redacted transcript of the evidence given to the Smithwick Tribunal by Assistant (now Deputy) Chief Constable of the PSNI, Drew Harris concerning two matters.

ACC Drew Harris

One was intelligence that the PSNI and MI5 had collected on the suspected collaboration of individual Gardai in the March 1989 IRA assassination of two senior RUC officers, Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Robert Buchanan, in south Armagh not long after they had visited Dundalk Garda station. This was the brief, suspected Garda collusion with the IRA, that had been handed to the Smithwick Tribunal by the Irish government.

Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan

The other was the 1991 IRA killing of Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth farmer Tom Oliver on the grounds that he was a Garda informer whose role had also been allegedly revealed to the IRA by a Garda officer.

Tom Oliver – the IRA in south Armagh wanted him to live, but they were over-ruled by a figure on the Army Council. His name was given to the Tribunal chairman

Harris and a PSNI colleague handed over seventeen pieces of intelligence on these two matters to the Smithwick Tribunal; MI5 had vetted the intelligence beforehand but no source documents were made available nor were source handlers allowed to appear at the Tribunal for cross-examination.

The major claim made by Harris and MI5 in relation to Tom Oliver’s death was contained in two pieces of intel which both said essentially that the local IRA had not wanted to kill the farmer, and had reported this to a senior Army Council member along with a request that he be spared. The senior Provo, however, had overruled local reservations and instructed the IRA in south Armagh/north Louth to kill the accused man.

The Army Council member was not named in the intelligence summaries handed over by Harris, nor in his cross-examination at the Tribunal, but Harris wrote down the name of the man at the request of the Tribunal chairman, Judge Peter Smithwick. Well placed sources have disclosed the name to thebrokenelbow.com.

Judge Peter Smithwick

Clearly the identity of this IRA leader is a matter of both public concern and intense speculation in Ireland. The accuracy and reliability of the PSNI/MI5 intelligence is obviously crucial to the credibility of the claim. Their failure to substantiate the claims or to allow key personnel to be cross-examined significantly counts against their version of events.

Another factor, unspoken but nonetheless present, is the fact that Drew Harris did not come to the Tribunal without his own baggage: his father, Alwyn Harris, also a senior RUC officer, was killed by an IRA booby trap bomb in 1989, seven months after the IRA shot RUC officers Buchanan and Breen dead.

Republicans have argued that Harris has been predisposed against their party and in a show of republican hostility to the PSNI chief, Sinn Fein withdrew from the selection procedure in 2014 to promote him to Deputy Chief Constable, but refused to explain why.

As far as can be ascertained this issue was never raised at the Tribunal hearings, suggesting Judge Smithwick did not regard it as relevant to his testimony. Sinn Fein also have a track record of maligning perceived critics in such ways. This writer has had personal acquaintance with the experience on more than one occasion.

In the interests of full disclosure this writer has no reason either to favour Drew Harris. As the PSNI officer in charge of legacy matters he instituted the effort to retrieve the Boston College paramilitary archive partly created by this writer. Nonetheless every effort has been made to view his role in the Smithwick Tribunal dispassionately.

Norwithstanding these issues his evidence is there, as much on the record as was permitted by his own service and by MI5, and they need to be addressed. If true his allegation raises a number of questions and issues: who was the Army Council member who sent Tom Oliver to his death? Why did the local IRA want to spare him? Why were they over-ruled? If the claim is false or without substance then we can assume the era of political policing did not end in 2006.

Drew Harris gave his evidence in closed sessions of the Tribunal over two days in September 2012. After consulting the Northern Ireland Office, the PSNI and MI5, Judge Smithwick decided a month later to read a redacted version of his testimony into the record. What follows here is that redacted transcript in full.

For ease of reading and reference I have highlighted the PSNI intelligence summaries on Tom Oliver and the IRA killings of the RUC oficers in bold. I have done the same with relevant transcript material on the Oliver killing.

(CHIS = Covert Human Intelligence Source) If anyone can tel me what an ‘HMD document’ is, please write in…..

 

SMITHWICK TRIBUNAL – 18 October 2012 – Day 124

THE TRANSCRIPT WAS READ INTO THE RECORD AS FOLLOWS:
ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE DREW HARRIS, HAVING BEEN SWORN, WAS EXAMINED BY MRS. LAVERTY AS FOLLOWS:

Q. MRS. LAVERTY: Good morning, Mr. Harris. I think, Mr. Harris, that you were appointed to the position of Assistant Chief Constable in February 2006, is that right?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Yes. And I think from September 2008 you were responsible
for the Crime Operations Department which includes
organised crime, major investigation teams, Intelligence
Branch, Special Operations Branch and Scientific Support
Branch?

A. That’s correct, and those continue to be my
responsibilities.

Q. And I think also, your department has other
responsibilities for the investigation of current serious
crime, and perhaps you’d tell the Chairman what those
encompass?

A. Well if I could make a number of points about my role. I
am responsible to the Chief Constable for all matters of
intelligence, all matters in respect of homicide
investigation. At the moment, I am also — have major
responsibilities in respect of what’s known as legacy
matters, and I would work closely with the historical
inquiry team, who are investigating Troubles-related
deaths, and they have some 3,260 deaths to investigate. I
am also responsible, then, for all non-terrorist murders
that happened during the Troubles and all other murders,
then, which have happened since 1998. And so that totals
some 747 murders. And so there is a heavy workload in
respect of both ongoing work in terms of serious crime,
including murder, serious sexual assault, organised crime,
but also then assisting the historical inquiries team and
then assisting other processes such as legacy inquests or
public inquiries such as this.

Q. And I think that the information and the documents and the
intelligence that we have been given by the PSNI, all comes
through the legacy support group?

A. Well, yes. Very much the initial contact between this
Tribunal and the PSNI would have been managed by legacy
support department, but that has changed somewhat over the
last few months.

Q. And this, obviously, makes huge demands on the gathering of
intelligence for the purpose of courts, inquests and
inquiries, I take it?

A. Well, there is a huge amount of work in terms of reviewing
old material, but also then conducting investigations of
the moment. My major investigation teams would spend
approximately 50 percent of their time on investigations
which could be termed as legacy, and some 36 cases have
been referred to myself from the historical inquiries team
for further investigation after their review. The
historical inquiries team conduct a review for the purpose
of finding investigative leads and then we would pursue
those.

Q. Now, in relation to intelligence, I think that most… am I
correct in thinking that most or all of the intelligence
ultimately will land on your desk?

A. Well, I have overall responsibility for intelligence within
the Police Service of Northern Ireland. One intelligence
system exists which copes with all intelligence, including
crime and national security intelligence, but I am also
responsible for the interface with the Security Service.
The Security Service have a primacy in respect of national
security intelligence. But just to flesh out some of the
nuances of this.

The responsibility of the investigation of terrorist crime,
including murder or other terrorist outrages, is the
responsibility of the police service, that’s crime
investigation. But we also, and I also am responsible then
for all covert operations relating to national security and
crime, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and as
the senior responsible officer, I am also responsible,
then, for the majority of the covert intelligence sources
who would report in respect of national security matters.

Q. There was a suggestion on the last occasion, I think your
colleague Detective Chief Inspector McComb, was under
cross-examination, more or less agreed that without any
proper instructions, it would appear, that there had been a
decision that the intelligence that he gave on the last
occasion should not sort of be proffered or shouldn’t be
passed over by someone, hence the delay, and maybe you
might be able to comment on whether that’s correct or not.

A. Well, a number of points I’d wish to make. Firstly, we
gather intelligence specifically to prevent and detect
crime, and there is responsibilities in assisting the
Security Service for the preservation of national security.
And when we are dealing with intelligence, we have to be
very careful, because all sorts of very serious
considerations have to be taken into account. One is our
responsibility, and our ongoing responsibility to protect
the public from serious harm, and to do that we need to
gain intelligence. It is well-known that groups of
subversives, terrorists groups, at the moment dissident
Republicans, actively act to make sure that information
doesn’t come to the police service, they intimidate
witnesses and very often then normal methods of policing,
normal or conventional methods of policing are insufficient
because of a lack of information. And, therefore, then,
it’s our responsibility to gain intelligence so that we can
act proactively.

In respect of, then to provide further clarification to
Mr. McComb’s evidence, I would point out that I became, and
I have sight of raw intelligence material, I became aware
of material and read [timeframe redacted] which I thought
would be of use and was relevant to the Tribunal, and we
then sought a method by which we could share that with the
Tribunal. This was intelligence of the moment, and it is
an extraordinary position, one which we haven’t been in
before, where we have sought to share live intelligence,
intelligence of the moment with an ongoing public inquiry.
We undertook that and we had to work through how, then, we
would manage our other responsibilities, and those are
responsibilities in terms of protecting sources, and I mean
in saying sources, all forms of sources so that’s in terms
of protecting the Article 2 rights and methodology of both
CHIS but also of police officers who are acting in covert
operations. And so, that is — that process was undertaken
and by that route, then, we were able, then, to share
information with the Tribunal.

Q. Now, I think that in fact Detective Chief Superintendent
Roy McComb is the head of Organised Crime Branch, which is
part of a Crime Operations Department led by your good
self, is that right?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. And he would be responsible for the day-to-day organised
crime?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. Yes. And I think when he came down here, he’d had about, I
think, 48 hours’ notice; he was sent down as a messenger,
he said himself?

A. Well, in terms of Mr. McComb, Mr. McComb sits — we have,
in the organisation, a group which, it sits at strategic
level response and deals with these legacy issues as they
come up, and meets regularly, and Mr. McComb provides
investigative advice, because he is a very experienced
detective, to that group, and part of Mr. McComb’s role has
been to introduce evidence to various tribunals, inquiries
and inquests in respect of legacy matters. And the nature
of the briefing has been to brief him on the specific
intelligence, sufficient so that he can produce that in
evidence.

Q. Now, you said earlier on that you have responsibility for
covert operations?

A. That’s correct.

Q. And for intelligence?

A. Yes.

Q. And that whereas the British Security 13 Service has primacy
in matters of national security; still, you have a certain
amount of primacy in dealing with, for example, the
intelligence that we are dealing with today?

A. Well, yes — well… the relationship is one of
partnership. It is laid out in Annex (E) of the
St. Andrew’s Agreement which sets out what the relationship
between the Police Service and the Security Service should
be. And so that gave, I suppose — it created an
operational environment which is, in effect, unique to
Northern Ireland as opposed to the rest of the United
Kingdom in terms of the Police Service’s sole
responsibility for covert operations and our majority
responsibility for managing covert human intelligence
sources. So, in effect, a lot of raw material, the raw
intelligence material comes through my department and I am
responsible for that and actually then its transmission on
to the Security Service, where it is then subject to
analysis and comparison with other information that they
might have.

Q. Yes, I suppose really the question that I am trying to
skirt around, Mr. Harris, is: I assume you are here with
the blessing of the British Security Service —

A. Well, we have consulted —

Q. — today?

A. Yes, we have consulted with the Security Service in terms
of providing the various strands of information. But on
the other hand, the Chief Constable is very clear that the
Police Service should support the work of the Tribunal, and
I am here very much to represent the Chief Constable in
order to further support that work and a demonstration of
our commitment to the Tribunal.

Q. So if there was a difference of opinion, for example,
between you and the British Security Service, you would
have the authority to pass on this information to the
Chairman?

A. Well, we would be in a position where we would seek,
obviously, really, to iron out any particular differences.
The issues that we have to face are ones that are
operational issues around protection of sources,
methodology and the preservation of those going forward in
order to prevent serious harm. And given that the stakes
are so high, very often, and in fact almost always, we are
able to find agreement on the route forward.

Q. Yes. Now, I think that you have yourself been honoured by
the Queen for your services to policing, isn’t that
correct?

A. That’s correct.

Q. And I think you were awarded an OBE two years ago?

A. That’s correct, summer 2006, yes.

Q. Which was a great honour, yes. Now, coming back to the
intelligence that we will be dealing with in a little
while, it appears that there was very little intelligence
provided by the PSNI to the Tribunal to date, and the
intelligence that was provided was historical; it went back
to, you know, the ’80s or early ’90s, we didn’t seem to
have anything in the meantime, and is there an explanation
for that?

A. Well, I would make the point that the Inquiry was provided
with all information which related to the murders of Chief
Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan from that
historical information. What has happened now is that more
information has become available to the Police Service and,
as I have said, that is live information and of the moment.
The initial provision of information was both by ourselves
and the Security Service, and that was a full… that was a
full disclosure of the information that we felt able to
give.

Q. That, one assumes, is what you had at the time?

A. Yes.

Q. And I presume after 1989, that matters died down and there
was the implementation of the Peace Process, there was the
Good Friday Agreement, and, to some extent, leading on to a
cease fire, PIRA weren’t as active so therefore there would
have been less intelligence, am I correct or not?

A. Well, yes, and intelligence always has a flavour of the
moment as well. And so, where one has an incident as the
weeks and months pass, then that will tail off until it’s
rare that you would hear something.

Q. Yes. Now, the intelligence that has now surfaced, which is
current intelligence, I think that has come about as a
result of the threat of dissident republicans, is that
correct?

A. Well, the information we are now able to share is as a
direct result of gathering intelligence on the activity of
dissident republican groups.

Q. And I think this is considered a serious threat, a very
serious threat in the North?

A. Indeed it is, and we work very closely with, obviously, the
Security Service and An Garda Siochana to combat that
threat.

Q. Yes. And of course we have seen it, Chairman, spilling
down into the south in recent times where there were
paramilitary type funerals and murders, so it’s something
that affects us in the south as well as in the north. And,
as you said, you are dealing very closely with the Gardaí
in this particular matter?

A. That’s correct.

Q. And do you think that the work of the Tribunal generated
any interest or take among republican factors?

Yes, well, I think that’s the one thing that you could
point to. I think other than for the work of the Tribunal,
that this wouldn’t have particularly been talked about.
You know, if you look at other atrocities at that time, one
does not hear information about those; there is no current
or up-to-date intelligence or it is rare see any, so it is
logical to make a connection between the work of the
Tribunal and then matters which have come to our attention
in terms of intelligence.

Q. And, of course, both the files in both jurisdictions are
open, isn’t that correct; nobody has been arrested for the
murders, so one assumes that the people who participated in
it are still living or around?

Well, the case is open and is now the responsibility of the
historical inquiry team, and those individuals which the
intelligence would point about, yes, a proportion of those
are still certainly with us.

Q. Yes. Now, if I could just go back to the first, if you
like, current piece of intelligence that we got, that was
introduced by Detective Chief Superintendent McComb on Day
95. And if could you perhaps put that up on the screen,
Mr. Mills. This is just to remind you, Chairman, of the
sequence of events that are leading to the present
intelligence, and it says: “The current Smithwick Tribunal
has become a significant issue among leading republicans.
In the course of the current Smithwick Tribunal, members of
PIRA are concerned that individuals associated with PIRA’s
testimony to the Tribunal will lead to other material
coming to light. By this they mean information about past
murders and leaks from An Garda Siochana. For these
reasons, members of PIRA are anxious that the Tribunal
should complete its work as soon as possible. Key PIRA
members are aware that some of the testimony to the
Tribunal is deliberately false and is intended to bring it
to an early conclusion.”

I think that was the first piece of intelligence that
was — current intelligence that surfaced?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. Now, did that piece of intelligence 28 cause you to search
further or were you already involved in a search?

A. Well, I viewed that piece of information in a rough and a
raw form [timeframe redacted] and as a result, identified
that I thought it would be of use, obviously, to the
Tribunal. And then as a result of that, then, work began
in respect of how that might be shared and what other
information was available to the Police Service and the
Security Service at that time, and then this was a joint
effort.

Q. So can I take it that it was comments from active IRA
members that may have drawn attention to the existence of
current intelligence?

A. Really, I think the intelligence sets that out in that
these were members of the Provisional IRA who were
discussing this in amongst themselves.

Q. And I think up to then, the PSNI didn’t proactively monitor
incoming intelligence, for this Tribunal certainly?

A. Well, our focus and our focus over a number of years has
been in respect of, obviously, dissident republicans. The
Provisional IRA was in ceasefire, went through an exercise
of decommissioning and, in effect, the organisation, in
effect, is decommissioned. So even the description, I
would say, a member of PIRA is almost, in effect, an
historic description, but these were individuals who would
have been closely identified with PIRA.

Q. Yes…

A. So our work is focused upon the activities of dissident
republicans, and so that is how this information came to
light; it wasn’t a specific inquiry in respect of this
Tribunal. Therefore, then, having seen this, we then
looked through our other records which were received for
the purposes of the prevention of serious crime, protection
of national security.

Q. And I presume that you have to seek some corroboration or
you can’t — you have to see if it’s worth passing that
information on to the Tribunal, whether there is similar
information around or whether it’s just a once-off
conversation, I presume you had to investigate all of that
prior to presenting further evidence to the Tribunal

A. Well, yes, and it is the subject of further analysis and
that’s analysis in terms of what the source might have
been, what are the secondary sources in behind that, how
well are they… you know, how valid is their opinion or
comment, and actually just a view on the overall
reliability of this, in effect, is this just idle gossip,
circular reporting and something which we feel we would
have doubts about?

Q. Yes…

A. But we have been through a process in respect of this and
can stand over it as being accurate and reliable.

Q. When we are talking about accurate and reliable, we have
had various definitions of what accurate and reliable
means. Perhaps you might give your definitive definition.
When you are saying information is accurate, does that mean
that the reporting of it is accurate?

Well, in terms of — my explanation of this — in that we
are convinced through further work that the information
that’s conveyed to us as being accurately conveyed to us
and it is reliable both in terms of the context of how it
was obtained and the means by which it was obtained and
from who it was obtained as well. So, there is an element
of judgement which is based on experience and hindsight in
terms of previous reporting and also, then, an analysis of
the actual situation itself which arose in terms of
providing the raw material.

Q. Yes. And I think that some confusion has arisen in
relation to the system used, because in discussions with
you, you have advised us that the people that are
collecting the information, the handlers, don’t take notes,
am I correct, that they listen to what the source has to
say and that they subsequently put that in writing, would
that be correct?

A. No. Actually, we go through — that’s not correct.

Q. I stand corrected then.

A. What I meant was, obviously covert human intelligence
source can’t be making contemporaneous notes, contemporary
notes of the situation but we would be very careful to get
a very accurate reflection of what they were conveying to
us, that we hadn’t lost a nuance or by accident a
misinterpretation of what was being said.

Q. And that’s a skill in itself, I take it?

A. Yes, it is, indeed.

Q. And that comes with experience?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, I will just remind you, Chairman, of the next pieces
of intelligence that were produced by Chief Superintendent
McComb. Because I want to ask you, Mr. Harris, if these
are in addition to the information you are giving today or
are they the source of the information that you are giving
today? If you go down further, there should be number one
on the left-hand side. Yes. “The first piece of
intelligence was ‘intelligence relating to PIRA indicates
that PIRA had received information regarding Chief
Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan from a
Detective AGS officer who had not been publically
associated to the Smithwick Tribunal and that this
individual had been paid a considerable amount of finance
for this information.” Have you seen — you have seen all
of this information?

A. Yes, yes.

Q. Yes. And I think the second one, Mr. Mills, is:
“Intelligence indicates that this An Garda Siochana officer
also provided information in relation to Tom Oliver and
continued to provide a variety of information to PIRA for a
number of years. It’s believed that this An Garda Siochana
officer is now retired. This AGS officer was handled as a
source by a senior member of PIRA.”

The third one, then, is a separate intelligence “indicates
that a senior AGS member in Dundalk provided the IRA with
the intelligence that enabled PIRA to murder Chief
Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan.”

A fourth one: “Additional intelligence regarding the
murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent
Buchanan indicate that an AGS officer played a role in
passing the details of the officer’s movements to PIRA.
Intelligence also exists to link a criminal from the border
area to their targeting.”

And then finally “Intelligence indicates that a former AGS
officer, Jim Lane, who was based in Dundalk area frequently
expressed his concerns to associates that fellow AGS
officers Finbarr Hickey and Leo Colton and Owen Corrigan
had unethical relationships with PIRA members in the border
area.” Now, do you recall all of those?

A. Yes.

Q. And did they come from standalone sources or can you —

A. It’s very difficult for me, actually, to go behind those
pieces of information to actually talk about specific
sources. And even in using the term “sources”, I am using
that in the widest possible meaning of both human and
technical sources. Secondly, I would point out that some
of these — because there is one strand here, there may
have been multiple, a number of strands of raw material
which has made up the one strand, so it would not be —
there is — it’s just we have had to go through a process
in terms of making sure, in providing this information,
that we have done what we reasonably can to protect both
methodology and our Article 2 responsibilities, our right
to life responsibilities. So, really, to go in behind
this, to talk about sources is difficult for me, and I
can’t do that.

Q. Yes, I am trying to work out if this was — if these five
pieces of intelligence have been elaborated on in relation
to the intelligence that you are bringing today?

A. No, all of this intelligence, in effect, stands alone.
There isn’t a linear relationship between this five and the
next 12 pieces of information, and there is not a
chronological order in respect of these. In respect of the
overall 17 pieces, some of that material I observed as raw
material and then — which then instigated further searches
of the databases, but also, then, other material was
retrieved as a result of separate searches altogether,
completely unconnected to the work of the Tribunal, but
were found and then were thought to be of use to the
Tribunal. So, there is a mixture of material there, and we
have gone to considerable pains to get to a position of
being able to share it whilst meeting all our very heavy
responsibilities in respect of the management of it.

Q. Thank you for clarifying that. I should say that the, for
example, the last bit of intelligence in relation to a
Garda officer, Detective Jim Lane, was actually in the face
of his own evidence which he gave to the Tribunal who
didn’t express any concerns at all, and was brought back
subsequently and has given evidence to the Tribunal,
effectively denying that he would have spoken like that
about his colleagues. So, to that extent, that’s one piece
of intelligence that is not — certainly it’s contradicted
before the Tribunal.

A. Yes…

Q. You may not be aware of that. Now, in relation to the
information that you are bringing today, you are saying
that this is in addition, or a different strand to the five
original ones.

Now, Mr. Mills, if could you put the first one up. The
first one is: “PIRA traditionally obtained extremely good
intelligence from Dundalk Garda Station.” When in PIRA,
the Tribunal redacted that particular name, it mentions an
individual “was involved in intelligence gathering
operations and would have been aware of PIRA’s contacts in
the Garda.”

Now, are you — are you prepared to give the name of, in
closed session, of that PIRA operative?

A. Well, the name — yes, I am, in respect of it being a
closed session.

Q. Yes.

A. And the name of that individual is [redacted].

Q. Now, is there any — is he an active PIRA member or is he a
dissident?

A. Well, he was a member of the Provisional IRA. I am not
sure I should comment on his particular affiliations at
this moment.

Q. O.K. And would it be possible to talk to him in relation
to his knowledge of someone allegedly in the Garda, in
Dundalk Station?

A. To talk to him directly?

Q. Yes.

A. Not by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, no. He does
not live in our jurisdiction; he lives in County Louth.

Q. And if he were to be approached by, for example, members of
An Garda Siochana, would that jeopardise any source that
you have?

A. No, we — sorry, we can stand over that information as
provided and would be very content to share that
information with An Garda Siochana.

Q. I take it you haven’t, so far, shared that with An Garda
Siochana?

A. No, that Strand 1 has not been shared.

Q. No. But I think that the information relating to
operational matters in regard to Tom Oliver, which we will
come to further on, that information has been shared with
An Garda Siochana?

A. That’s correct, that was shared in July.

Q. Yes. So, do you think an investigation into this
particular individual may advance the work of the Tribunal
in any way, do you know?

A. Well, [redacted] did hold an important position in the
Provisional IRA and this information does chime and
resonate with what we have known of [redacted] of that
time, and he may be of further assistance, but I can’t
comment on how helpful he might be.

Q. Now, the second piece of information — firstly, I should
ask you, in relation to this particular piece of
information and the other 12 pieces of information, how do
you rate those pieces of intelligence?

A. Well, again…

Q. Assess them.

A. We have been through a process in terms of both protecting
them but also in terms of the analysis of them and, again,
we would say that those are accurate and reliable.

Q. Now, the second piece of information is that “Kevin Fulton
is understood to have received information regarding the
murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent
Buchanan from a PIRA member linked to a senior PIRA
figure.” Now, are you — do you have any further
information about this particular piece of intelligence?

A. I am in a position I can neither confirm nor deny the
existence of further information in respect of Strand 2.

Q. Were you aware that Kevin Fulton did give evidence to the
Tribunal and he referred to or he referred to somebody as
‘my friend’, without giving any specific name at all, as
being a member of An Garda Siochana that he suggested was
helping the IRA at the time?

A. I am aware of that, yes.

Q. Yes. Do you know if this could be related to his evidence,
the evidence that he gave to the Tribunal, do you know if
there is a connection?

A. No, I can’t make that connection.

Q. Number 3: “In summer 2011, ‘Mooch’ Blair commented that he
was not involved in the murders of RUC officers Breen and
Buchanan as was claimed during the Smithwick Tribunal in
Dublin. Blair stated that he was actually engaged on a
separate operation at the time of the murders. Blair also
confirmed that there was a Garda spy involved. This fact
had been speculated during the Tribunal.”

Now, Mr. Blair is, in fact, represented before this Tribunal and has given evidence. Can you add anything to that piece of information?

A. No, I have nothing further to add to that particular
strand.

Q. And sorry, Mr. Harris, I am trying to find the reference in
relation to ‘Mooch’ Blair that was made at the Tribunal. I
will come back to it later.

Now, Number 4 is: “During 2011, a senior PIRA member
confided to an associate their personal fears concerning
the ongoing Smithwick Tribunal, particularly that the AGS
personnel that were previously under PIRA’s control would
potentially highlight the level of cooperation previously
provided.”

Now, this seems to resonate one of the items in the
previous five strands of intelligence.

A. Strand number 3, “separate intelligence instigates the
senior AGS member in Dundalk”?

Q. Yes. Are you telling us that this is — these come from
different sources, this intelligence or these strands of
intelligence come from different sources?

A. Unfortunately, I am unable to comment upon the origin of
particular strands.

Q. So this could well be an echo of one of the previous items
in the five?

A. Except that we are careful to avoid circular reporting in
terms of how matters are expressed and going back into the
raw material to make sure that, in effect, we are not
getting an echo from, be it media reporting or other
conversation in respect of the Tribunal, so that test has
been applied.

Q. Yes. So, the information may be similar but it has come
from different directions; it’s not circular reporting is
what you are telling the Tribunal?

A. It’s not circular reporting.

Q. Now, Number 5: “In late 2011” and the Tribunal blanked out
the name and inserted “a senior PIRA member commented that
to his knowledge, An Garda Siochana Sergeant Owen Corrigan
had no time for the IRA but was a gangster who was out for
money.” Now, are you in a position to tell us who the
senior — in closed, are you prepared to tell us who the
senior PIRA member was?

A. In closed session, it’s a Mr. P.J. O’Callaghan.

Q. He has been mentioned already in the Tribunal and in fact
given an opportunity to attend the Tribunal, which he
declined.

CHAIRMAN: Is he the same as Patsy O’Callaghan?

A. Yes, that would be one and the same.

Q. MRS. LAVERTY: Now, allegations have been made during the
course of the Tribunal by one particular witness, a
Mr. Fulton, that there was a link between Owen Corrigan and
P.J. O’Callaghan. Were you aware of that?

A. No, I wasn’t aware of that direct evidence, no.

Q. Yes. But the evidence that you have got here, the
intelligence you have got here is that Mr. O’Callaghan
is stating that Mr. Corrigan had no time for the IRA?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Yes. And then makes a derogatory statement about him
personally.

Now, Number 6: “A senior PIRA figure had several AGS
officers passing information to PIRA, including officers of
a more senior position than Owen Corrigan.”

Now, do you know who that senior PIRA figure is who
allegedly had Garda officers passing information?

A. Unfortunately, I can neither confirm nor deny if that
knowledge is within our possession.

Q. And do you have any other details of who the Garda officers
may have been?

A. No, other than inquiries are ongoing in respect of who this
might be, of who the fourth officer might be, but there is
nothing definite that we could place before the Tribunal at
this stage.

Q. But you are continuing to work on it?

A. Yes, we are indeed, yes.

Q. Yes. Number 7: “In relation to the murder of Lord Justice
Gibson, a senior member of PIRA has since revealed that the
information which led to the PIRA operation emanated from
An Garda Siochana.” Now, do you have any — is this
current information?

A. Well, if I could say, of all of these strands of
information, that it is intelligence of the moment and has
a currency. And just to further clarify, that currency
isn’t over seven years. However, I don’t want to tie them
down into a particular week or a month.

Q. I think you have mentioned seven years because Detective
Chief Superintendent McComb was authorised to say that the
intelligence that he brought to the Tribunal, the five
pieces of intelligence, was discovered during the currency
of the Tribunal but he couldn’t comment on whether that was
the seven years that the Tribunal had been working or
whether it was within the last year, and I think that that
is your reference to, I think, the seven years?

A. That’s correct. And indeed Mr. McComb wouldn’t have known
the entirety of the timings in respect of these.

Q. I think he said that?

A. And he was reflecting what his briefing was.

Q. Yes. So, this intelligence is not within the last seven
years, it’s with a much shorter time frame?

Yes, and that’s why we have spent such particular care in
respect of this material.

Q. Yes. Do you know who the senior member of PIRA is?

A. Unfortunately, I can neither confirm nor deny.

Q. Sorry, does that suggest that you know but you can’t tell
us?

A. I can neither confirm nor deny that we are in possession of
that piece of information in relation to the identity.

Q. Number 8: “Sinn Fein/PIRA members remain concerned that
the Smithwick Tribunal continues to disclose possible
damaging information. Sinn Fein/PIRA members remain
concerned that specific detail relating to the murder of
Tom Oliver may be disclosed.” I take it that that is a
matter now that your information, probably more detailed
than this, that you are passing on to the Garda Siochana,
is that correct?

A. Specifically, the next two strands, I think, have been
passed on, 9 and 10, were passed on in July of this year,
and there is more detail in respect of identity in 9 and 10
that has been passed to An Garda Siochana.

Q. Well, Number 9 states: “Intelligence indicates that a
senior PIRA Army Council member was directly involved in
ordering the murder of Tom Oliver. The senior PIRA Army
Council member had been approached by several PIRA members
and others requesting that Tom Oliver not be killed.
Despite these requests, the senior PAC member directed that
Oliver be executed.” And do you know who that person was,
and if so, have you passed on the information to the
Gardaí?

A. I have, and that has been passed on in respect obviously of
— the murder of Tom Oliver happened in this jurisdiction
so it’s to aid to whatever inquiry An Garda Siochana is
conducting into this matter.

Q. Did you get information as regards who actually, in
addition to whom directed that Mr. Oliver be executed, did
you have information as regards who carried out the murder?

A. The information, as you see there in that, we know the
identity of the senior PAC member and also the identity, in
10, of the senior PIRA figure. It reflects accurately the
intelligence and it’s been carefully worded to reflect.

Q. But nobody… I take it that there is no reference to
anyone appearing before the Tribunal in this piece of
intelligence, anyone who has come to prominence before the
Tribunal?

A. No, no.

Q. No. And number 10: “Further intelligence suggests –“

A. Oh, sorry, yes, yes, sorry, the senior PIRA figure, sorry,
the senior PIRA figure has been named on the floor of the
Tribunal, sorry.

Q. He has, yes. Do you wish to give that name in private
session or not?

A. I have some — I have an uncertainty around this because
this has been shared with An Garda Siochana’s operational
intelligence, and therefore even in a closed session I am
reluctant to reveal the actual names. It might be possible
to share the name with the judge.

Q. Yes, Chairman, do you wish to be provided with the name?

CHAIRMAN: Yes, if you could write it down on a piece of
paper and hand it in and it will be retained securely.
Thank you very much, Mr. Harris.

MRS. LAVERTY: It is effectively to eliminate the
possibility that it refers to anyone who is actively
participating in the Tribunal, Chairman.
(Name written on piece of paper and handed to the
Chairman.)

MRS. LAVERTY: And item Number 10: “Further intelligence
suggests that a senior PIRA figure sought direction and
instruction from a senior PIRA Army Council member in
relation to the discovery of allegations of Tom Oliver
being an AGS informant. The senior PAC member subsequently
ordered Oliver to be executed.” And I take it that, again,
that’s information, to the extent you have knowledge, you
have shared with An Garda Siochana?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. Now, Number 11 then is: “Intelligence suggests that…”
now, it refers to somebody who is involved in the Tribunal,
has been a witness in the Tribunal, and I think in closed
session the name has to be mentioned. “Intelligence
suggests that Owen Corrigan engaged in corrupt activity
targeting criminals, and was motivated by greed. The
intelligence also suggests that he did provide sensitive
information to PIRA and that he did so for reasons of
self-preservation.”

Now, can you give us any more information in relation to
that specific piece of intelligence relating to
Mr. Corrigan?

A. No, that is a — that form of words is the extent to which
we are able to provide assistance.

Q. Is that a matter that you could investigate further or that
could you push further, do you think?

A. In assisting the Inquiry and making this intelligence
available, this intelligence has principally, and actually
exclusively, become available to us through our
investigations of dissident republican activity, and where
then it can assist, in effect, a murder investigation, then
it would be further actioned either by providing it to An
Garda Siochana or through our own legacy investigations.
So any of this material which we feel there is an
investigative lead from that, then we would seek to bottom
that out and follow it through.

Q. And is this the type of intelligence that will be passed on
to An Garda Siochana?

A. Yes.

Q. Number 12 then: “A senior PIRA member revealed that he was
responsible for the murder of John McAnulty. Intelligence
indicates that someone informed PIRA that McAnulty was
meeting with RUC officers. The senior PIRA member was
subsequently informed of the allegations and McAnulty was
later murdered.”

Now, do you know who the senior PIRA member is who
indicated that he was responsible for the death of John
McAnulty?

A. I can neither confirm nor deny that the identity is known
to us.

Q. Am I correct in thinking that Mr. McAnulty’s file remains
open?

Mr. McAnulty was murdered in this jurisdiction and so we do
not have a direct responsibility for his murder but
obviously would assist An Garda Siochana in terms of
whatever inquiries they would conduct.

Q. And is this information that will be passed over to An
Garda Siochana?

A. Yes, it is, yes, yes, yes, it would be, yes, obviously.

Q. Yes. And that information would include any names that
were in the possession, presumably, of the PSNI, if it were
of assistance to the Gardaí?

A. Well, all the material which would be of assistance would
be shared with An Garda Siochana, but I am in a position
where I can neither confirm nor deny our possession of
names.

Q. Now, in relation to these additional items of intelligence,
I think we were discussing earlier the fact that this is
intelligence that you personally are proactively looking
into, is that correct?

A. Well, yes, I was very aware of the work that was being
carried on and when I saw raw material which I thought was
of value, and I would say it’s [timeframe redacted] now,
then I would set in chain a course of action around looking
at this material and then to see how we might assist the
Tribunal in its investigations.

Q. The time span involved in getting this material into a
format that can be given to the Tribunal, is that, in your
profession, unreasonable delay or would you consider that
this was par for the course?

A. No, we have very careful factors to weigh up in respect of
providing intelligence into such a forum. The reason we
gather intelligence is obviously to prevent serious crime,
prevent serious harm, and so it’s therefore very important
that we are able to preserve those means of gathering
intelligence and preserve them going forward as well. And
so, it did require careful consideration but it also then
instigated further searches of very extensive databases for
other material as well, and so this was work that was just
conducted as well as, in effect, the other work of the
moment, which is around thwarting dissident republican
campaign.

Q. Now, I think that you have indicated your assessment of
this intelligence as being accurate and reliable, is that
correct?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. Yes. And you are happy to bring it to the Chairman of the
Tribunal on the basis that it’s worth looking at?

A. Yes, and we are very conscious that we don’t want to bring
material which is, in effect, will-o’-the-wisp or is
misleading or just with we have a significant doubts in
respect of. We wanted to be sure that we were bringing
material which was — which is of value to yourself.

Q. And I think am I right, Mr. Harris, that also, you are
trusting the integrity of for example, the people who are
in this room today, that this would be protected, because
there is a tangible threat to sources were this to be made
publicly available in a format that did not disguise the
contents accurately?

A. Very much so. In the end, we have, in effect, shared the
essence, we have — we have endeavored to conceal it as
far as we can in terms of not specifying the number of
sources or the timescale, other than to say it’s of the
moment and live intelligence, but all of this does carry a
risk and we’ve had to balance that risk against our desire
to assist and also, then, obviously, that this information
would be dealt with in a responsible manner, because we
don’t know what is suspected in respect of our operations,
and where this then would assist and affect terrorist
groups in thwarting our actions or indeed the actions of An
Garda Siochana.

Q. Because all of this is current information, current
intelligence, I take it that the information that you have
presented to the Tribunal, it’s all part of ongoing
investigations into terrorist activities —

A. Yes.

Q. — of one form or another?

A. Yes, that’s correct, that is correct.

Q. Yes. And at some stage in the future, some of this
intelligence may lead to prosecutions or convictions?

A. Well, the intelligence is very important in that these
groups seek to operate in a covert manner, they seek to use
extraordinary levels of violence to intimidate people, and
therefore, conventional policing methods are largely
unsuccessful and we have to rely heavily upon intelligence
gathering and then following through on proactive-type
operations, be they overt or covert, and indeed then we
also depend heavily on intelligence in the reaction to any
event, as I say a bombing or a shooting atrocity and we
depend heavily, then, on intelligence to guide our
investigation and guide our efforts, such as searches.

Q. And I think that you would have to — you deal fairly
closely with the Gardaí on a regular basis, would that be
correct?

A. Yes, I would deal very closely with my colleagues in Crime
and Security.

Q. Yes. I think I was just — I may just refer to something
that you said before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
when you were giving evidence in relation to fuel
laundering and smuggling on the 7th of December last, 2011,
in the House of Commons, and you spoke, you said that
“every week you were having success against major crime
gangs. We share information and intelligence with, for
example, An Garda Siochana. I have seen in other evidence
issues around cross-border jurisdiction, I have not come
across those. We have a good relationship where we run
parallel and joint investigations with our colleagues in
the guards and then we are able to share evidence to allow
for a successful prosecution in which every jurisdiction
facilitates the best approach in terms of taking out the
most of a crime gang. Often we will have assisted the
guards in terms of surveillance or a covert operation after
which we have passed the bad guys over to them for them to
carry out the executive action of an arrest or a strike.
And that’s the type of operation that is consistently
ongoing.” And I think you reported to the House of Commons
this was your views on your ongoing relationships with the
Gardaí?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Do you believe, Mr. Harris, that there is any other
information that you could obtain for the Tribunal within
the very near future?

A. Well, contact with an individual, and hopefully other
individuals, is ongoing and hopefully within the next few
days or to a week I will know whether I have further
information which will be of assistance.

Q. And I think this is in relation to try and name, provide a
name for the Tribunal, is that correct, of the alleged
fourth man?

A. Yes, yes, the identity of the fourth individual, though
it’s not… it’s not clear whether that is a different
individual or somebody that we have referred to already in
intelligence, so I want to be circumspect in respect of
that because there is no corroboration as yet for what we
know.

Q. And obviously it would be very serious at this stage of the
proceedings if someone were named without corroboration?

A. Yes, it would be, yes.

Q. Yes. But you think that this would be quite — can you
think of anything else that you could push the boundaries
and get more information about, with the exception of this
name that you are trying to seek?

A. Well, we have ensured that all systems have been thoroughly
searched, and I personally have reviewed all the material.
This 17 pieces of information, Mr. McComb’s last five and
this 12 that I have introduced are a true reflection of the
material which we hold and there is no other material to
share at this moment in time.

Q. And subject to your inquiries, if you are not able to push
your inquiry in relation to a possible further name for the
Tribunal, that effectively is what the PSNI have to give
the Tribunal by way of intelligence?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. Together with, obviously, the antecedent documentation and
information that has been given to us?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. Just one other matter, Mr. Harris. It’s in relation to the
1985 intelligence which caused a lot of controversy. This
was an SB50 that referred to Mr. Corrigan, and the grading
of the SB50 was withheld by the PSNI because it wasn’t
policy to make it available, and I think that you perhaps
are going to deal with that matter?

A. Yes.

Q. Perhaps, Mr. Mills, you might put it up on the screen. I
think what was queried, actually, was the grading, the
high, medium — just the piece in relation to the grading
there. I think we weren’t advised as to the actual
grading, and I think you have resiled from that position?

A. Yes, indeed. Really, the circumstances of the Inquiry have
moved on and obviously information has been on the floor of
the Inquiry, that then we adopted, then, a different
position in terms of sharing the assessment and the overall
grade to be assigned to that. C, in the scale of A to F,
is fairly reliable. 6, in the scale of 1 to 6, is classed
as impossible to assess accuracy. And the high, medium
low, that indicates the handler’s overall assessment of the
informant and the information.

Q. There is a sentence above that: “Degree of consciousness
of source.” What does that refer to? There doesn’t seem
to be anything written next to it but do you know what that
means?

A. Well, that’s to give an indication of where — of the
source’s closeness to the information. It hasn’t been
filled out in that case but it would have been filled out
if a individual had been a live actor in a conspiracy or
maybe told secondhand of a conspiracy, those sorts of
instances. But I can’t assist further as to why that
wasn’t filled — completed in this case.

Q. So in any event, now, you are happy  to put into the public
domain the fact that it was, the assessment was C6 and
graded medium?

A. Yes, yes.

Q. And I think that, as we know, that is not the way that the
current information and intelligence is graded?

A. No, the system has moved on. It’s probably two generations
on from this, and specifically the high, medium, low
question has been eliminated because it was just felt there
was an element of subjectivity in that. And whereas the
information should be subject to an object analysis and
corroboration rather than sort of creating, maybe not so
much about a medium but if information comes in graded as
high, then there can be automatic assumptions made in
respect of that which is just not where we want to be when
dealing with intelligence. It’s one of assessment and
seeing what else can be done in terms of corroboration or
confirmation.

Q. Actually, Mr. Harris, I was going to read in the
reference — yes, my colleague is assisting me, I have it
here somewhere and I can’t put my hand on it, it was a
document that was read in by Mr. McConville. It was —

CHAIRMAN: Are you talking about —

MRS. LAVERTY: It said — he read it in as follows:
“Intelligence dated March 1989. Reference the double
murder of Superintendent Buchanan and Chief Superintendent
Breen, intelligence indicated that a ‘Hard Bap’ Hardy and a
male known as ‘Mooch’ from the Dundalk area would have been
deeply involved in the murder” and that was the reference
in the Tribunal to perhaps ‘Mooch’ Blair being involved in
the murders of Breen and Buchanan, and this seems to be
contradicted by number 3, the piece of intelligence that
you have here which suggests that he was actually involved
in something… another operation on the day.

A. Yes.

Q. Thank you very much indeed, Mr. Harris, for your
assistance. Perhaps you would answer any — I think people
are reserving their positions.”

MR. HAYES: And then at that point, Chairman, it was
indicated that each of the other parties were reserving
their position, and that then ended the evidence on that
first day, on Day 120?

Then on Day 121, Chairman, when Mr. Harris returned to the
Tribunal, he was cross-examined initially on behalf of the
Commissioner of An Garda Siochana, by Mr. McGuinness, who
commenced — sorry, before that, in fact, sorry, just
before that commenced, Mrs. Laverty just began:

ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE DREW HARRIS, HAVING PREVIOUSLY BEEN SWORN, RETURNS TO THE WITNESS-BOX AND IS FURTHER EXAMINED BY MRS. LAVERTY AS FOLLOWS:

CHAIRMAN: Good morning, Mr. Harris. You are already
sworn.

Q. MRS. LAVERTY: Yes. I think, Mr. Harris, you were about to
embark on cross-examination by my colleagues, but there is
just one question that I want to ask you before that
happens —

A. Yes.

Q. — arising out of your information already given to the
Tribunal, evidence. I just want to clarify, that one of
the pieces of intelligence already supplied to the Tribunal
recently indicated that intelligence relating to PIRA
indicated that PIRA had received information regarding
Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan from
a detective AGS officer who had not been publicly
associated to the Smithwick Tribunal, and that this
individual had been paid a considerable amount of finance
for this information.

Now, can I confirm with you that no name was supplied with
this strand of intelligence?

A. No, there is no name that I can associate with that piece
of intelligence.

Q. Intelligence, yes. That is just a matter I wanted to
clarify with you. Thank you, Mr. Harris.

THE WITNESS WAS CROSS-EXAMINED BY MR. McGUINNESS AS
FOLLOWS:

Q. MR. McGUINNESS: Good morning, Mr. Harris. My name is
Diarmuid McGuinness. I appear for An Garda Síochána. Can
I ask you for your help with a few matters. We had
Detective Chief Superintendent McComb down here on the 1st
of May, Day 95, to put into evidence three pieces of
intelligence. And I think you are aware of that?

A. Yes, I am, yes.

Q. And he told the Tribunal that the PSNI were co-operating
with the Tribunal?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. And he said that they have made — he said: “If there is
material that we hold that is relevant to the Tribunal, we
have made it available to the Tribunal for its
consideration.” Now, that wasn’t correct at that time,
isn’t that right?

A. That material of, that was supplied on the 1st of May, was
as a result of searches that were commenced at my direction
[timeframe redacted]. But then other material became
available. And in my evidence of last week, I explained
how that had come about.

Q. Well, we will come to that explanation soon enough. In
terms of sequence, my understanding from your evidence is
that you were aware of the 12 pieces of intelligence that
you gave evidence about last week [timeframe redacted]?

A. No, that’s not correct. If — the chronological order of
this is, that I observed material approximately [timeframe
redacted] ago which I thought would be of assistance to the
Inquiry, and as a result then, we worked through a process
of being able to share that and other material. I then, I
then observed other raw material subsequent to Mr. McComb
giving evidence, and then as a result of that, we started
to process further searches. Other material was retrieved
as a consequence of that. And this is all in the
[timeframe redacted] timescale. And as a consequence as
well of other unconnected searches, further material was
also discovered. And that makes up the five and the 12
pieces, and the 12 pieces I referred to.

Q. Well, three given by Mr. McComb on this date, the 1st of
May, five subsequently in July?

A. Yes.

Q. And then 12. So, that’s 20 altogether. But your answer
there is slightly vague as to what came to your attention
after Mr. McComb gave evidence. Is it the case that those
17 other pieces of intelligence were not in existence when
Mr. McComb came to give his evidence?

A. No, some of those pieces of information would have been in
existence, and it required other searches and unconnected
searches to retrieve those.

Q. So, as a matter of fact, these pieces of intelligence were
in your possession, and Mr. McComb was incorrect in stating
that all the material had, as of the 1st of May, been made
available to the Tribunal?

A. Only incorrect in so much as he was unaware, as I was
unaware until we conducted these searches of this other
material.

Q. I thought all this information came over your desk; that
you were the man who would see and had seen all of this
since [timeframe redacted] is that not right?

A. That is correct, but if I could point out a number of
factors, is that we have a large-scale
intelligence-gathering operation in place. Its major focus
is on the investigation of serious crime and prevention of
serious crime of the moment. Some of this material may not
pass through my desk. What I see is the raw material and
then the assessments which flow from that.

Q. And did you see all of the raw material comprised in the 20
bits of intelligence before the 1st of May, when Mr. McComb
came to give evidence?

A. Well, I have viewed it all, but it would be wrong for me to
say that I viewed it as it was actually acquired.

Q. Again, that’s not very helpful. You are not disagreeing
with the suggestion that given your experience and your
responsibilities and your position in relation to
intelligence gathering and having responsibility for covert
human intelligence sources, you did see all of these 20
pieces before Mr. McComb came to give evidence?

A. No, that’s — actually, that’s not correct.

Q. Okay. Well, tell us what is correct.

A. Well, what is correct is that I observed some items of raw
material intelligence which I thought would be of value,
and then as a result of that searches were conducted, other
material was found, and other material was found as a
result of unconnected searches.

Q. So, all of the material was there before Mr. McComb came to
give evidence on the 1st of May?

A. No, that’s not correct, either. Some of the material has
come into our possession since Mr. McComb’s evidence.

Q. Okay. So, some of the subsequent 17 pieces weren’t in
existence before he gave evidence and some of them were.
Now, which are which?

A. Well, I have outlined in my main evidence difficulties that
I have in actually going into the chronological order or
even datal position of some of the intelligence. I am not
prepared to actually then go down through the intelligence
and describe as to its chronological order or the date on
which it was acquired, sir. And the reasons for this are
in terms of source protection and methodology protection.

Q. Okay. Well, that is the first time you have pleaded that
this morning, and it mightn’t be the last. But is the
Chairman then not to know —

MR. ROBINSON: My Learned Friend has made a number of
comments rather than put questions to the witness. I would
ask that he is instructed to not pass comments but leave
that for submissions.

Q. MR. McGUINNESS: Is the Chairman not to know which pieces
came into existence in the last three months, even?

A. Well, I’m afraid I’m not able to elaborate further. I have
set out already in some, at some length the difficulty that
we have in respect of providing the intelligence. This is
intelligence of the moment. It is intelligence that we
have acquired because of our other investigations into
serious crime and terrorism of the moment. And therefore,
it would be very difficult for me to actually go further in
this. And in fact, such would be the difficulty that I
would be fearful that I would be putting lives at risk, and
also at risk, hard-won proactive opportunities that we have
sought through gathering intelligence, and I would be
putting that at risk to go further than the information I
have already provided.

Q. And you would agree with me, that the pieces of
intelligence put into evidence by Mr. McComb on the 1st of
May were not shared with the Gardaí at any stage prior to
that?

A. No, they weren’t, no.

Q. And the pieces of intelligence put in by Mr. McComb on the
25th of July were shared with the Gardaí almost immediately
before they were shared with the Tribunal, isn’t that
correct?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. And the 12 pieces that you referred to the other day, two
of them were shared with the Gardaí, who immediately told
you to disclose them to the Tribunal?

A. Well, I’m not aware of that communication…

Q. In writing, is that not so?

A. Well, I haven’t seen that particular communication.

Q. And the ten others were not shared with the Gardaí?

A. No, they weren’t shared.

Q. And the Commissioner, for many reasons, is most concerned
about the non-sharing of information, particularly insofar
as it is said to touch upon the murder of Chief
Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan. Can you
understand that?

A. Well, our duty has been to share information with the
Tribunal. Where we have thought that information would be
of immediate investigative value to An Garda Síochána, we
have shared it.

Q. Yes. So, is the Chairman to conclude that none of the
information which wasn’t shared with the Gardaí is
considered to be of immediate investigative value to the
Gardaí?

A. Well, we shared the material in respect of Tom Oliver, in
that we thought it was of immediate value to An Garda
Síochána. In respect of the other material which touched
upon the murders of Breen and Buchanan, as the Tribunal is
sitting, we thought it proper to share it in the first
place with the Tribunal.

Q. Yes. And some of it was certainly in existence from
[timeframe redacted] and hadn’t been disclosed to the
Tribunal, isn’t that correct?

A. A proportion of it, yes, has been in existence since
[timeframe redacted] but has been shared as we have worked
through the process of how we would get from the raw
material to actually a form of words, then we could
actually share with the Tribunal.

Q. But, sure, this process has been long established, because
the PSNI, through their solicitor and counsel, have agreed
précis of documents with the Tribunal to enable them to be
shared in public, well prior to this, isn’t that correct?

A. No, this is specific intelligence reporting that we have
sought to share and it is, it is an extraordinary step for
us to share, in effect, of-the-moment intelligence with, in
effect, a public inquiry.

Q. Well, you see, if it is of the moment, if it is of the
moment intelligence, is that not even more of a reason to
share it immediately with the guards as soon as you can
after you have got it?

A. Well, our intention is to share it with the guards, but we
wish to respect the position of the Tribunal.

Q. And in terms of the précis; I mean you had provided a
précis earlier of the SB50, isn’t that correct?

A. Yes, we have, yes.

Q. So, there was an established process whereby you could
consult with the Tribunal, reveal to them the problems you
had and seek to agree a public form of words that might be
used to convey the substance of any intelligence that you
had, isn’t that correct?

A. Well, I think in respect of the intelligence which is the
SB50, it has to be viewed in a entirely different light
from the information most recently provided in respect of
the 20 pieces of intelligence. And the difference is in
terms of our ongoing and live investigations.

Q. Yes. And the SB50 wasn’t shared with the guards, isn’t
that correct?

A. Well, we can find — we are unclear as to whether it was
shared or not shared. And I can’t, I can’t confirm that it
was shared.

Q. Yes. You have no evidence, piece of evidence, documentary
or otherwise, to say that it was, isn’t that correct?

A. No.

Q. And when Superintendent McBurney, the late Detective
Superintendent McBurney was investigating the allegations
in Bandit Country, he wrote in his report that there was no
documentary or other evidence or information relating to
garda collusion in the murders of Breen and Buchanan, isn’t
that right?

A. Well, I’m unaware of that report.

Q. You have never seen that?

A. No, I haven’t seen that actual report.

Q. And are you unaware that such a comment was made or a
conclusion reached by him after his investigation?

A. Well, as I have said, I wasn’t aware of that particular
report.

Q. Well, are you aware that somebody in the RUC, as it was
then, looked into the allegations raised in Bandit Country?

A. No, I was unaware of that.

Q. You are unaware of that?

A. Yes.

Q. As you sit here today?

A. Yes.

CHAIRMAN: Yes, Mr. Robinson.

MR. ROBINSON: Sir, let’s be clear. It was the
intelligence information rather than the scope, sir, of
your terms of reference.

MR. McGUINNESS: It is all relevant to your terms of
reference, Chairman.

Q. In relation to the investigation —

CHAIRMAN: I thought Mr. Robinson was going to add
something.

MR. ROBINSON: Yes. Again, this witness is here, sir, to
assist you in your investigation. He is here to talk about
the intelligence that has been put before you, sir. This
witness has given evidence about his roles, his
responsibilities, his remit. And to go into the ins and
outs of everything that has been discussed here in this
Tribunal is simply unfair to the witness at the moment. If
there is an issue that requires exploration, then the
witness would need to be, will need to take advice on it,
will need to consult with his team about it. And in my
respectful submission, sir, this witness, in my view,
should be restricting his evidence to the intelligence.

MR. McGUINNESS: I am asking about matters which are all
related to intelligence, because the SB50 is related to
intelligence. The investigation as to whether there was
garda collusion, as alleged in Bandit Country, has all to
do with intelligence. He is in a position where one would
expect him to be able to shed light. If he can’t, if he
can’t, so be it.

CHAIRMAN: Yes. And of course, he has two distinct
responsibilities: One is dealing with current
intelligence, and he has to be very sensitive in relation
to that. The other is intelligence of — historical
intelligence, really. And he obviously has to balance his
duty to secure the security of the two kinds of
intelligence.

MR. McGUINNESS: Indeed.

CHAIRMAN: Yes.

Q. MR. McGUINNESS: And you have referred to this, Mr. Harris,
these 12 pieces or maybe the 20 pieces as intelligence of
the moment, but they relate to historic events, isn’t that
correct?

A. Well, yes, they do, yes.

Q. And in terms of the contemporaneous intelligence at the
time of the murders of the Chief Superintendent and
Superintendent Buchanan, can you confirm to the Chairman
that there was no contemporary intelligence suggesting
collusion at the time of the murders or immediately
thereafter?

A. I would need to actually go back through all of that
intelligence. I am aware of the intelligence file, but I
am not confident that I could be 100 percent specific about
that, the intelligence flowing in 1989.

Q. Well, leaving aside, obviously, the SB50, which dates from
1985.

A. Yes.

Q. Are you aware of any intelligence that you have disclosed
from the contemporaneous RUC investigation that hinted at
or asserted or proved collusion on the part of any garda in
the murders of the Superintendents?

A. No, I am not, no.

Q. And none such has been disclosed, I think you would agree
with that?

A. Yes, none such has been disclosed.

Q. And I think you have said correctly, according to my
instructions, the last time, that where you have an
incident, you tend to get the greatest flow of intelligence
in the days and weeks after that?

A. That’s correct.

Q. And perhaps even the months, maybe into the next year and
then it tails off. You would normally expect it to tail
off, in your experience?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. And it would be difficult to put figures on it, but would
you agree that perhaps as high as 90 or 95 percent of most
intelligence received in relation to serious crimes comes
in the immediate aftermath of the incident?

A. It would be hard to put a figure on it. But, certainly, it
is the vast majority.

Q. Yes. And if one has that intelligence, if it exists at the
time, one is able to relate it, if one can, to events that
have occurred, movement of people, facts that are known,
suspicions that are held, and they can be checked out
contemporaneously, insofar as is possible?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes. It, in effect, provides
investigative leads.

Q. Yes. And obviously the further one is in remove from the
event, that capacity to, as it were, investigate or
evaluate the intelligence is, while it is not destroyed,
it’s hampered to a very large extent?

A. Well, obviously an investigation is best placed in the
immediate aftermath, and as you say, as time moves on, the
possibility of following down lines of inquiry, all of that
does start to fade, yes.

Q. Now, in terms of the 20 pieces of intelligence since the
1st of May, I can go through them individually if you wish
on this issue, but has the Tribunal had access to those as
opposed to the pieces of paper that we have in front of us?

A. The Tribunal has had access to the forms of words.

Q. The forms?

A. The form of words which are these 20 pieces.

Q. Yes. And is it the case, I just want to be clear so I know
what not to ask you and what I can say in terms of
question, is it the case that the Tribunal won’t have
access to the intelligence behind these forms of words?

A. Behind these forms of words are intelligence briefing
documents, and the Tribunal will not have access to those
intelligence briefing documents.

Q. And is that your decision or is it a joint decision taken
by others, with others?

A. Well, it’s — in effect it is a decision jointly taken
between ourselves in the Police Service and the Security
Service, and I am responsible for that decision.

Q. Yes. Okay. Well, one can obviously clearly understand the
matter insofar as sources; the Tribunal couldn’t be
expected to seek out the sources. But is it the position,
therefore, that the Tribunal won’t have access to any
statements from the handlers of the sources or the analysts
of the information?

A. That’s correct. We are providing this intelligence in the
form of words that is in front of the Tribunal.

Q. And presumably that is bound up with the other decision you
have taken?

A. Well, yes, it is, yes. And given the sensitivity of the
information that has been provided, I think this is the
prudent way of dealing with this and managing the risk that
we are taking in providing the information.

Q. Well, I mean the Tribunal, as I understand it, had the SB50
produced to it, I hope the original form, is that right?

A. Yes, the Tribunal has the SB50, yes.

Q. And the Tribunal were able to call the handlers, the people
who had handled the source of that and the person who had
processed it initially, isn’t that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct, yes.

Q. And we have seen that that, obviously, resulted in, I won’t
call it a Titanic struggle, but a long-running struggle on
the part of people in the Tribunal to discover that the
grading was in fact C6?

A. That’s correct, the grading is C6.

Q. And you confirmed that the last day?

A. Yes.

Q. And is it the case, therefore, that in relation to these
other 20 pieces of intelligence, the Tribunal and,
therefore, obviously the public will have neither access to
the knowledge or the statements of the handlers or the
analysts or the grading attached to any of these?

A. Well, we have been very careful in respect of intelligence
briefing documents, and then leading on from that, then the
form of words. I can stand over the description of this as
being accurate and reliable, but we will not be applying,
in effect, a numerical value to these.

Q. Well, I mean that leads to the next question: Has there
been a grading attached to the pieces of intelligence that
you have now just decided to translate into an accurate and
reliable stamp of certification?

A. In terms of the intelligence briefing documents?

Q. Yes.

A. Well, they are the subject of grading, yes.

Q. Yes. So, all the grading attached to these isn’t going to
be made known to the Tribunal in any way, shape or form?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. We know where we stand. Can I just ask you about the first
five, well perhaps I would just ask you about Mr. McComb’s
three first pieces of evidence. I think you probably
remember what they are?

A. Well, I would be glad if they could actually be displayed,
please.

Q. Well, they are Day 95, page 28. They are all on page 28.
I have that highlighted by some highlighter. I hope it
shows?

A. Thank you. (Document shown on screen.)

Q. The first piece there, you see that?

A. Yes.

Q. I don’t know if you can read that? Would you like me to
read it out?

A. No, I can see it perfectly well. Thank you.

Q. Presumably you are not in a position to identify any of the
leading Republicans or PIRA that are referred to there?

A. I am in a position I can neither confirm nor deny whether
knowledge of identity is in our possession, sir.

Q. And insofar as it refers to false testimony, are you in a
position to say what witnesses may be being referred to
there or how many witnesses?

A. No, I am unable to assist.

Q. Is that because you don’t know or you just — we are not
going to be able to penetrate that?
[Redacted]

Thank you. If we could skip over the second one. It said,
the third one then: “PIRA’s intention had been to kidnap
Breen and Buchanan. The PIRA operation was planned and led
by and involved other members of the South Armagh PIRA.
[Blank] was directly involved with shooting Breen and
Buchanan’s car. At the time there was a major dispute
between those directly involved as to how the attack was to
be conducted.”

Do I take it that you would know the identity of the
alleged killers of the two Superintendents?

A. Well, in terms of the intelligence, it would provide a
strong suspicion, actually, as to who the killers were,
yes.

Q. And I think at the time of the shooting, there was a lot of
intelligence exchanged forwards and backwards across the
border as to who was believed to have been involved in the
shooting?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. And that information was totally pooled at the time, isn’t
that right, shared together?

A. Yes, it was, yes.

Q. And in terms of a subsequent piece of intelligence which
Mr. McConville put before the Tribunal relating to
Mr. Hardy and Mr. ‘Mooch’ Blair, do you remember that?

A. No, if I could be reminded of that, please.

Q. Effectively it said that — in the following words:
“Intelligence dated March 1989”, and it goes as follows:
“Referenced the double murder of Superintendent Buchanan
and Chief Superintendent Breen. Intelligence indicated
that a ‘Hard Bap’ Hardy and male known as ‘Mooch’ from the
Dundalk area would have been deeply involved in the
murder.”

A. Yes.

Q. Now, Mr. Durack asserted to Mr. McComb that that piece of
intelligence had never been shared with the Gardaí, and he
said he wasn’t aware of whether that was so or not. Can
you confirm that that is correct, that that wasn’t shared
with the Gardaí?

A. I’m not actually in a position to answer that, but I can
find out. But I actually can’t answer that as I am sitting
now.

Q. Yes. And in fact, that those two names which have been
made publicly available, weren’t among the suspects that
had been exchanged in the immediate aftermath of the
murders?

A. I can’t really comment further —

Q. You don’t know?

A. — in respect of that. I was unaware that that hadn’t
been shared.

Q. All right. In terms of the accuracy of the intelligence
there about PIRA’s intention —

A. Yes.

Q. — what was their purpose, as you understand the
intelligence, behind a planned kidnap?

A. Well, as it says there, the intention would have been – and
as happened to other individuals – would have been to
kidnap, torture and then murder the two officers. And that
is borne out by the overall intelligence picture.

Q. Yes. Which is? What do you say that suggests about their
intention?

A. Well, their intention was to kidnap and then murder.

Q. And did they intend to interrogate them?

A. Well, yes, they did, yes.

Q. Okay. Mr. Corrigan has given some evidence to the Chairman
which suggests that PIRA were very anxious to obtain names
of informers for a variety of reasons, but particularly in
relation to Loughgall. Have you any intelligence to
suggest that that is right or wrong?

A. No, I think that is more in the terms of speculation, and
that has been speculated on because of Mr. Breen’s
association with Loughgall, in that he conducted a press
facility in the aftermath of the Loughgall incident.

Q. Yes. Well, do you know that Mr. Fulton apparently told The
Observer newspaper in 2004 that the murders of the
Superintendents was a major coup for the IRA, because the
hit squad involved seized the officers’ notebooks
containing names of informers in code. Have you any
intelligence in relation to that?

A. I don’t think that is accurate. Neither Mr. Breen or
Buchanan would have been carrying such identities. And in
fact, I think the documentation that was taken was actually
a history of the Reformed Presbyterian Church that
Mr. Buchanan was working on.

Q. Yes, I think you’re correct. Mr. Buchanan was writing a
history of his church. But they did have notebooks with
phone numbers in them. We have heard from Witness 27 about
attempts to identify him through a phone number in the
book. We have had disclosed to us HMD documents, which in
the immediate aftermath, attempted to try and recreate what
phone numbers were in the Superintendents’ books. So, the
issue of the phone numbers was obviously live at the time?

A. Yes, but I think then to connect that to the identity of
informants would be wrong. Any officer at the time, and I
suppose senior officer, as Mr. Breen and Buchanan were,
would have been carrying a diary with a range of phone
numbers in it.

Q. The IRA statement, apparently issued afterwards, did refer
to informers coming forward, calling on them to come
forward and confess their part. Have you any knowledge of
that?

A. No, I haven’t, no.

Q. And we will come to it in due course, but the IRA also
alleged that Mr. McAnulty, that his identity as an informer
had stemmed from the seizure of the notebooks, in their
statement related to his murder. Are you able to comment
on the truth of that or otherwise?

A. Well, that would not be my understanding in terms of the
motive, their motive for the murder of Mr. McAnulty, the
origin of their motive.

Q. In relation to these three pieces then, a certification by
Mr. McComb or by you that these are reliable or accurate,
how do you go about satisfying yourself that you can depict
them as that and come here and tell the Chairman about
them?

A. Well, I have to deal with this in the very broadest of
terms, sir.

Q. Yes.

A. But it is one of experience in terms of what hitherto has
been produced, and then the hindsight of whether that came
to pass, was it actually accurate? And then also, as I
have said, is it actually plausible that the intelligence
as we have heard it is credible to these individuals? Not
to the actual sources, but the actual individuals then who
are speaking in such a manner.

Q. Well, you seem to be attaching, perhaps I have it wrong,
more weight to a) the manner in which you obtain the
information, and b) the credibility that those speaking it
or who are conveying it in some form have themselves for
it, than any analysis of it?

A. But that’s all part of — in effect that is all part of the
analysis, is in fact cross-referencing it against various
individuals and what else might be known. And so, is this
actually, in effect, a credible conversation or is it just
idle bar talk?

Q. Yes. But do you know, I mean in your assessment, do you
know the identity of the sources here when it is being
evaluated?

A. The actual original source?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes.

Q. And can you say, is this single-source reporting or is it
sort of informer-type reporting, without talking about any
particular piece?

A. As I have said, and I want to reiterate, that this is in
respect of multiple sources and across all the intelligence
gathering that we are able to do, and so I wouldn’t want to
comment on then whether it is single source or what type of
source, either.

Q. Okay. Can I move on to the five pieces of intelligence
that Mr. McComb gave evidence of. Do you have those in front of you?

A. Yes, I have those. Thank you.

Q. The first one read: “Intelligence relating to PIRA
indicates that PIRA had received information regarding
Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan from
a detective AGS officer who had not been publicly
associated to the Smithwick Tribunal, and that this
individual has been paid a considerable amount of finance
for this information.”

A. Yes.

Q. Now, are you in a position to say whether this [timeframe
redacted] or a post-May information?

A. Actually, I am not, sir.

Q. And is that because you won’t or you just can’t?

A. No, as I have already said, I don’t want to put these
pieces of information into a chronological order from which
then can be derived perhaps the dates on which these, this
information was derived.

Q. But the Chairman will have to be satisfied then that it
was, perhaps, received at some time after [redacted} and
before it was given?

A. Well, all of this intelligence, as I have said, is live
intelligence of the moment.

Q. Well, what intrigues me and what intrigues the Commissioner
is how can this be asserted to be accurate and reliable?
For instance, do you know the finance concerned? Are we
talking about cash payments?

A. Well, we are aware that the Provisional IRA did actively
recruit, attempt to and successfully recruited individuals
in effect to work as informants for them, and did operate
then in various manners, either through intimidation or
payment, in effect to run a pool of people providing them
information. But, actually, how this, how these payments
were made, I am not able to comment on.

Q. So, may the Chairman take it that you have no information
as to what money was paid, where it was paid, how it was
paid, where it came from, where it went to?

A. No.

Q. And do I understand your evidence reaffirmed today, that as
of today, even, you don’t know the identity in any way,
shape or form of this guard who has been referred to as a
fourth guard, if I can put it like that?

A. No, I am unable to assist the Inquiry in respect of this
strand of information on the fourth guard, no.

Q. And can you tell the Chairman, having received this
information, what steps you took following receipt of it to
try and determine the identity of this other guard?

A. Well, what has happened in this case is that through a
search through systems to see if there is any other
possible intelligence that may have been overlooked or
missed, and nothing was found which would suggest the
identity of a fourth guard.

Q. So, is it the case, therefore, that you were just checking
against other material you held to see whether you could
get any clue to his identity?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. And did you not take the step of trying to get the handlers
to go back to the source, and re-task the handlers in that
regard, over whatever period was necessary, to try and
elicit matters?

A. Well, there is an assumption here made that this is
obviously then a covert human intelligence source, and I
don’t want to be in a position to confirm that.

Q. Yes.

A. And talking about these pieces of intelligence, I have
always referred to “source” in the most general term. And
so therefore, then, the question of further tasking doesn’t
arise.

Q. Yes.

A. And I am unable to assist the Tribunal then.

Q. At the end of Mrs. Laverty’s examination-in-chief last week
she was asking you about the steps that were being taken?

A. Yes.

Q. And you told her that there would be contact with
individuals or an individual over the coming days. And
then she has asked you about it again this morning in the
context of this first piece, but —

A. But that’s entirely separate, that’s entirely separate to
that first strand of the 25th of July. That’s entirely
separate.

Q. What does that relate to?

A. Well, that relates to a conversation that I’ve had with an
individual, and so it’s not, it’s not within the
intelligence system. It’s not actually a matter of
intelligence gathering. It was a conversation that I had
with an individual, and I think now the individual will be
prepared to assist further.

Q. By coming to the Tribunal or…

A. Hopefully so.

Q. In relation to this piece of intelligence?

A. No, in relation to — I’m not making the connection between
this piece of intelligence and inquiries that I have
carried out myself.

Q. But, sure, that’s what Mrs. Laverty’s questions were
directed to you last week?

A. Well, no, I don’t think that’s correct. I was, and I
believe that I qualified what I was saying by saying I
wasn’t making a connection between inquiries I was
conducting and the fourth piece of, the fourth individual
identified in this or suggested in this strand of
intelligence.

Q. But forget about this piece, and there is other, you know,
senior officers and AGS people mentioned in other ones, are
your inquiries directed or not towards trying to establish
for the benefit of the Tribunal the identity of a guard
other than the three guards?

A. Yes.

Q. It is?

A. Yes, yes.

Q. And you hope to be successful in that? You hope you have
been successful?

A. Well, we had hoped to assist the Tribunal in bringing
forward or assisting in identifying an individual who can
bring further information to the Tribunal.

Q. Well, in terms of evaluating a piece of intelligence such
as this, number one, how do you certify it as accurate and
reliable when you have got other pieces of intelligence
that contradict it?

A. Well, intelligence is taken as a single — as a strand. It
stands on its own. Other information, intelligence comes
in from other angles which may provide a somewhat different
angle to it, and that is the nature of the intelligence, in
terms of trying to then see the best way through it. But
we, in looking at this, are sure in respect of the methods
that we have applied to this, and that it is accurate and
reliable in our analysis of it.

Q. Without knowing who the guard is, what, when or where the
finance was paid or who paid it?

A. But in terms of where the intelligence may have originated
from and also then how it was reported then. We have been
unable to corroborate the actual identity of the guard.
But it does fit then with other information, intelligence
that we know in terms of PIRA’s modus operandi.

Q. Yes. Well, I mean you can have, and you are entitled to,
and you must have a general view about how their modus
operandi works relating to different matters. But in the
absence of specific facts, you can’t even say whether the
source, whatever the source may be, knew this from their
own knowledge, isn’t that correct?

A. Well, I don’t want to go back in underneath the actual form
of words into what sources or sub-sources may be involved
in this.

Q. Again, this seems to me to be, and I could be wrong and I
apologise if I am mistaken in it, but you seem to be
limiting your evaluation and analysis of the information
you give into a) being satisfied of the, of the source from
which it has come, that it has come from this source, and
b) that it is consistent with what your general knowledge
is of the IRA, without putting it beside other strands that
are inconsistent?

A. And consistent with those who and their knowledge within
the, within this ring of conversation, shall we say; that
they would be individuals who these facts would have been,
you can make a reasonable assumption that these are facts
that would have been within their knowledge.

Q. And you are, in a sense, reporting on views or information
exchanged, or whatever, in some way by people who are
looking back 23 years into the past, who may have had no
personal knowledge of any of the actions, isn’t that right?

A. Well, yes, that’s correct, it is 23 years ago. I don’t
view it as correct that they have limited knowledge or no
personal knowledge.

Q. Well, Mr. McConville came here on Day 99 and gave us
different batches of intelligence. But on page 14 of Day
99 he said: “The next one: ‘Intelligence dated March
1989. Intelligence received indicated that the information
obtained by PIRA in respect of movements of Chief
Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan was
obtained by a person visiting Dundalk Garda Station on
legitimate business at the same time as the arrival of
Mr. Breen and Buchanan, and recognised them.”

Now, presumably you were aware of that intelligence?

A. Yes, I am, yes.

Q. And how have you, as it were, taken that into the equation,
if you have at all?

A. Well, look at the events of the day in totality. The fact
that two officers were traveling. The fact then that the
preparation that the Provisional IRA put in place then to
actually kidnap two officers, and the number of, the number
of terrorists then that would be required to engage in that
scale of an operation. And also then, I think, other
information that has been before the Inquiry in respect of
suspected radio transmissions earlier in the day. And the
fact that Mr. Buchanan, invariably, was traveling on his
own and it was, it was not normal for Mr. Breen to travel.
All those things indicate that it would have been
exceptionally difficult to mount this scale of an operation
within the timescale of a meeting being conducted and then
concluded and the officers immediately leaving Dundalk.

Q. Right. Now, that’s an interesting analysis. It is one we
have had from a number of British Army officers. But can I
take it that your considered view, as the Assistant Chief
Constable, is that because of all you have said about the
preparation, etcetera, that a tip-off as being the trigger
for the murders, a tip-off based upon their arrival at the
station, being seen at the station or being present at the
station, wouldn’t have allowed enough time for the IRA to
mount the operation?

A. I think it would have been difficult for the logistics of
that scale of an operation to have been gathered together
within the timescale of a meeting being conducted and then
concluded.

Q. Okay. So, you are happy to rule out somebody in the foyer
or around Dundalk Garda Station – this says a legitimate
visitor to the station – tipping them off as being, giving
the IRA operation time to plan and prepare and execute the
operation?

A. Well, I suppose not impossible, but I just —

Q. Highly unlikely?

A. — I just think highly unlikely.

Q. I mean on that issue, obviously you have factored in the
degree of planning that the IRA must have engaged in in
order to commit these murders, isn’t that correct?

A. Yes, I have, yes.

Q. And the Tribunal has seen an SB57 from July 1988, which you
are aware of, I think?

A. If you could remind me of it, please.

Q. It’s in the form of an information report which says that:
“PIRA since the murders of the Hanna family on the 25th of
July, 1988, have been monitoring the movements of the
plain-clothes officers who are travelling to do business at
Dundalk”?

A. Yes, yes, that’s correct. I am aware of that, yes.

Q. Now, can you say that that information, that intelligence
was shared with the Gardaí or not?

A. I’m not in a position to say or not, no.

Q. Okay. Additional intelligence relating to the monitoring
of their movements is referred to in Judge Cory’s report,
paragraph 2.147: “There are army surveillance reports to
consider. One of them indicated that Buchanan’s car was
being followed by a member of PIRA’s car on the 15th of
March, five days before the murder.”

Have you seen that intelligence report?

A. No, but I am aware of that, yes.

Q. In her opening, Mrs. Laverty said that this was referred to
by Judge Cory, that the Tribunal had seen it and would put
it into evidence. But can you say that that intelligence
report was made available to the RUC at the time?

A. As I said, I am not actually able to answer that question,
but I could inquire.

Q. Thank you.

A. I don’t know.

Q. Thank you. And if you are making that inquiry, could you
inquire whether it was ever transmitted to the guards?

A. Yes, indeed, yes.

Q. Now, the second of these five pieces of intelligence that
we have been referring to there, I think you have that in
front of you?

A. Yes.

Q. “Intelligence indicates that this AGS officer also provided
information in relation to Tom Oliver and continued to
provide a variety of information to PIRA for a number of
years. It is believed this AGS officer is now retired.
This AGS officer was handled as a source by a senior member
of PIRA.”

A. Yes.

Q. Now, can the Chairman take it that you don’t know the
identity of the officer referred to in that piece of
intelligence?

A. No, that’s — the individual is not known to us.

Q. And is that a separate piece of intelligence?

A. That is a form of words derived from an overall set of
intelligence briefing documents, and so it is connected,
but it’s a condensed form of words from overall
intelligence briefing documents. So, there is a connection
between one and then two.

Q. So, it flows from, it flows from the first in some respect,
is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. And again, did you consider whether that was in conflict
with other intelligence that had been made known to the
Tribunal?

A. I’m not sure in respect of that, because that was assessed
on, against the systems, so I’m not sure just that that has
been double-checked against previous intelligence in
respect of that piece.

Q. So, you are not currently able to answer that, as such. We
will pass on. The third piece of intelligence: “Separate
intelligence indicates that a senior AGS member in Dundalk
provided the IRA with intelligence that enabled PIRA to
murder Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent
Buchanan.”

Again, are you in a position to say that that senior AGS
member has been identified?

A. No, that individual isn’t known.

Q. Is it known how he provided the intelligence?

A. No, I am unable to answer that, either.

Q. In such circumstances, how do you certify that as accurate
and reliable?

A. Well, again, as I’ve outlined, it is around the reliability
of the source and then the weight that one would apply then
to whatever conversation that it arose from.

Q. Yes. You see, again I have to suggest to you that you are
exposing a flaw in your analysis, because you are becoming
almost wholly dependant on the fact that you have a source,
and taking what the source has produced one way or another?

A. Against the benefit of hindsight and what we know then of
those engaged in the conversations and the hindsight of the
reliability overall of a source in its widest sense.

Q. Okay. Well, do you consider any of these first three
pieces of intelligence that we dealt with to be in conflict
with any evidence given before the Tribunal?

A. Well, that’s very difficult for me to comment on because I
am not intimately aware of all the evidence that has been
in front of the Tribunal.

Q. Well, just looking at the first two, I presume you are
aware that Mr. Keeley, AKA Mr. Fulton, came and gave
evidence? It is a matter for the Chairman as to what he
finds on foot of it, obviously, but he appeared to
implicate Mr. Corrigan, who wouldn’t appear to fit into any
of these categories, isn’t that right?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. And did you take that into account in assessing the
reliability of the information?

A. No, Mr. Keeley’s evidence wasn’t taken into account. But I
go back to what I’ve said in respect of reliability of the
source and the context of the conversation and what we know
of that and can assess of it and the benefit of hindsight
that we have had in respect of that.

CHAIRMAN: I think you may want to break at some stage, I
think now would be an appropriate time, unless you wanted
to continue.

MR. HAYES: No, we will break now.

CHAIRMAN: I will rise until 2:00.

THE TRIBUNAL THEN ADJOURNED FOR LUNCH.

THE TRIBUNAL CONTINUED AFTER LUNCH AS FOLLOWS:

MR. HAYES: Chairman, we had just got to page 32 and
finished with question 147. So we’ll continue.
Again, it’s Mr. McGuinness is cross-examining, so he
continued then at question 148:

Q. Okay. So, from your point of view, you have certified
this, all three so far as accurate and reliable,
notwithstanding that they are inconsistent with
Mr. Fulton’s testimony?

A. Yes, that’s correct, but it needn’t necessarily be to the
detriment of these three pieces of information.

Q. The fourth piece says: “Additional intelligence regarding
the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and
Superintendent Buchanan indicated that an AGS officer
played a role in passing the details of the officers’
movements to PIRA. Intelligence also exists to link a
criminal from the border area to their target.”

Now, presumably you are not in a position because you don’t
know the identity of this AGS officer?

A. No, I am unable to assist in the identity of that officer.

Q. So, you are unable to assist the Chairman in what role
might have been played, how it was played, when it was
played, who are alleged to be the contacts in PIRA that got
the information, none of those matters can be spoken to by
you?

A. No.

Q. Is that because you don’t know then, presumably, rather
than not being able to tell us?

A. Well, on some matters, we don’t know, and in terms of just
overall, the intelligence, I suppose it tells us what it
tells us, and we have done our very best to try and find,
you know, a form of words which conveys overall the essence
of what we are being told.

Yes. But there is a crucial causal link there between this
AGS guard and the murder by the PIRA, that’s the passing of
the details of the officers’ movements. Did you consider
what was or might be known by members of the guards about
their movements?

A. In the analysis of this?

Q. Yes.

A. Well, yes, that was considered, yes.

Q. And what did you conclude was known or would be known to
this AGS officer about the movements of the officers?

A. Just in terms of the understanding that we would have, just
how the meeting was organised, the timing of it and that it
was organised, in effect, at pretty short notice.

Q. But you are talking and you are restricting it to the
movements of the two Superintendents on the day, is that
right?

A. Well, yes. In terms of that analysis, yes.

Q. And did you factor in what you knew about the IRA
surveillance of the Superintendents over the previous six
or nine months and considering the question whether the IRA
knew more about the movements of the officers than any
member of An Garda Síochána might?

A. Well, it’s very difficult to make an assessment of what the

Provisional IRA have said in terms of the targeting,
specifically of Mr. Buchanan.

Q. I am not talking about what the IRA have said, I am talking
about two things that you definitively know: Your own SB57
from July 1988, that their movements to and from Dundalk
were being monitored, and this army surveillance report
five days before, presumably available to the RUC. So, it
doesn’t require any speculation about what you think the
IRA might have known about their movements, it is what your
own security forces were telling you they had observed or
knew about. Is that not the case?

A. I’m sorry, I have lost the train of that question.

Q. The question was in relation to their movements.

A. Yes, yes.

Q. And you said you didn’t want to speculate about what the
IRA knew about the intentions of Superintendent Buchanan.
I am just suggesting to you, that you don’t have to
speculate, you know from your own Security Force
information what the IRA were doing in relation to the
Superintendents, monitoring them. Is that not right?

A. Well, I’m not sure, and I don’t know how much of that has
been factored in, in terms of the examination of number 4.

Q. Yes. Well, can you tell the Chairman that none of it has
been factored in, or some of it, or all of it, or it just
hasn’t been considered?

A. Well, this has been considered in terms of, in effect, the
light of the moment in the examination of this, and there
is so much information gathered up through the years in
respect of this, that each of these strands of information
will contradict something else which has been said in
relation to this case. And therefore then, we have put
weight on the matters that have already talked about.

Q. Yes. Well, it contradicts another piece of intelligence
that Mr. McConville put before the Tribunal, intelligence
dated 1991. “Intelligence indicated that unknown female
who worked in Dundalk Garda Station made a phone call to an
unknown member of PIRA when Chief Superintendent Breen and
Superintendent Buchanan were leaving the barracks. This
phone call enabled the two officers to be triggered into
ambush on the Edenappa Road, Jonesboro, on the 20th of
March, 1989.”

So, I mean, was that factored in as well?

A. Well, again in respect of what we know overall or what we
can suspect or assume overall in respect of the ambush of
Superintendent Buchanan and Chief Superintendent Breen,
that seems to be — it doesn’t actually fit with the
picture of that actual attack. That’s what our difficulty
has been, in that we are getting information now that we
place — that we have assessed, and we have assessed it
then as being accurate and reliable, but it does not gel
with everything which has been hitherto said.

Q. Yes. I mean, this doesn’t create a problem for me in the
first instance, but it is a huge problem for the Chairman:
How is he to assess and sift and weigh this material which
is now being put belatedly before him? You have, in fact,
certified these now as all being accurate and reliable?

A. Well, we were very careful in assembling this material and
making it available for the Tribunal, that we would do our
very best in terms of getting material to the Tribunal
which was accurate and reliable as opposed to just, in
effect, circular reporting or idle gossip or barroom talk.
That was, and is, our intention in providing this material,
that we are actually able to shine some further light on
this and what has been said in recent times in respect of
this, but ultimately it is for the Chairman to make an
assessment of how useful this is.

Q. Yes. Now, I can understand of course you have sources or
you have means of reporting on sources, and you could be
satisfied that your source is being accurately reported,
you could be satisfied that what has been said or gleamed
from whatever has happened has been faithfully transmitted,
but you seem to have fallen down on the essential analysis.
I can understand how you might look at one piece of
intelligence and say, well, look, because of such-and-such,
who it is coming from, how we got it, what we generally
believe, it is accurate and reliable. But do you not see a
fundamental problem in certifying them all as accurate and
reliable, without really expressed regard to other pieces
of evidence or even pieces of testimony?

A. Well, that is our assessment based on the intelligence that
has been analysed and worked through, and that’s our best
assessment of it. We — and I understand that it
contradicts other information in front of the Tribunal, and
I would suggest that it needn’t necessarily be to the
detriment of the information that we have provided.

Q. You see, one way of regarding this, and it is a matter for
the Chairman, is that this is comment, retrospective
comment that you have picked up in some way, shape or form
from people who may or may not have any personal knowledge
at all, and you are simply reporting on comment which may
be completely uninformed —

A. Well —

Q. — or mischievous?

A. Well, I think it is neither mischievous or…. Our view of
this information, that it isn’t, actually, ill-informed.
If we thought it was either ill-informed or mischievous,
then the process of actually, the analysis of it then would
show that. And we have been careful not to produce
material which we think is mischievous or speculation,
ill-informed, idle gossip.

Q. That is very interesting, because I think you referred to
that on your previous day here, when you said that you had
selected these from amongst the intelligence, and you have
referred there in that answer to obviously some sort of
winnowing process or weeding-out process. But would you be
happy to make available to the Tribunal the intelligence
that you have not produced to it which you have deemed to
be either inaccurate or unreliable, for what reason, so
that the Chairman can see what sort of judgements you are
making, even on forms of words?

A. No, I think in terms of what we have provided, we have
acted in good faith in terms of our analysis. The
winnowing or weeding is around actually viewing the
material and going through a process of its analysis to the
point where we can have, we can produce it in good faith.
But in producing information as we have, it does actually
create a risk for us. I don’t actually want then to
provide further information which we think then is not —
is of no value, in effect.

Q. Well, I’m not suggesting that you would necessarily in the
first place have to produce it at all publicly, but you
could make it available to the Tribunal as part of its
private investigations, perhaps, without any risk. Would
you be amenable to considering that if the Chairman wished?
A. That is something that we could explore with the Tribunal,
then.

Q. Passing on to the — sorry, I have left out the one, the
last one of the 5th relating to Mr. Lane. Again, that’s
presumably produced within the last year?

A. Well, I don’t want to put — I am not putting a specific
timescale on this. But, as I have repeatedly said, this is
intelligence of now, of the moment.

Q. But I mean, you must have given Mr. McComb his instructions
to come down to tell the Tribunal and everyone here in the
room that this information had been discovered during the
course of the Tribunal. I mean, was that not misleading in
itself?

A. Well, the expression “during the course of the Tribunal”
was actually an endeavour to conceal a timescale within
which this was achieved, and that was done in order,
actually, to protect our own abilities in terms of
gathering intelligence and actually the Article 2 risks
which flow from providing intelligence into what was a
public forum.

Q. Yes. But these are your choice of words, is that not
right?

A. Well, yes, they were, yes.

Q. And is it not clear from your evidence last week that what
in fact you are saying to the Tribunal is that since
[timeframe redacted] all of these 20 pieces of intelligence
have been now put in the mix, or am I mistaken?

A. Well, some of them have been recovered through associated
searches, and in fact, actually, unassociated searches as
well, and not wish to place all of them within [timeframe
redacted]. But none of them are over the course of, the
full course of the seven years of the Tribunal. And
indeed, it would be — it’s over the last, in effect
[timeframe redacted] that you could place this information.

Q. Again, I don’t want to involve myself or you in any risk by
setting out a chronology, but can you even say to the
Chairman, look, there are two here that were picked up
before public sittings started and the other 18 afterwards,
or some crude division like that, even?

A. In this particular forum I wouldn’t wish to go into that
detail of timescale.

Q. But a lot of them, would you agree with me, are in the
nature of comment arising out of issues that have been
ventilated in public, not just at the time of the murders,
but at the time of the publication of Bandit Country,
debates in the House of Commons and the Oireachtas here,
and then over the last 14 months in this Tribunal, where an
awful lot of evidence has been heard?

A. Well, just in respect of that comment, sir, I would tie the
majority, in fact the vast majority to the sitting of the
Tribunal, as opposed to other events.

Q. The public sittings, you are talking about?

A. Well, there is a lot of news coverage over, and even that
the Tribunal was commencing. So, like, that footage,
certainly, and news and news awareness around this,
certainly I think longer than the 14 months.

Q. Yes. Now, turning to the 12 pieces of intelligence that
you have produced. You have those?

A. Yes, I have them, yes. Yes. Thank you.

Q. 1 to 9 and 11 and 12, never shared with the Gardaí, even as
we speak, other than now in this forum?

A. 1 to 8.

Q. 1 to 8. 9 and 10, then?

A. 9 and 10 have been shared.

Q. Yes.

A. 11 — well, my understanding was that those to be shared
forthwith as a result of me giving evidence to the Inquiry
last week.

Q. Yes. Now, number 1, this is on one view a very general
sort of statement: “PIRA traditionally obtained extremely
good intelligence from Dundalk Garda Station.” It doesn’t
say from members of An Garda Síochána in Dundalk, isn’t
that right?

A. No, it doesn’t, no.

Q. In distinction to four of the five previous ones, which
clearly refer to information being obtained from members or
by senior members, et cetera, this doesn’t refer to members
of Dundalk providing the intelligence?

A. No, it doesn’t, no.

Q. So, it could be perhaps surveillance by the PIRA of the
station, some sort of listening on the telephones, perhaps?

A. That would be speculation on my part.

Q. So, you don’t know how they obtained what is said to be
intelligence from Dundalk Garda Station?

A. No, I don’t, no.

Q. You don’t know how. You have named somebody there?

A. Is this in part 1?

Q. Yes. And are you aware of any intelligence that you have
passed to An Garda Síochána which suggests that the named
person was involved in intelligence-gathering operations
relating to Dundalk Garda Station?

A. No, this hasn’t been shared as of yet.

Q. So, the PSNI, whenever you got this, you have never told
the guards that this named person was allegedly involved in
gathering intelligence on Dundalk?

A. No, because this, together with ten other pieces of the
information, we felt we should share, in effect, with the
Tribunal in the first place and then share with An Garda
Síochána.

Q. And the Gardaí have no record of any suggestion or
allegation that this man was specifically engaged in
intelligence gathering on Dundalk. You are probably not
aware of that, are you?

A. Well, they haven’t received this piece of information. I
don’t know what other intelligence has been passed
specifically about that point, but I know intelligence will
have passed about this named individual.

Q. Yes. Well, he has a number of previous convictions?

A. That’s correct.

Q. And insofar as this mentions PIRA contacts, presumably the
intelligence doesn’t mention any contacts, any particular
specific contacts?

A. No, no.

Q. Any particular decade, even?

A. No, no, I can’t elaborate further.

Q. Number 2: “Kevin Fulton is understood to have received
information regarding the murders of Chief Superintendent
Breen and Superintendent Buchanan from a PIRA member linked
to a senior PIRA figure.”

Now, that doesn’t mention any guards providing information,
isn’t that right?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. It doesn’t implicate any member, named or unnamed, in any
way?

A. No, it doesn’t, no.

Q. And puts the passage of information between Mr. Fulton, who
was a member, apparently, of the IRA and two other members
of the IRA?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. And do you know the identity of those two other members?
Does the intelligence tell you that?

A. In that particular case I wish to neither confirm nor deny.

Q. So, it may, but are not saying one way or the other; you
can’t say?

A. I can’t say.

Q. You won’t say. Number 3: “In summer 2011 ‘Mooch’ Blair
commented he was not involved in the murders of RUC
officers Breen and Buchanan as was claimed during the
Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin. Blair stated he was actually
engaged on a separate operation at the time of the murders.
Blair also confirmed there was a garda spy involved. This
fact has been speculated during the Tribunal.”

Now, were you aware of Mr. Blair’s evidence to the
Tribunal?

A. I am aware of some of it, yes.

Q. Were you aware of any information 306 or evidence concerning
his movements on the day of the murders?

A. No, you would need to be more specific. I am sorry.

Q. All right. In terms of the operation, does the
intelligence tell you what the information was that
Mr. Blair was allegedly or allegedly admittedly involved
in?

A. Unfortunately, I can go no further than the commentary
there.

Q. So, you can’t verify what other operation there was or
might have been on the day?

A. Well, I can go no further than the commentary there, sir.

Q. In terms of a garda spy being involved, no evidence as to
who or what that might be?

A. Well, no further than as stated.

Q. Number 4: “A senior PIRA member confided to an associate
their personal fears concerning the ongoing Smithwick
Tribunal, particularly that the AGS personnel that were
previously under PIRA control would potentially highlight
the level of co-operation previously provided.”

A. Yes.

Q. Can you assist the Chairman, does the intelligence reveal
the identity of that senior member?

A. I think as stated on Thursday, I can neither confirm nor
deny the identity of that particular individual.

Q. I am not asking you, obviously, for his identity, but is it
known in the intelligence or not, or can you —

A. I can neither confirm nor deny.

Q. And the associate, is it the same position there?

A. Again, I can neither confirm nor deny.

Q. The AGS personnel there, does the intelligence indicate who
they might be, how many there might be?

A. I’m afraid I am unable to provide any further assistance in
respect of AGS personnel.

Q. So, it is just as vague as that, is it?

A. I’m afraid I am unable to provide any further assistance in
respect of that particular expression.

Q. Number 5: “In late 2011” – somebody whom you have named –
“commented that to his knowledge AGS Sergeant Owen Corrigan
had no time for the IRA but was a gangster who was out for
money.” And you have certified that to be accurate and
reliable, is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct, yes.

Q. And just in terms of helping the Chairman to square that or
compare it to other pieces of evidence, how do you say
that’s accurate and reliable?

A. Again, in terms of the source and the conversation from
which this arose and the analysis then that has been
applied to that.

Q. Can I ask you whether the analysis of each of these pieces
includes the following: Does it include an evaluation of
the source?

A. Well, yes. Yes, it does, yes.

Q. Does it include a consideration of the information itself?

A. Yes, it does, yes.

Q. Does it include whether it was single-source reporting,
whether it was corroborated by any other reporting?

A. Well, it is, in terms of corroboration, in the whole what
else would corroborate this from the intelligence that is
known.

Q. So, it does include that, then?

A. Yes.

Q. Does it include an analysis as to whether it was
contradicted by any other reporting?

A. Well, yes, it — the difficulty, well as I have already
said, the difficulty we have with this material is there is
so much material has been said, particularly in respect of
ex-Sergeant Owen Corrigan, and so nearly anything that we
would say would have, would find a contradiction somewhere.
And so, that has not, in effect, been a valuable test to
apply to this material.

Q. Okay. So, you are conscious of that as a fact, but you
have still certified this as accurate and reliable?

A. Yes.

Q. Does it include whether it was at variance with known or
established facts? I am talking about not just limited to
this one now, but your analysis in general, does it include
such a consideration, whether it was at variance with known
or established facts?

A. Yes, that would be a consideration, yes.

Q. Does it include whether it was once-off reporting or from
an established source?

A. I don’t want to go further in, actually, to the elements of
the source in respect of this or any of the other pieces of
information.

Q. But again, at a general level, does it include whether the
source had the information from his own personal knowledge
or whether it had been learnt from a sub-source or many
sub-sources?

A. Analysis of that form does take place, yes.

Q. And can you give us an example, if it is possible, how that
was done now in relation to this particular piece?

A. I would find it very difficult, actually, to unpack this
further. I am very concerned just around the security in
its widest sense of these sources. I really don’t wish to
comment further in respect of those.

Q. I will go back to the general question then about the
analysis.

A. Yes.

Q. Does it include a consideration of whether the wording of
the information as recorded was reflective of the exact
source reporting or whether it was a synopsis?

A. Does it — in effect, how well it reflects the actual raw
material in its original form?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes, it does, yes.

Q. Does it reflect whether the source was in either the
Republic or Northern Ireland?

A. Again, that’s not a matter in which I wish to comment
further.

Q. Does it reflect a process of analysis from one — from the
reporter onwards up to one analyst, two analysts, more?

A. Well, the information is received and is subject, then, to
analysis on, with specific experts who are working against
or whose work is in relation to the assessment of this, of
the assessment of intelligence as it does come in.

Q. Yes. And obviously the raw product in terms of a grading
is something you are not going into?

A. No.

Q. But may the Chairman take it that there could be a wide
disparity of grades between the first three, the next five
and the next twelve, and all in between them as well;
completely different grading on each, maybe?

A. No, I can’t specifically comment on the grading as
reflected across these forms of words.

Q. But you have told me, I think earlier, that all have been
graded?

A. Oh, yes. Well, yes, all information is the subject of a
grading process, yes.

Q. And the only thing the Tribunal is being told is that they
are all accurate and reliable, which doesn’t and mightn’t
and probably doesn’t represent the actual grading applied
to the intelligence provided?

A. No, the information is graded against a separate system
other than accurate and reliable.

Q. Going back to number, the 12 pieces, lastly. “Senior PIRA
figure had several AGS officers passing information to
PIRA, including officers of a more senior position than
Owen Corrigan.”

Now, does your intelligence identify the senior PIRA figure
or are you in a position to confirm that?

A. Well, I can neither confirm nor deny whether that identity
is known to us.

Q. Okay. And can you confirm that the identity of the several
AGS officers is not known in the intelligence?

A. I can assist no further than the expression “several AGS
officers”.

Q. And can you confirm to the Chairman that the information is
as vague and general as that, unspecified?

A. Well, that is an accurate reflection of the intelligence,
yes.

Q. And it doesn’t tell you what information, what it related
to, how it was passed, what year it happened in, what
decade it happened in?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. In your experience, do and did PIRA engage in
misinformation and disinformation?

A. Certainly in terms of propaganda, and one would even see
that in respect of what they claimed in the aftermath of
the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and
Superintendent Buchanan.

Q. Yes. And obviously there is in violent Irish
Republicanism, there is a history of informers and the IRA
murdering and torturing informers and trying to dissuade
people from becoming informers. I take it you would agree
with that?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. And it would be a fairly common tactic for IRA members to
attempt to dissuade anyone who might be thinking of it,
from going to garda stations, by letting it be known that
they had agents in the garda stations who would be able to
report on any informing. That wouldn’t be out of the
question, I take it?

A. That’s not impossible, but, I have to say, I haven’t
actually seen that in terms of reporting. And my
experience has been that such persuasion has been a good
deal more direct and in terms of actual threats.

Q. Well, they can come later, obviously, 344 and worse, as we
know. Item 7 then: “In relation to the murder of Lord
Justice Gibson, a senior member of PIRA has since revealed
that the information which lead to the PIRA operation
emanated from the AGS.”

Are you in a position to say whether the intelligence
identifies the senior member of PIRA?

A. Unfortunately, I can neither confirm nor deny whether that
identity is within our possession, sir.

Q. And can you confirm to the Chairman, that the intelligence
doesn’t detail the information which is alleged to have
been passed and used in the murders?

A. Again, I can go no further than the expression “the
information”.

Q. Now, did you consider the report of any investigation into
the murders of Lord and Lady Gibson as to how the IRA might
have known of their movements?

A. In preparation?

Q. Yes.

A. No, I haven’t, no.

Q. But in certifying this as accurate and reliable, do you
know what the RUC investigation into their murders
concluded about how the information was likely to have
leaked out?

A. No, I’m not, no.

Q. Right. Number 8: “Sinn Fein/PIRA members remain concerned
that the Smithwick Tribunal continues to disclose possible
damaging information. Sinn Fein/PIRA remain concerned that
specific detail relating to the murder of Tom Oliver may be
disclosed.”

Now, are you in a position to say whether the intelligence
identifies these members or not?

A. Again, sir, I am unable to confirm or deny whether that
information is within our possession.

Q. And this information doesn’t appear to relate to Dundalk
Garda Station, the murders of Superintendent Breen or
Buchanan or any members of An Garda Síochána directly,
isn’t that right?

A. No, no. In that form, no, it doesn’t, no.

Q. Number 9: “Intelligence indicates senior PIRA Army Council
member was directly involved in the ordering of the murder
of Tom Oliver. The senior PAC member had been approached
by several PIRA members and others requesting that Tom
Oliver not be killed. Despite these requests, the senior
PAC member directed that Oliver be executed.”

Now, I will just continue on because it is relevant also.

“Further intelligence suggests that senior PIRA figure
sought the direction and instruction from a senior PAC
member in relation to the discovery of allegations of Tom
Oliver being an AGS informant. The senior PAC member
subsequently ordered Oliver to be executed.”

Now, can you say to the Chairman whether or not the
intelligence identifies the PIRA council member and/or the
senior PIRA figure referred to there?

A. I have provided those names directly to the Judge last
Thursday.

Q. Yes.

CHAIRMAN: Yes.

Q. MR. McGUINNESS: And were you aware or are you aware of any
intelligence which suggests there were two kidnappings of
Mr. Oliver?

A. No, I am not aware of that intelligence.

Q. Are you aware of any intelligence or public comment as to
who may have been involved in the murder of Mr. Oliver?

A. No, I am not, no.

Q. Number 11: “Intelligence suggests that Owen Corrigan
engaged in corrupt activity. Targeting criminals was
motivated by greed. The intelligence also suggests that he
did provide sensitive information to PIRA, and that he did
so for reasons of self-preservation.”

This doesn’t appear to have directly emanated from a PIRA
member or a PIRA figure. Can you say whether or not it is
alleged that this intelligence comes from a PIRA figure?

A. I am sorry, sir, I can elaborate no further on the origin
of this particular intelligence, and whether I wish to
attribute it to any organisation or not.

CHAIRMAN: Yes.

Q. MR. McGUINNESS: Well, are you aware of Mr. Corrigan’s
evidence, that when he was kidnapped and severely beaten he
was being asked by PIRA about his garda sources?

A. I was aware that Mr. Corrigan was abducted, yes.

Q. And were you aware that he had been questioned by PIRA
about his garda sources?

A. Yes, I am aware of that evidence, yes.

Q. Are you aware that a garda précis of intelligence to that
effect was also put in evidence before the Chairman?

A. No, I wasn’t aware of that, no.

Q. Is there any — can you confirm whether this reference to
sensitive information contains any reference to the Breen
and Buchanan murders at all?

A. I am afraid I can provide no further guidance in respect of
that, sir.

Q. Is that because it is solely referred to as information,
without specifying what it is?

A. I am unable to provide further guidance in respect of that
matter, sir.

Q. You can’t help the Chairman on what that is or was or might
be?

A. No.

Q. No. 12: “A senior PIRA member revealed he was responsible
for the murder of John McAnulty. Intelligence indicates
that someone informed PIRA that John McAnulty was meeting
with RUC officers. The senior PIRA member was subsequently
informed of the allegations and McAnulty was later
murdered.”

Are you in a position to confirm whether the intelligence
identifies the senior PIRA member or not?

A. Again, I can neither confirm nor deny that that identity is
within our possession.

Q. Right. Presumably you knew and know 363 that Mr. McAnulty had
apparently been meeting an RUC officer in a hotel?

A. Well, I understand that that has been the evidence before
the Tribunal.

Q. Yes. In a public place?

A. Well, a hotel is a public place, yes.

Q. And were you aware that Mr. McAnulty had been arrested in
connection with Operation Amazing and perhaps, also, for a
number of drunk drivings, by the RUC?

A. I’m unaware that he was arrested for drunken charge, but I
am aware he was arrested as part of Op Amazing, yes.

Q. And the IRA alleged, I think in their statement at the
time, that they had discovered his identity from the
notebooks taken from the Superintendents’ car after they
had been shot. Were you aware of the fact that such a
statement had been issued?

A. No, I wasn’t aware of that, of that report, no.

Q. And can you confirm that this PIRA member is not any of the
parties associated with the Tribunal?

A. I am afraid I can neither confirm nor deny anything in
respect of the identity of that individual.

Q. Are you aware of any published allegations as to who, in
fact, killed Mr. McAnulty or not?

A. No, I am not aware of published allegations, no.

Q. So, I mean, if somebody, for instance, has written a book
or made an allegation somewhere on the Internet or whatever
about how or who or why Mr. McAnulty was killed, you are
not aware of that?

A. No, I am not aware of it as I sit here at the moment, no.

Q. Can I take it, that if there was such information,
something like that isn’t factored into your assessment of
whether it was accurate or reliable information that is
being reported upon here?

A. Again, the amount of material in, in effect, the public
domain makes it almost impossible, and contradictory
material, makes that a very difficult task to put weight
to.

Q. Would it matter the source from which it came, presumably
it would?

A. Sorry?

Q. I mean, if somebody had said such a thing, would it matter
whether they were a previous member of an unlawful
organisation or some other background?

A. In terms of the assessment of item 12?

Q. Yes.

A. Well, it has been subject to the same assessment as other
material, and as I have already laid out, and also our
desire to be informative to the Tribunal in what we are
providing.

Q. Yes.

MR. McGUINNESS: I think it is coming up to nearly
one o’clock, Chairman. It might be a convenient time to
break, if you are minded to do so?

CHAIRMAN: Yes. Have you many further questions?

MR. McGUINNESS: I would be only a very short time after
lunch, a very short time.

CHAIRMAN: Very well. I will break now, if you wish. We
will reconvene again at two o’clock.

MR. McGUINNESS: Thank you.

THE TRIBUNAL ADJOURNED FOR LUNCH.

THE TRIBUNAL CONTINUED AFTER LUNCH AS FOLLOWS:

CHAIRMAN: Well, Mr. McGuinness, are you ready?

ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE DREW HARRIS CONTINUED TO BE
CROSS-EXAMINED BY MR. MCGUINNESS AS FOLLOWS:

MR. McGUINNESS: Yes, Chairman. Thank you.

Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Harris. We just touched on, at an
earlier stage this morning, the issue of contemporaneous
intelligence relating to the murders involving collusion,
and I think you told the Chairman that you weren’t aware
that there was any that had been produced?

A. That’s correct. From 1989?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. The first three bits of intelligence then produced by
Mr. McComb, one of them refers in passing to Mr. Hickey,
who is represented here. He is the only named person
before the Tribunal identified in that?

A. Yes.

Q. And then the five pieces of intelligence Mr. McComb
produced on the 25th of July?

A. Yes.

Q. Apart from a reference to a former Garda Síochána member
Jim Lane —

A. Yes.

Q. — the other four don’t identify any guard at all, in
terms of identity or name, isn’t that right? And the first
two relate to obviously a fourth guard, unidentified?

A. Well, other than the fifth strand then goes on to name the
three officers.

Q. The fifth strand?

A. “Intelligence indicates that former AG officer Jim Lane,
who was based in the Dundalk area, frequently expressed his
concerns to associates.” And then it goes on.

Q. Those three are named in relation to his alleged —

A. Comments.

Q. — remarks?

A. Yes.

Q. And the Chairman has heard Officer Lane, obviously. You
know that?

A. Yes, I am aware, yes, that Mr. Lane has given evidence,
yes.

Q. And then the 12 pieces only mention Mr. Corrigan twice.
One occasion being that he had no time for the IRA. He is
mentioned in passing in number 6, but it was in the context
of other senior officers passing information. And then he
is mentioned in number 11, which appears to be on one view
consistent with self-preservation being the basis for him
having passed some unspecified information?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. And not of itself linked to the murders of the
Superintendents?

A. No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t do that, no.

Q. So, at the end of the day, almost 23 years on, there is no
intelligence that you can put before the Chairman that in
fact links any member of An Garda Síochána with the murders
and the passing of any information or other help for the
murders, isn’t that right?

A. Well, I am not in a position to name an individual. And if
one tightens down right on the murders, no, I cannot name
an individual officer. But all the intelligence does
outline a theme in terms of information which PIRA
received.

Q. Yes. And unlike the SB50, the Chairman isn’t going to get
to hear the handlers or see the analysts or the
intelligence or — nobody else is going to come and talk
about it except you, is that right?

A. That’s correct.

Q. Now, you have named two members of PIRA in the 12 pieces of
intelligence that you have dealt with?

A. Yes.

Q. And as I understand your evidence, you have written down
two other names relating to number 12, or number 11, is it?

A. In relation to numbers 9 and 10.

Q. 9 and 10, is it?

A. 9 and 10, that’s correct, yes.

Q. So, you have made a decision to, as it were, to name some
in public, to name some privately to the Judge, and then
not to name others. What is the rationale for those
decisions?

A. The rationale is in respect of our Article 2
responsibilities around gathering intelligence, protection
of sources, the protection of methodology.

Q. Okay. Well, where you have named somebody in information
number 1 —

A. Yes.

Q. — I think you have told the Chairman that he lived in
Louth. Is that not even a more immediate reason to have
shared the information with the Gardaí?

A. Well, my understanding is that this information will be
shared forthwith. It is now the direct responsibility of
the Security Service to share this information with the
guards, and my understanding is that that’s underway.

Q. The point is, how long have you been sitting on it?

A. Well, it has been in our possession, but it has been in our
possession for the purpose of informing the Tribunal. And
a decision, and my decision is that I wish to inform the
Tribunal of this in the first place and then, of course,
this will be supplied to An Garda Síochána.

Q. Yes. Well, you have very skillfully evaded the question,
if I may say so, because we know now from your evidence
this morning that some of this, these 20 pieces of
intelligence have been in your possession for, perhaps,
more than 24 months, or within 24 months?

A. I didn’t seek to evade the question, but neither do I want
to put specific strands of information into an order of
date and date that they were received. What I would say
is, when we recognised our responsibilities in terms of the
information that we had, in particular information that did
come across my desk, we acted upon it.

Q. Well, it doesn’t seem to the Commissioner that you acted in
any sense in a timely way in relation to providing any of
it?

A. Well, that is not my view and I would refute that. We had
to go through a process, and it is an extraordinary process
for ourselves to engage upon, where we would share such
information into a public forum, and the manner in which we
would then share it, where we felt we were obliged to do so
because we are here to assist the Tribunal, and we wish to
do so.

Q. You see, the way you are answering the questions doesn’t
even enable me to help the Chairman know for how long you
have been sitting on some or all of these pieces of
information and what has been the trigger? You have talked
about establishing a process by which you could get it to
the Tribunal. You have got a solicitor and counsel
representing the PSNI here over the last number of years,
presumably. Would there be any difficulty in them
arranging some form of contact once you had got the
information and analysed it and putting it into the process
before the Tribunal instead of waiting to see what the
Tribunal came up with and then throwing in this
information, for whatever it is worth, at the last minute?

A. Well, that’s a completely erroneous analysis of this. In
effect, our representation at the Inquiry had no knowledge
of this intelligence until we were prepared then to share
it with the Tribunal in this form of words. And
intelligence is dealt with on a need-to-know basis. And we
entered into this process without referring to our counsel
to the Inquiry in doing that. And we have done this in a
manner, we wished it — we have undertaken this, and as I
have said already, this was an extraordinary process for
us, given our other responsibilities in terms of gathering
intelligence and how we actually came across this
information. And it still remains of the utmost
sensitivity to us. And we have fully engaged and
co-operated in terms of trying to give the Tribunal the
fullest picture that we can.

Q. So, when Mr. Robinson stood up and protested to the
Chairman that he and the PSNI, his client, had provided
everything and co-operated fully, he wasn’t aware that you
had this intelligence?

A. No, he wouldn’t have been aware that we had this
intelligence, no.

Q. Now, the Commissioner has instructed me that actually and
practically, as far as he was aware, he has encountered
what could be described as seamless co-operation between
the Gardaí and the PSNI in relation to security matters and
the provision of intelligence. Would you agree with that?

A. Well, yes, and that is a description that I would apply to
this as well.

Q. And that you have got regular meetings, which I needn’t go
into, and he certainly and his officers had a belief that
everything of relevance was shared and to be shared. Would
you agree that that is an expectation that they had and you
had?

A. Yes, and that is the ongoing understanding and arrangement
between the organisations. We don’t gather intelligence
for the sake of gathering it. We gather intelligence in
order that we are in a position to act as law enforcement
agencies.

Q. Yes. And he is shocked that these several items have never
been shared to date; two of them we have been told about in
July, and you have had them for upwards of 24 months or
more?

A. Well, I would say —

Q. It was not disclosed to the Tribunal before May, and then
drip-fed out?

A. As we have entered into the process of finding a form of
words, we have shared the documentation. In our view, in
respect of the 12 items, less the material about Tom
Oliver, we felt that we should share it with the Tribunal
in the first place, but it will be shared forthwith with
An Garda Síochána.

Q. Again, you are evading the import of the question because
not only did you not share it with the Garda Commissioner,
you didn’t share it with the Tribunal until last week, now.
I can’t understand, and maybe the Chairman has a more
tolerant and better overview of these matters?

A. But if I go back to the evidence I provided on Thursday, I
outlined that I, myself, observed further raw material
several months ago, which instigated then a further search
of the systems, the intelligence systems, and secondly,
other material which was discovered was discovered as a
result of an unrelated search altogether and which
uncovered more material which was thought to be of use to
the Tribunal. So, as far as we can, a thorough job has
been done of combing through the material, the live
material of this moment, to see what could be of assistance
to the Tribunal.

Q. And you didn’t tell the Tribunal, I take it, at the time
when you are talking about, you saw this material, you
didn’t tell them we found this and we are looking for more
and we found more?

A. I can’t remember in what order we made the Tribunal aware.
I think the Tribunal were aware of the further 12 items of
information in around the middle of August. But that was
when we had got to a point that we had done thorough
searches and analysed the material and come to a form of
words.

Q. Seven years on, a year and a bit after the Tribunal had
commenced public hearings?

A. Well, seven years on is largely irrelevant in respect of
this material. And we have been working at this [timeframe
redacted] in terms of making sure that we are providing
every assistance to the Tribunal.

Q. Unlike any other précis of intelligence, these aren’t
précises that have been agreed with the Tribunal, they are
your own ones imposed, if I may use that word, on the
Tribunal because they have had no access to the material
behind them, isn’t that correct?

A. Well, these — this is the material that we have provided
in good faith. “Imposed” carries a value judgement, and
that is not the case. We have tried, we have attempted in
good faith to accurately reflect the information that we
have at this moment in time.

Q. There is no process of sight by the Tribunal and agreement
or negotiation over what might be put into these forms of
words, because the Tribunal doesn’t know what is in the
intelligence?

A. No, the Tribunal has not seen the intelligence behind this.

Q. And the intelligence, if we may call it that, at this
stage, is looking back 22 or 21 or 23 years into events
when, at the time, no intelligence was produced relating to
direct collusion over a member of the guards, isn’t that
correct?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. With all the difficulties that that causes for trying to
interpret and evaluate someone, even if you believe you
have a good source. And you seem to have looked at this
intelligence simply on the basis that there is a source and
what the source is saying to us is this, and we have
verified that this is what has been said, without in fact
being able to evaluate the worth of what was being said by
the source?

A. Well, that’s not correct. There is an additional element
about the actual, shall we say, the value of the
conversation which is then subsequently relayed to us by
whatever means.

Q. And an inference that the Commissioner 411 might wish the
Chairman to consider drawing is that this wasn’t shared
because it wasn’t important, it wasn’t thought to have any
importance or value at all?

A. That is exactly the opposite position. I personally
observed material which I thought would be of use to the
Tribunal. It was material which was secondary to our
overall effort, which is against terrorism and organised
crime, but which I thought was of such importance that we
should take the extraordinary step of finding a manner in
which it could be shared with the Tribunal.

CHAIRMAN: Is there an ongoing Garda investigation into the
murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent
Buchanan?

MR. McGUINNESS: Well, Chairman, the file has never been
closed on either side of the border. There is obviously
other murders related through the year and these. The
sooner anyone gets information, Chairman, the better.

MR. ROBINSON: Sir, I think My Friend has skillfully evaded
that question. I wonder if you could press for an answer?

CHAIRMAN: Well, what I wanted to know: Is there still an
ongoing investigation by the Garda Síochána into these
murders?

MR. McGUINNESS: Well, Chairman, the position is that, as
you well know, these murders happened in the North of
Ireland, and An Garda Síochána rendered the assistance it
could at the time, and if there is any possibility of
rendering any further assistance, I am sure there is no
difficulty whatsoever at all.

MR. ROBINSON: Again, sir, that doesn’t answer the
question.

MR. McGUINNESS: Well, My Friend might well be able to tell
you, Chairman, is there an ongoing RUC investigation? And
I am sure he will give you the same answer.

MR. ROBINSON: Third time lucky, sir. That still hasn’t
answered the question.

MR. McGUINNESS: I am not here to answer Mr. Robinson’s
question. His witness is here to answer my question.

MR. ROBINSON: It is the Judge’s question I am talking

MR. McGUINNESS: If I can assist you any further, Chairman,
obviously I will.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you.

Q. MR. McGUINNESS: But it is clear, Mr. Harris, that some of
this information, from what you said, was in your files and
forgotten, filed and forgotten?

A. Well, can I put it against the context that the Security
Service and the Police Service have fully co-operated with
the Inquiry, conducted all the relevant searches, provided
material to the Inquiry, and this then is subsequent
information which has come to light, I think primarily
because the Inquiry has started to get news headlines, and
that has created conversation in respect of that. So, it
is not so much — there is no element of this is around
forgotten, it is around actually searching for material
that we wanted to put an emphasis on. And once the
decision was taken to share, in effect, live material, then
thorough searches were conducted to retrieve whatever
material was available.

Q. And just to assist your own counsel. Is there an ongoing
RUC investigation or is it in the same position as I have
described, it’s an open issue?

A. Well, this matter rests with the Historical Inquiries Team.
It is open with them. It will be subject to a cold case
review, and then, if there are any investigative lines of
inquiry, that will come across then to my own department to
investigate. But obviously, all the intelligence, more
recent intelligence will assist in that inquiry and
obviously will be shared with An Garda Síochána to assist
in whatever inquiries they have as well.

Q. Yes. Would you expect that An Garda Síochána, even with
the intelligence that has been produced, has a proper and
legitimate interest in finding out is there a fourth member
alleged to have been present or a fifth or a sixth or
whatever lines of inquiry that can be raised from that?

A. Yes, absolutely. The integrity of a police service is
central to a successful operation.

MR. McGUINNESS: Thank you, Mr. Harris.

CHAIRMAN: Mr. Corrigan.

THE WITNESS WAS CROSS-EXAMINED BY MR. O’CALLAGHAN AS
FOLLOWS:

Q. MR. O’CALLAGHAN: Good afternoon, Mr. Harris. I appear for
Mr. Corrigan. Can I start by asking you some questions
about the five pieces of intelligence that your colleague,
Detective Chief Superintendent McComb, gave to the Chairman
on the 25th of July last. Is it your evidence, Mr. Harris,
that you are not prepared to tell the Chairman when that
intelligence came into the PSNI?

A. Well, I have given an indication in terms of the overall
timescale, not in terms of the seven years, but in terms of
two years. But beyond that, I am not prepared to put these
into datal order.

Q. Because Mr. McComb gave evidence indicating 416 that this was
evidence or intelligence, rather, that the PSNI had during
the tenure of this Tribunal. Were you aware that he gave
that evidence?

A. Yes, I am aware that he gave that evidence, yes.

Q. Can you understand how individuals such as myself or,
indeed, the Chairman may have derived from that, that this
was material that the PSNI had for seven years or so?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. But your evidence here is that you are not prepared to say
how long you had it for, but you are simply stating we
didn’t have it for seven years, is that so?

A. No, that’s not correct. I’m placing it in a time and place
in terms of this being live intelligence and of the moment.
It is certainly not over the course of the Tribunal of
seven years, but is more recent in nature.

Q. Would it be fair to say then, that this is intelligence
that came to you as a result of material that you read
[timeframe redacted]? That is evidence that you gave last
week to the Chairman. Would that be a fair assessment of
it?

A. No, I don’t quite understand the way you have framed the
question. The material I observed I read [timeframe
redacted] has been briefed to the Tribunal, and as a result
then, other material was then found in searches. It’ll go
through quite a substantial process, and really creating
the process that were we able to share the information.
And in that time other material, other intelligence then
was also available.

Q. Why are you so anxious not to disclose to the Chairman,
Mr. Harris, the length of time that the PSNI had the five
pieces of intelligence that Detective Chief Superintendent
McComb informed the Tribunal about on the 25th of July?

A. Again, I have referred very often to my responsibilities

in respect of Article 2, both in terms of the protection of
life and my responsibilities then in terms of the
protection of methodology going forward. If I was to put
these in datal order, then it may be apparent to those who
will study this in great depth as to what conversation
happened when, and it may fill in a missing gap in respect
of where this information came from. I can wholly expect
that my evidence will be poured over to try and find some
clue. That is why I have to be careful in terms of putting
these into any sort of datal order.

Q. Would it be fair to say then, without putting them in any
datal order, that this was information that the PSNI had
for a period of time prior to its disclosure to the
Tribunal on 25th of July, 2012? Can we agree on that?

A. I can agree that some — we have had this information for
various and varying periods of time.

Q. And would you agree with me that a decision was made by the
PSNI and, indeed, the British Security Service, not to
disclose this material to this Tribunal?

A. No, that’s incorrect. A decision was taken to share this
material and the process then was entered into and found a
route to share this material, sir.

Q. Do you think that a suggestion that the PSNI made a
decision not to share this material is unfair to the PSNI?

A. Yes, I do, yes.

Q. Do you think it is a baseless allegation?

A. Yes, I do, yes.

Q. On Day 117 Mr. McComb or, rather, Detective Chief
Superintendent McComb gave the following three pieces of
evidence to the Chairman. I just want to read them out to
you.

On page 21 he said the following: “Decisions were
made that the documentation would not be shared. I am
afraid I can’t assist you at this point as to who made
those decisions or when those decisions were made.”

On page 24, in response to a question from me, Detective
Chief Superintendent McComb said, the question was:
“Question: You said in your evidence that a decision was
made that the intelligence would not be shared?
Answer: That’s right.”

On page 27, he said the following in answer to question
144: “Answer: A decision was taken to not release this
intelligence. As I said earlier on, I am not in a position
to tell you who made that decision, the circumstances or
the context in which that or those decisions were taken,
and I’d be speculating beyond that.”

Do you agree with the evidence that was given on oath by
Detective Chief Superintendent McComb?

A. I would qualify Mr. McComb’s evidence in terms that
Mr. McComb was unaware of the process that we had entered
into. That would not be within his remit and
responsibilities. Secondly, he may have misunderstood the
briefing because, as has been highlighted, what has not
been shared has been the intelligence briefing documents
underlie these forms of words. And I believe that’s
where Mr. McComb was mistaken in what he was briefed upon.
And that’s partially the reason for my own appearance,
because I wish to put the record straight in terms of what
our position is as a police service and what we have done
to try and assist the Tribunal.

Q. Do you see the difficult position that the PSNI has placed
this Chairman in? In one instance you have a Detective
Chief Superintendent giving evidence under oath saying one
thing, and then, a number of weeks later, the Assistant
Chief Constable of the PSNI comes in and says the
diametrically opposite thing. Is that a satisfactory way
for the PSNI to present evidence to the Chairman, do you
believe, Assistant Chief Constable?

A. Well, as I was, as I wish to actually clear up that
particular ambiguity, I have come here today in order,
partly in order to do that and to clarify the matter. So,
in responding to that, I think my response has been
appropriate in giving the Tribunal the respect it deserves
and actually endeavouring to make this information
available.

Q. Will Detective Chief Superintendent McComb be attending
here to correct his evidence in accordance with the
evidence that you are giving?

A. No, no. No, I don’t think so, no.

Q. Why not?

A. Well, I am here to clarify the position for the Police
Service of Northern Ireland. Mr. McComb was briefed and
given a briefing to present five pieces of information. He
is not in the position that I am in in respect of a total
how this started, the process we entered into and
then how we have provided this information. So, in effect,
I am better placed than Chief Superintendent McComb to
clarify this matter.

Q. Well, you know that tribunals such as this make
determinations based on evidence given by individuals on
oath. It is not as though the entity, such as the PSNI, is
entitled to present its evidence through one person. You
are aware of that, Mr. Harris, aren’t you?

A. Yes, indeed, yes.

Q. But still, you don’t — do you have any objection if
Detective Chief Superintendent McComb comes back here and
gives an explanation to the Chairman as to why he said a
decision was made within the PSNI not to release this
intelligence?

A. Well, no, I have no objection, but I trust that I can
provide a full explanation.

Q. Did you discuss these intelligence matters with Mr. McComb
prior to him giving evidence on the 1st of May and, indeed,
on the 25th of July, 2012?

A. No, I didn’t, no.

Q. Were you part of the decision-making process in terms of
the five pieces of intelligence that were presented to the
Chairman on the 25th of July, 2012?

A. Well, it would have been on my final approval that the form
of words was shared.

Q. And how did you think yourself, Mr. Harris, that this
material was going to be presented to the Tribunal?

A. Well, I presume that material has been presented to other
tribunals, that an officer, in this case Mr. McComb, is
briefed on the specific material and then presents his
evidence.

Q. Were you aware when you read these five pieces of
intelligence, whenever it was, that they were beneficial to
my client, Mr. Corrigan, who has been the focus of this
Tribunal’s inquiry for a number of years?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see any unfairness in the fact that the PSNI hadn’t
released this information earlier?

A. This material, no, because this material was released as
quickly as we could manage its release given our other
responsibilities.

Q. Mr. McComb accepted that he saw the unfairness of this
information being withheld. You don’t accept that it was
withheld, do you?

A. No, I don’t accept the information was withheld, no.

Q. Who prepared the précis of the intelligence that was
presented to the Tribunal, the five pieces of intelligence?

A. That would be mid-ranking staff in my own organisation and
the Security Service.

Q. What role did the Security Service have in determining
whether or not this material should be brought to the
attention of the Tribunal?

A. Well, the Security Service have an overall responsibility
for national security intelligence. As this relates
largely to the Provisional IRA, it falls within that
definition, and therefore we would have to — we do consult
and would consult with them in terms of sharing this
information, particularly as the information is held on
their systems as well, and the information in effect is
going outside the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.

Q. The five pieces of information, Mr. Harris, in order to
confirm what you are stating, it must have been
intelligence that you received in this summer, either June
or July, if you were so anxious to get this to the Tribunal
as quickly as possible, would you agree with that?

A. I am not going to place the intelligence into a specific
time bracket, sir.

Q. And I suggest to you, the reason you don’t want to place
the intelligence into a specific time bracket is that you
know it will indicate a legitimate criticism of the PSNI
for sitting on this information, would you agree with that?

A. No, I wouldn’t. That is not correct. We have not sat on
this information.

Q. You stated in your evidence that none of the five pieces of
intelligence, that Mr. Corrigan doesn’t fit within any of
them, isn’t that so?

A. Well, he fits within the fifth piece of intelligence.

Q. Yes, but he is mentioned there. But the first four, he
doesn’t fit within any of them, isn’t that so? That was
your evidence.

A. Yes, yeah.

Q. And in respect of the fifth one, you are aware that
Mr. Lane came in here and gave evidence completely
disputing that piece of intelligence, aren’t you?

A. Yes, I am, yes.

Q. And you still are prepared to stand over number 5 as a
piece of reliable and credible intelligence?

A. Yes, I am, yes.

Q. Could I now ask you about the 12 pieces of intelligence
you provided to the Chairman last week. Was there any
reason, Mr. Harris, why my client was named in this
document, whereas other Garda Síochána weren’t named?

A. Well, if the identity of other personnel had been available
to us, then that question would have arose.

Q. But even, there are certain PIRA members who you have
indicated you are aware of that you didn’t disclose in this
document, isn’t that so?

A. You would need to express or explain that further.

Q. 9 and 10, for instance, you are aware that there are PIRA
figures there. You didn’t name them in this 12-point
précis, isn’t that correct?

A. That is correct, but in effect the view I took is that the
murder of Tom Oliver is the responsibility of An Garda
Síochána, and I cannot act or release information which
could affect the work that they are conducting in respect
of that murder.

Q. I want to refer you to précis number 2 on the 12-point
précis, where it says: “Kevin Fulton is understood to have
received information regarding the murders of Chief
Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan from a
PIRA member linked to a senior PIRA figure.”

Now, one thing we can agree on, that is current
intelligence, Mr. Harris, isn’t that so?

A. Yes, of the moment, yes.

Q. Mr. Fulton gave evidence to the Chairman that after the
murders of your colleagues, Breen and Buchanan in 1989,
that he told his handlers that Mr. Corrigan had been
involved in assisting the IRA in the murder. Are you aware
of that evidence that Mr. Fulton gave?

A. No, I wasn’t aware of that direct evidence, no.

Q. Were you aware of any intelligence substantiating that
within your files?

A. That allegation by Mr. Fulton, no.

Q. Have you encountered Mr. Fulton during your time in the
Royal Ulster Constabulary, and now the PSNI?

A. No, I haven’t, no.

Q. Are you aware of him?

A. I am aware of him, yes.

Q. Do you, as the Assistant Chief Constable of the PSNI,
regard him as a source of reliable information?

A. Mr. Fulton has been the subject of comment in this Inquiry
and other inquiries. I have not done a full analysis of
Mr. Fulton’s evidence myself. I know what else has been
said in respect of him. But if I wanted to give a PSNI
position, I would need to do some further analysis of our
view now.

Q. I would ask — I am going to press you for an answer on
this, Mr. Harris, because you are the Assistant Chief
Constable of the PSNI. I am going to ask you, do you
regard, as Assistant Chief Constable, Mr. Fulton as being a
source of reliable information?

A. There is an issue with Mr. Fulton in terms of whatever
point in time one wants to make that assessment, but at
this moment in time, one would view any information from
Mr. Fulton with some degree of scepticism, and you would
wish to seek a good deal of further clarification.

Q. And at this point in time means this year, last year?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. You are aware he gave evidence here last year,
aren’t you?

A. Yes.

Q. Could I now ask you to look at point 5, where it says: “In
late 2011 Patsy O’Callaghan commented that to his knowledge
Garda Sergeant Owen Corrigan had no time for the IRA but
was a gangster who was out for money.”

Just dealing with the former part of that, “Mr. Corrigan
had no time for the IRA.” That is Mr. Corrigan’s evidence
as well. You believe that to be credible and reliable
information?

A. Yes, I do, yes.

Q. And then it is Mr. O’Callaghan who then goes on to suggest
that Mr. Corrigan was a gangster who was out for money,
isn’t that so?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. Would you agree with me that Mr. O’Callaghan is a gangster?

A. Yes, that would be one description of Mr. O’Callaghan.

Q. Could I now ask you to look at point 6: “A senior PIRA
figure had several AGS officers passing information to PIRA
including officers of a more senior position than Owen
Corrigan.”

Would you agree with me that that reference to my client
indicates that a lot of this information that you received,
Mr. Harris, is in respect of recent information? People
would be aware that Owen Corrigan is involved in the
Smithwick Tribunal, isn’t that so?

A. Specifically in respect of 6 or overall?

Well, people are aware, yes, that Mr. Corrigan is obviously
attached to this Tribunal.

Q. And in respect of all of this précis, a lot of this
information, for instance number 2: “Kevin Fulton is
understood to have received information.” There is nothing
novel or confidential about that; sure the world and its
mother is aware of that from what Mr. Fulton said in his
evidence here, isn’t that so?

A. No, it is entirely different whenever I state these things
in my position as Assistant Chief Constable as opposed to
other commentary in respect of matters. And given the
weight that I have attributed to these, then that puts a
certain emphasis on this as well. So, there is entirely —
it’s entirely different from, as you say, the world and
their mother suspecting something and myself or someone in
my position stating it.

Q. Can I ask you now to look at intelligence piece number 11.
It says: “Intelligence suggests”. What does that mean,
Mr. Harris, in terms of the word “suggests”? Does that
mean that the intelligence doesn’t contain this
information, that you have to interpret it in order to come
up with the suggestion?

A. No, it is not an interpretation, it’s intelligence
indicating that quite clearly.

Q. And when it says that Mr. Corrigan engaged in corrupt
activity targeting criminals, is this the same stuff that
some people have mentioned here, such as smuggling or cars
or something like that, or do you know?

A. Well, that would be a presumption in terms of the
intelligence I have seen behind this, but I am aware that
that has been stated.

Q. You are aware it has been stated here, but you are
presuming that the intelligence means stuff like smuggling
and dealing in cars?

A. No, your suggestion to me would be a presumption for me to
tie that down to smuggling and dealing in cars.

Q. Well, do you know what alleged criminal activity or corrupt
activity, rather, Mr. Corrigan was supposed to be involved
in?

A. No.

Q. Okay. Does the intelligence indicate it?

A. I can go no further than the commentary as stated in 11.

Q. It also says that the intelligence suggests that he did
provide sensitive information to PIRA, and that he did so
for reasons of self-preservation. In fairness, when you
were being questioned by Mr. McGuinness, you said that is
not linked to the murders of Breen and Buchanan, isn’t that
so?

A. No, no. There is no direct link, yeah.

Q. I have to suggest to you, if there was any such direct
link, it would be in here and it would be specified in it,
isn’t that so, Mr. Harris?

A. Well, if we were in a position to report that, yes.

Q. Can I now ask you questions in respect of the decision by
the PSNI to refuse to disclose the grading of the SB50 from
1985. You are aware that the PSNI for the length of this
Tribunal has refused to disclose the grading. You are
aware of that, aren’t you?

A. Yes, I am, yes.

Q. Can you give an explanation to the Chairman as to what was
the reason for that?

A. This is a policy decision that we, that we hold in respect
of grading of information, that it is not made publicly
available, save in the most exceptional circumstances, and
that is in respect then of both source and methodology
protection. And that is a position that we adopt in
respect of all our intelligence, both of the moment and
more historic material, given the long aftermath of the
consequences of an individual being identified as an
informant or someone who assisted the police.

Q. We all know in this room, Mr. Harris, and you may not want
to confirm it or deny it, but everyone here knows that the
source of the SB50 was the late Mr. McAnulty. How then can
you say that it was necessary to withhold the grading of
this SB50 in order to protect your source?

A. Well, I’m not — I wish to neither confirm nor deny that
Mr. McAnulty actually was a source. So, referring back to
the general. This is a policy which impacts both upon
sources who are alive and dead, given for one that people
have relatives and the impact upon the family, the impact
upon a family who continue to live in an area without this
knowledge. And stated cases and court cases support our
position about retaining this information given, just as I
have said, the long legacy of this sort of information
coming out.

Q. But can you clarify for me, how would the disclosure of the
letter and number C6 suggest who the source was?

A. Well, that was not the only material which was withheld and
the — even the coding C6 indicates the type of contact.

Q. The type of what?

A. The type of contact with the individual.

Q. I have to suggest to you, Mr. Harris, there was no valid
reason as to why the PSNI wished to withhold that grading,
would you agree with that?

A. No, there is a valid reason, and I have set those out in
terms of how we managed our intelligence base, managed the
integrity of our intelligence base going forward. Current
CHIS and those that we wish to recruit in the future must
have confidence in the future that we will do all we can to
protect them, protect their identity. Secondly, then,
within the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, I have
specific responsibilities not only for the security but for
the welfare of CHIS. And all of these matters have to be
taken into account.

Q. Mr. McComb, giving his evidence, accepted that the number 6
was the worst quality number that could be assigned to a
piece of intelligence. Do you agree with that?

A. No, I don’t, no.

Q. What worst quality number could have been assigned to the
SB50 from 1985?

A. Number 6, just to be clear, is impossible to assess
accurately. [Redacted] 6 could be good intelligence but
just requires further work to corroborate it.

Q. Would you not agree with me, Mr. Harris, that the numerical
designation indicates greater credibility being assigned as
the number goes down? Presumably, number 1 is the best
number that you can give to a piece of intelligence back in
the 1980s?

A. Well, I can’t agree with that. You are applying a logic to
numbers which are attributed as shorthand to a description
of material. [Redacted]. But 6 is used as a shorthand for
impossible to assess accurately.

Q. What does number 1 mean?

A. Number 1 is [response redacted].

Q. Number 2?

A. [Response redacted].

Q. Number 3?

A. [Response redacted].

Q. I thought number 3 was [response redacted]?

A. No, number 4 is [response redacted].

Q. Number 4 is [response redacted]. Number 5?

A. [Response redacted].

Q. And number 6?

A. Impossible to assess accurately.

Q. And you are telling me that 6, therefore, isn’t the worst
categorisation in respect of a piece of intelligence?

A. No, it is not, no.

Q. I have to suggest to you, Mr. Harris, that your evidence in
that regard is simply not credible?

A. Well, that’s your analysis, and what I am saying is
[redacted]. 6 is impossible to assess accurately. These
numbers are a shorthand for a description, as I’ve outlined
already.

Q. But impossible to assess accurately means that there is a
piece of intelligence that is of very, very limited value,
would you with agree that?

A. It is a piece of intelligence which on that day is
impossible to assess accurately. Other events can either
bear it out and add weight to it or dismiss it.

Q. Are you aware that the individuals who prepared the SB50
accepted that a designation of a 6 would mean that it was
fairly unreliable? Are you aware of that evidence?

A. Well, if they had wished to apply fairly unreliable, there
is other descriptors there that they could have used.

Q. Are you aware of the allegation that a former RUC officer
who is a Catholic may have been involved in setting up your
colleagues, Breen and Buchanan?

A. I am aware of that, well, allegation.

Q. When did you first become aware of that allegation?

A. Really in the last, the last few months as a result of the
Tribunal’s proceedings.

Q. Have you conducted any inquiries into it?

A. I have indeed.

Q. Have you come across any intelligence substantiating it or
rejecting it?

A. There has been no intelligence whatsoever to substantiate
it.

Q. Do you believe my client dishonoured his oath to An Garda
Síochána?

A. I am not sure that’s a judgement that is for me to make. I
think that is for the Tribunal.

Q. Well, you have put it to him. The PSNI said to my client
“You dishonoured your oath”. Do you want to withdraw it?

A. No. Well, I’m not —

MR. ROBINSON: I wonder if the whole context of the
evidence could be put to the witness —

CHAIRMAN: I’m sorry?

MR. ROBINSON: I wonder if the whole context of the
evidence could be read out to the witness if that question
is going to be put.

Q. MR. O’CALLAGHAN: I don’t propose to read out all of
Mr. Robinson’s cross-examination. I presume it would have
been put to him on instructions. I will read out the last
lines. This is what the PSNI said to my client on Day 114.
Sorry, Day 114, page 64.

“Question: You grossly betrayed your oath, Mr. Corrigan?
Answer: I did not.
Question: Isn’t that correct?
Answer: I did not disobey (sic) my oath.
Question: You opted out of your duties?
Answer: I didn’t opt out of my duties, I never did.
Question: You also gave evidence that you relinquished all
roles of responsibility. Do you recall saying that?
Answer: In what respect?
Question: That’s your evidence, Mr. Corrigan.
Answer: No, I didn’t.
Question: I can reference it, if you wish?
Answer: I said I didn’t play the part and I was sidelined
by the new regime, which is part and parcel of any
organisation.
Question: Mr. Corrigan, you opted out, and in doing so you
betrayed that oath, didn’t you?
Answer: Pardon? I did not betray that oath and I take
grave exception to that statement.
Question: You betrayed your colleagues by failing to
assist them?
Answer: I didn’t betray my colleagues, and nobody did more
in Dundalk in the years that I was there, and my records
are there and my Commissioners and everyone who has come
here to speak on my behalf, and I will tell you, I take
grave exception to you coming along —
Question: Your answer is that you did as little as
possible?
Answer: Perhaps I didn’t do as much as I did previously.
Question: You betrayed your oath.
Answer: Pardon?
Question: You betrayed your colleagues by failing to
assist them?
Answer: I didn’t betray my oath. Excuse me, I did not
betray my oath.
Question: And by failing to pass this intelligence on to
the murder investigation, you betrayed Harry Breen and Bob
Buchanan?
Answer: I did not betray Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan,
certainly not.”

Do you want to stand by the assertion by the PSNI to my
client that he had betrayed his oath, which is a very
serious charge to make against an officer, would you agree
with that, Mr. Harris?

A. Well, I do agree it is a very serious assertion, and I
stand by the question conducted by our counsel.

Q. Very good. Finally, are there any other pieces of
intelligence that the PSNI has at present or of which you
are aware relevant to this Tribunal’s inquiries which has
not been brought to the Tribunal?

A. No, there is no other pieces of intelligence.

Q. And is the PSNI co-operating with this Tribunal by
providing relevant pieces of information?

A. Yes, and our Chief Constable and I have been very clear
around our commitment to this Tribunal and our willingness
and actions in assisting the Inquiry.

MR. O’CALLAGHAN: Thank you.

MR. COFFEY: No questions, Mr. Chairman.

MS. O’SULLIVAN: No questions, Chairman.

THE WITNESS WAS CROSS-EXAMINED BY MR. SMITH AS FOLLOWS:

Q. MR. SMITH: Mr. Harris, I have a few questions on behalf of
Mr. Keeley. I don’t propose to be terribly long, just a
couple of topics I would like to cover with you. You
obviously indicated, I think the words used were you had a
degree of scepticism in relation to information provided by
Mr. Keeley. But just to put matters, and to be completely
fair about it, you also accept that you had no personal
knowledge or no personal dealings with Mr. Keeley?

A. No, I have never had personal dealings with Mr. Keeley, but
I am aware of various reports in respect of Mr. Keeley and,
therefore, in terms of — in the manner that the question
was asked to me, what I would view of what he would say
now. One would have to look at that information carefully
and with a degree of scepticism and look for corroboration
or further information to back it up.

Q. Okay. And you also accepted very fairly that you hadn’t
conducted a full analysis?

A. No, I haven’t, and really it would be for the Tribunal to
decide what further they wish me to do in respect of that.
I am aware — in the position I am in I can’t but help come
across some of the information in respect of Mr. Keeley,
but at the same time I don’t want to just be giving a
general impression of things I have read over a number of
years.

Q. And I think you also said — you were asked if you were
aware of the evidence he had given to the Tribunal, and you
said you weren’t. You, obviously, weren’t present for the
three days he gave evidence to the Tribunal?

A. No, no.

Q. And you can’t really go into detail then as to what was
said during that period of time?

A. No, I am not able to elaborate further on his evidence to
this Tribunal.

Q. Sorry, yes, thank you. Let me just ask you then about —
obviously we have the — there are three sets of
information. There is a grouping of five pieces of
intelligence, which Mr. McComb gave, I think it was on Day
117.

A. Yes.

Q. And also then the information that we have before you today
which you have come down to speak to.

A. Yes.

Q. Now, just in relation to the 12 pieces of information. Is
that correct when we look at that, that — as I say,
ultimately it is a matter for the Tribunal, but I think you
have said that this information, you have taken the time
and consider it as being accurate and reliable, is that
right?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. If you look at number 4, it refers to AGS personnel?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you agree with me that that obviously refers to more
than one member of An Garda Síochána?

A. It does, yes.

Q. And similarly, if you look at number 6 —

A. Yes.

Q. — again there is a reference to several officers passing
information?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. So, bearing that in mind, the information you would have
would tend to suggest that, unfortunately, the information
is that there was multiple leaks, if I can put it like
that, or at least more than one?

A. Well, it would suggest on that reading at least three, in
terms of number 6.

Q. Now, just tying that back in then to the five pieces of
information which Mr. McComb dealt with and that was given
on Day 117. I am not sure whether you have a copy of it in
front of you? But in relation to the first piece of
information, it indicates that PIRA had received
information regarding Chief Superintendent Breen and
Superintendent Buchanan from a detective AGS officer who
had not been publicly associated with the Smithwick
Tribunal?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, it has been said on behalf 511 of retired Detective
Sergeant Corrigan that that is wholly exculpatory. I am
not sure whether you are aware of that?

A. Yes.

Q. Wouldn’t you accept with me that that is based on two
premises? One is, firstly, what weight can be attached to
it, and is it, indeed, accurate and reliable? And that is
obviously a matter for the Chairman. But secondly, it
doesn’t necessarily follow if there is more than one leak?

CHAIRMAN: That there is an allegation against one
exculpates another, is that the point you are making,
Mr. Smith?

MR. SMITH: Yes.

A. Well, on the same page, at number 5, Mr. Corrigan is
mentioned again and is mentioned within these 12. So, if
one, one reading of that information at block 1 is that
that relates directly to the murders of Chief
Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan, but other
matters are referred to in this, other — it seems that
there is a wider reporting of information being provided to
the Provisional IRA here.

Q. Yes, indeed. But I suppose the point I was driving at is
that it was put forward or submitted to the Tribunal on
behalf of retired Detective Sergeant Corrigan that the
content of the first piece of information was wholly
exculpatory, and what I am saying to you is that only —
that that is based totally on the logic that there is only
one leak?

A. Yes, that’s correct, yes.

Q. Now, I know in relation to items 1 and 2 they relate to the
same piece of information, and it has been indicated that
that person is not publicly associated to the Smithwick
Tribunal. But in relation to the other pieces of
information, namely 3 and 4, isn’t it correct that they are
effectively identification-neutral; they don’t say one way
or the other?

A. No. As I have already said, I can’t provide any further
guidance as to who that AGS officer may be or might have
been.

Q. So, one couldn’t describe that as amounting to information
which is wholly exculpatory one way or the other?

A. No.

Q. Now, just in relation then to the item of intelligence at
number 11. It talks about intelligence, suggests that a
member of An Garda Síochána engaged in corrupt activity
targeting criminals, was motivated by greed, and the
intelligence also suggests that he did provide sensitive
information, and that he did so for reasons of
self-preservation. Now, just taking a wider view, if you
are not able to talk from your own experience, please
indicate that, Mr. Harris, but are you aware of who – I
know you have mentioned him on the last day – who Patsy
O’Callaghan is?

A. Yes, I am, yes.

Q. And is it right — do you know what his position was in the
IRA in South Armagh?

A. He held a senior position within South Armagh PIRA.

Q. Yes. And he would have been 518 effectively at the top
echelons of leadership, if I can put it like that?

A. Yes, he would have been, yes. Most certainly.

Q. Would it be also fair to say that South Armagh PIRA would
have had a very tight grip of that geographical area?

A. Yes, without a doubt the South Armagh, North Louth area and
on around towards Monaghan, a very tight and thorough grip
on the whole area, yes.

Q. And if you were involved in criminal activity or matters of
corrupt behaviour or matters like that, wouldn’t you accept
that that is something that there is a likelihood or a
degree of probability that that would come to the attention
of the leadership of South Armagh PIRA?

A. Yes, it would, most certainly, because of PIRA’s own
engagement and intensive criminality in that area to raise
funds.

Q. Yes. And in that respect, if there was, as indicated in
this information, and it ties in with it, if a garda was
engaged in corrupt activity, that is something that the
South Armagh PIRA would likely become aware of?

A. Yes, yes, very, very probable. It would be hard to see how
they wouldn’t become aware of that.

Q. Yes. And if you — if the IRA did become aware of that,
wouldn’t it be fair to say that that would lead to the
individual involved exposed or open to pressures or
blackmail, for example?

A. It would, in common with many cases of police corruption,
where an individual’s, an officer’s integrity then leaves
an opening for, you know, a criminal gang to exploit that
officer, yes.

Q. And presumably that would be especially so if we are
looking at it from the perspective of South Armagh PIRA and
their sort of counter-intelligence efforts, which we have
heard were very evolved? Wouldn’t that be especially so if
you were a person who occupied a very sensitive role, for
example, in Special Branch in An Garda Síochána?
Effectively, you have information through the course of
your employment that would be very useful to them?

A. Well, the Provisional IRA in one level can be viewed as,
you know, one of the most sophisticated organised crime
gangs in terms of its own intelligence-gathering and
protection from the actions of law enforcement. So, in
that context, this would be an obvious route for them to
pursue in terms of trying to identify an officer which they
would view as being susceptible or weak.

Q. And of course, effectively that line of reasoning, if you
like, in many respects chimes and culminates with what is
indicated at number 11?

A. Yes, it does, yes.

Q. Just in relation to matters surrounding the unfortunate
Mr. Oliver, and obviously you have a number of pieces of
intelligence that relates to that. You mentioned earlier
on about the IRA using him as propaganda. Wouldn’t it also
be right that they would have effectively one eye open to
the mood and the sentiment within the local population at
the time?

A. Well, that’s correct, yes. Very much so.

Q. We know that Mr. Oliver was a local man, well-respected and
well-liked. He was the father of seven and also a
Catholic. So, from the IRA’s perspective, one could almost
envisage the backlash if steps were taken by the IRA.
Wouldn’t it be right that that would lead to a degree of
reticence on their part before they would take any steps?

A. The murder of individuals who were suspected of being
informants did, would go through a decision-making process,
in effect, and different levels of authorisation were
required depending on an individual’s position. And
therefore, that would have been considered, I presume.
Given the general manner in which these things were
conducted, one would assume that that was thought through
in terms of the impact of murdering Mr. Tom Oliver.

And again because of who Mr. Oliver was, as I say, that
would explain some of those précis of intelligence that you
have today. It would merely underline the fact that there
was probably reticence within the organisation before that
step was taken?

A. Yes, and even in the other context of how many operations
in the Provisional IRA’s view had gone wrong leading up to
that, in terms of the intended target not being murdered
and then some other unfortunate being murdered, and then
the murder, as I say, of a local man.

Q. Now, that being the case, would you agree with me that the
Provisional IRA would have wanted to have been very careful
before they acted and they would have needed to be very
sure of their information, rather than, if you like, taking
the steps that they did based on hearsay or barroom talk?

A. Well, certainly, yes, they would have engaged in a process,
and that would have been made, that would have been doubly
emphasised by murders of individuals which were in their
view just operations gone wrong.

Q. Right. Would you accept then that there is a significant
probability or a high degree of likelihood that because
they needed to be very sure of the information, it is very
likely that that came, the information that Mr. Oliver was
involved with An Garda Síochána came from an official
position?

A. Well, I can go no further really than what number 10 says,
or, sorry, no. Sorry, 10 doesn’t — I misread number 10.
No, really I can go no further than what the intelligence
says in respect of the murder of Tom Oliver and what the
source of information might have been.

MR. SMITH: Okay. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN: Any other questions?

MR. EGAN: I have a few questions on behalf of Mr. Blair.

CHAIRMAN: Very good.

THE WITNESS WAS CROSS-EXAMINED BY MR. EGAN AS FOLLOWS:

Q. MR. EGAN: Mr. Harris, it appears that you were spying on
Mr. Blair in the summer of 2011, is that correct?

A. Spying is a very heavy loaded term. What I am engaged in
and what I am engaged in with my colleagues in law
enforcement and the Security Service is actually gaining
information, gaining intelligence for us to carry forward
police activity.

Q. But you were carrying out covert surveillance upon him, is
that correct?

A. Well, I am not going to specify exactly what operations
were in place or may not have been in place in respect of
Mr. Blair.

Q. So, at least you don’t deny it?

A. Well, I am not confirming nor denying, nor am I clarifying
what type of operations are in place in respect of
Mr. Blair.

Q. Do you still have him under surveillance?

A. Again, I don’t wish to comment any further in respect of
that question. So, I neither confirm nor deny that
Mr. Blair remains under surveillance.

Q. I am referring in particular to your 12 pieces of
intelligence that you have submitted to the Tribunal,
Mr. Harris, and in particular to number 3. It says that
“In the summer of 2011 Mr. Blair commented,” et cetera?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it fair to say that that information must have been
communicated to you in the summer of 2011?

A. I don’t wish to comment upon the logic on which that
question is asked, sir.

Q. Well, I am not so much asking you to comment on the logic,
I am asking you to comment on a simple question.

A. Well, I don’t wish to comment on the specific question.

Q. May there have been a time delay? Might you have received
it after the summer of 2011?

A. As I have already said, I am not prepared actually to put
these strands of information into months or a time phase.
So, I don’t wish to comment further on that.

Q. Are you prepared to comment on the provenance 538 or the source
of this information?

A. In respect of number 3, well I have already commented
extensively on all of this intelligence and the process
that we have been through in respect of making, getting a
form of words which is accurate and reliable for the
Tribunal, and that was a process which was applied also to
number 3.

Q. Well, is it fair to say that item number 3 is really your
attempt to undermine a part of Mr. Blair’s evidence —

A. No.

Q. — to the Tribunal?

A. Well, that’s not fair at all. That’s not fair at all.
What we have done is try to provide information which we
believe which is of assistance to the Tribunal. I’m not
here in any way to undermine or bolster any individual, but
to attempt to assist the Tribunal.

Q. I have to put it to you that it is quite a devious method
of procedure, to spy on a witness and then to present
intelligence without provenance or source?

A. Well, I am aware of the intelligence and its provenance and
its source. It is regrettable that I am not able to share
it in this Tribunal, but I am unable to do so. There is no
element of deviousness on our part in respect of our
dealings with the Tribunal or, indeed, any of the
witnesses.

Q. Is it alleged that the words in paragraph number 3 reflect
the words of Mr. Blair himself?

A. I don’t wish to comment further.

Q. Did you generate item number 3?

A. That item was generated by my staff, yes.

Q. What do you understand by the term “Operation”?

A. Well, in respect of Mr. Blair, doubtless that was some
other form of terrorist operation.

Q. So, you are alleging, you are alleging some kind of
nefarious operation, as you would see it?

A. Well, that would be my strong suspicion.

Q. Well, he has given evidence to the Tribunal that on the day
in question he divided his time, as he said himself,
between the pub and a bookmakers on that particular day,
and that version of events hasn’t been questioned by
anybody?

A. Yes.

Q. Don’t you think it is rather late in the day, 23 years
afterwards, to make an allegation, effectively —

A. Well, the —

Q. — that he was involved in some kind of nefarious activity
on that day?

A. Well, the information has been provided. We have tried to
put it in a datal context, which is only of last year, and
whether it is late in the day or not, it is still
information which we thought was of assistance to the
Tribunal.

Q. Might that part of paragraph 3 be incorrect?

A. Well, we have done all we can to ensure that we view it as
being accurate and reliable.

Q. When Mr. McGuinness asked you to define exactly how you
arrived at the judgement that information was accurate and
reliable, I understood you to say in your answer that if it
was plausible it was accurate and reliable, is that
correct?

A. Well, that is one of the factors. It’s just not a question
of plausible, it’s a question of looking at the information
in the round in terms of the reporting of it and the manner
in which that reporting came to pass in terms of the
conversation. One then looks at the information in its
entirety. But obviously, is it plausible in terms of does
it chime with what else is known about an individual would
be one consideration.

Q. Is it the main consideration?

A. It is one consideration. Other considerations I have
already outlined.

Q. And would you mind outlining them again, in summary?

A. Well, in summary, as I have stated, these sources of
information, over a period of time we are able to, with the
benefit of hindsight and experience and analysis, we are
able to make an assessment about — of their reliability,
and then you have the actual occasion itself and, say, a
conversation, and then you can look at the circumstances of
those conversations and actually all that attends around
that in terms of is it actually credible, plausible.

Q. So, it is effectively a kind of inspired guesswork?

A. No, it is not inspired guesswork, but it is an assessment
process, and it is an assessment process which is built up
on experience. None of these things are done as a single
strand or on their own. They build up over time, and it
does depend on the expertise of a lot of individuals who
are looking at this. But this is their particular
expertise and specialism.

Q. Do you have any other evidence to support the claim that
Mr. Blair was involved in some other operation on the day
that Mr. Breen and Buchanan were killed?

A. No, I have no evidence to support that.

Q. Referring to the rest of that item of intelligence, if I
may read. “Blair also confirmed that there was a Garda spy
involved.” To me that implies that a question was put to
him. Is that a correct reading?

A. That’s your reading. I can neither confirm nor deny your
supposition in respect of that.

Q. I was going to go on to ask you what was the question?

A. Well, I can neither confirm nor deny the assumption that
you make in respect of that line.

Q. Mr. Blair denies that he ever said that, and he denies any
knowledge of any garda spy throughout this period or any
period?

A. Yes.

MR. EGAN: Thank you. No further questions.

A. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN: Any other questions? Mr. Robinson.

THE WITNESS WAS CROSS-EXAMINED BY MR. ROBINSON AS FOLLOWS:

Q. MR. ROBINSON: I have a number of brief questions, if I
may. Assistant Chief Constable Harris, if I can take you
back to your evidence regarding the day in question. And
you were asked by My Learned Friend for the Commissioner
about whether or not someone at the entrance or in the
foyer of the garda station could have acted as the trigger
point for the operation. And your response, subject to the
transcript, was that it was highly unlikely that they were
the trigger for the operation given the logistics involved.
Is that correct?

A. That is correct, yes.

Q. Am I correct in suggesting that that does not remove a
person that was at the foyer or the entrance from the
operation as a whole; they could still be used to confirm
the arrival of targets and confirm the identity of targets?

A. Well, yes, that could happen, yes.

Q. And would I be correct in also suggesting that this
operation could have worked in stages where PIRA would not
have committed resources to the actual ambush points until
they had confirmation of arrival?

A. Yes, that is very likely. The Provisional IRA were
extremely risk adverse in conducting these operations, and
particularly during daylight, given the watchtowers which
were spaced around South Armagh.

Q. So, this is not a case where PIRA became aware, say, for
example, of the meeting in the morning and just put
everything into effect from that point on; they would take
it stage-by-stage rather than, as you say, put people on
the ground and expose them to risk?

A. No, I couldn’t see that there would have been a deployment
of the numbers required for this in the locations required
day after day. There would need to have been some
indication that it was fruitful to deploy on a particular
day, given the logistics involved, the vehicles, the
weapons, the forensic preparation and clean-up required.
And also the fact that the intention, as previously stated,
was to kidnap these officers, and therefore then they had
to be taken to some other location. So, it was a sizable
logistical operation involved in this.

Q. So, not only would we have the people on the ground
conducting the ambush itself, there were collateral issues
to organise; safe houses for the interrogations, transport
to those locations, ensuring those transport routes were
clear, emergency or contingency plans if roadways were
blocked, et cetera. So, this was a very sizable operation?

A. Yes, in my view, yes, it would have been a very
considerable operation involving quite a considerable
amount of personnel. It is difficult to put an overall
number on it altogether, but it would certainly run into
dozens.

Q. And Assistant Chief Constable Harris, if I could move you
to the evidence regarding Detective Chief Superintendent
McComb.

A. Yes.

Q. You gave evidence that he was unaware of the process that
was ongoing in relation to the new intelligence?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. Would I be correct in saying this was a need-to-know basis,
and that is why he was not informed of that process?

A. Very much so. And Mr. McComb was not directly involved in
the management of intelligence. His day-to-day role is in
respect of organised crime. And so, he wouldn’t have had a
view of the raw material or the intelligence briefing
documents or know the considerations that were being
applied to those.

Q. But it is correct that he has a role within the PSNI in
relation to legacy matters?

A. That’s correct. He provides investigative advice to a
group known as the Legacy Gold Group. It is a command
group which oversees all legacy matters within the Police
Service.

Q. And if I can stay with the process that the PSNI engaged in
before the provision of the information to the Tribunal.
It’s correct that the provision of such information to the
Tribunal outside the jurisdiction, that is unprecedented?

A. Yes, very much so, yes. Yeah.

Q. And just to go over your evidence. Not only did you have
to create the process, you also had to work through that
process?

A. That’s correct, yes.

Q. And perhaps if I can ask you to highlight the dangers that
affect that process. Is it correct that operations are at
stake?

A. Well, the reason we gather this intelligence is for the
purpose of live operations of the moment in the round,
serious crime and acts of terrorism. So, we have to be
very mindful that the groups that we are pitted against do
conduct their own security-type operations and are always
actively making efforts to thwart our intelligence
gathering and the intelligence gathering of An Garda
Síochána as just a daily function that they involve
themselves in. And so, in that context the management of
this has been difficult, and it still has some risk
attached to it.

Q. And not only are operations at stake, 570 but lives essentially
are at stake?

A. Well, yes, and very much so. Both the lives of police
officers who have engaged in covert operations or the lives
of CHIS, but also then our ability to protect the public
from serious harm. And all of this has been balanced in
providing this information.

Q. And you have been questioned about providing the timings of
when the intelligence was received. I am correct in saying
that the danger in identifying a particular time period can
illuminate when a conversation has taken place, illuminate
who was present, and that is the danger that the PSNI seek
to avoid?

A. Very much so. It is our absolute responsibility to manage
those risks as best we can in providing this information,
sir.

Q. And the Chairman has heard evidence that intelligence is
the lifeblood of a police force. And when you were
questioned about the C6 issue and the grading, you gave
evidence that there could be an impact on a family by
identifying a source, be they alive or dead, but it is also
correct that identifying sources, even when they are
deceased, could chill the flow of information and
intelligence into a police force?

A. Again, that’s correct. I gave evidence to that effect in
terms of the impact it has on our ongoing
intelligence-gathering operations and what we would wish to
do in the future. And gathering intelligence is a
legitimate policing function, and one which we wish to
preserve in order to combat serious crime and to protect
the public.

Q. And finally, Assistant Chief Constable Harris, can you
confirm that it remains, that the PSNI remains committed to
assisting the Tribunal as fully as possible with its terms
of reference?

A. Absolutely.

MR. ROBINSON: I have no further questions.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Any other questions?

MR. DURACK: Just one matter, if I might.

THE WITNESS WAS CROSS-EXAMINED BY MR. DURACK AS FOLLOWS:

Q. MR. DURACK: I understood the witness to say that
Mr. McComb had not seen the original intelligence, is that
what you said?

A. He wouldn’t have seen the actual raw material. I think he
would have been briefed on the intelligence briefing
documents. That would be my understanding of the process.

Q. Because just for the sake of clarity, on Day 117 at
question 22, I asked him: “Have you seen the files?” And
his answer was: “I have seen the intelligence.”

“Question: Have you seen the files bearing the original
intelligence?

Answer: I have seen the intelligence documents that have
been provided to me.

Question: Are you saying that what has been provided to
you is this piece of paper?

Answer: No, I have seen the documents from which this
document has been created.

Question: You have seen the originals

Answer: I have seen the intelligence document that
supports the creation.”

So that he does appear to have seen the documents,
according to what he says?

A. Well, I understand the process, and I may stand corrected,
but I don’t think it is at variance to what Mr. McComb has
seen, is that he has seen the intelligence briefing
documents, which are the result of the analysis and the
work that has been done on the actual, in effect, raw
material. And I think, actually, Mr. McComb is being
careful to describe what he has seen there as not being the
raw material but the intelligence briefing documents.

Q. At question 27 he answers: “I am sorry, I am at a loss as
to how to express this differently. I have seen the
intelligence. By that it’s the original documentation, the
intelligence that created this document.” It appears he
has seen the background material?

A. Well, my view on this is that he has seen the intelligence
briefing documents from which the form of words have been
created.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Do you have any questions,
Mrs. Laverty?

MRS. LAVERTY: Just one matter, Chairman. I will be a few
minutes.

THE WITNESS WAS RE-EXAMINED BY MRS. LAVERTY AS FOLLOWS:

Q. MRS. LAVERTY: I think, Mr. Harris, you are bringing
intelligence to the Tribunal at this stage, at this late
stage, which you believe is of interest to the Tribunal and
which you believe is accurate?

A. Yes.

Q. And I think that in prior to bringing that intelligence to
the Tribunal, and which you have considered reliable and
accurate, you have had to assess it in your own way and
compare that, look at the sources, the sub-sources, et
cetera, and a procedure which has been kind of gone into by
many of my colleagues?

A. Yes.

Q. And in turn you present that to the Chairman, who will, of
course, have to carry out the same exercise, weighing that
intelligence against the evidence that he has heard in the
course of the Tribunal?

A. That’s correct. But I think I also said that if it would
assist the Judge, I could, for the Judge’s benefit, put
this in a timeframe of what was before the commencement of
the Tribunal. That was one of the questions that was, one
of the requirements that was put to me.

Q. Yes.

A. I am unable to do that in this particular forum.

Q. Yes. I think that the point I am making is that the Judge
is going to have to carry out a similar type of assessment?

A. Yes.

Q. Assessing the information, the intelligence 582 that you have
given him and seeing if there is anything within the
hearings of what he has heard over the last year that makes
more sense of one piece of intelligence than another piece?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. And he may decide to reject some of the strands of
intelligence and accept other strands?

A. Yes.

Q. Or in fact, he may reject the whole lot of it?

A. Yes.

Q. Yes. Now, I think that you have been criticised, perhaps
very gently by the Commissioner’s legal team, for not
sharing information with the Gardaí within a timeframe that
they expected. But in fairness to you, Mr. Harris, there
is information, intelligence that came before the Tribunal
when you were not present at an earlier date very relevant
to the murders of Breen and Buchanan which was not shared
with the PSNI. And I would just like to put that up on the
screen and to remind the Chairman. And if you haven’t seen
them recently, to remind you what this intelligence is,
because you may see a resonance in one of the pieces of
intelligence to information you are currently bringing to
the Tribunal.

A. Yes.

Q. Now, Document, Mr. Mills, please. Now, “Garda
information indicated by way of double hearsay that there
was a contact in the Gardaí who had passed on information
that facilitated the murder of Lord Justice Gibson and the
shooting of the two RUC officers after their visit to
Dundalk Garda Station.”

Now, I am very recently informed in documentation by the
Commissioner that that was in 1990?

A. Yes.

Q. And there is Document 567, 587 which states: “Garda
information received sometime proximate to the murders of
Buchanan and Breen suggested that a named PIRA member had a
garda contact who gave only short notice of a visit of
Buchanan and Breen to Dundalk Garda Station. Reports
suggested that PIRA knew that the officers would have to
take one of four roads on their way home, and that PIRA
sent out four units to cover each of these roads.”

I am instructed that was [timeframe redacted]. So, again,
that is proximate to — nearer in time than the information
that you have at the moment.

A. Yes.

Q. And I think there was Document 236, Mr. Mills. Yes, I am
right about the dates. Document 236: “Information which
is based on double hearsay and received subsequent to the
killings indicated that there was a contact that passed on
information that facilitated the murder of the Gibson
family.”

So, are you — have you seen any of these pieces of
intelligence?

A. No, I haven’t seen those before, but I can’t comment on
whether they have been shared or not. I don’t know.

Q. Yes. I believe they certainly, 589 at the outset of this
Tribunal, hadn’t been shared.

MR. McGUINNESS: Chairman, I’m not sure that Mrs. Laverty
is right, but can I make this suggestion: I mean, we have
provided these précis in agreement with the Tribunal, and
all of this information was given to Judge Cory, and it is
reflected in Judge Cory’s report. So, I am not confident
that what Mrs. Laverty is saying is correct. Could I
suggest that if the Tribunal is going to release the
transcript into a public forum, that we liaise and discuss
the matter before it would go in, with the suggestion that
they are not, they weren’t shared? So, we will look into
the matter in advance of the transcript being read in.

MRS. LAVERTY: Well, certainly in the Cory Report one of
them was provided to Judge Cory. I think two of them
weren’t. And certainly before the Cory Report, there is no
report of that information ever being given to the PSNI.
And I repeatedly asked senior members of the Gardaí if, in
fact, they were aware of it, and a lot of them suggested
that they weren’t even aware of this information. But
anyway, I will sort it out with my colleague —

CHAIRMAN: Yes.

MRS. LAVERTY: — prior to the publication. If you decide
to publish a transcript, Chairman, we will have reached an
agreement.

MR. McGUINNESS: I do have a record of precisely what was
shown to Judge Cory and we can make that available to My
Friend.

MRS. LAVERTY: The point I am making is that prior to 2003,
when Judge Cory was given or may have been given this
information, it wasn’t shared by the Gardaí. It wasn’t
given to the PSNI in the intervening years since the
murder.

CHAIRMAN: Yes. We can clarify that.

MRS. LAVERTY: If I am wrong, I will stand corrected and I
will apologise to my colleagues.

CHAIRMAN: Yes. Now, the main point is, I think that
Mr. Harris has kindly attended for cross-examination today.
Has anybody else any question to ask?

Q. MRS. LAVERTY: I am sorry, Chairman, there was one matter
that was brought to my attention. I just wanted to ask
Mr. Harris, if he had reports on Mr. Fulton which the
Tribunal had not seen, that perhaps he might make them
available, if there are any?

A. I think if — I would need to actually prepare a position
report in respect of Mr. Fulton, and then if needs be, then
that could be further elaborated on.

MR. HAYES: Then, that concluded the cross-examination by
Mrs. Laverty — or the re-examination by Mrs. Laverty, and
it concluded the evidence of Assistant Chief Constable
Harris.

CHAIRMAN: So that concludes —

MR. HAYES: That concludes today’s matters. I think,
Chairman, the position is that if you were to adjourn the
hearings then until such date as to be notified.

CHAIRMAN: Yes, it will have to be an indefinite date.
Everybody will be notified in due time before the next
sitting. The Tribunal has to go back into its
investigative mode, and that will take some time, as little
time as we possibly can, but I can’t put a date on it yet,
but everybody will be notified in time.

MR. HAYES: Thank you, sir.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, gentlemen.

THE TRIBUNAL ADJOURNED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Who Is The Top Provo Secretly Named As Ordering The Tom Oliver Killing?

Dublin’s political and media circles were this weekend in a ferment of speculation about the identity of the senior Provisional who four years ago was secretly named at the Smithwick Tribunal as having ordered the IRA execution of alleged Garda informer Tom Oliver in 1991.

The man was identified to the Tribunal as a member of the IRA’s seven-man ruling Army Council but there are strong suggestions that the figure is also a Sinn Fein activist.

Judge Peter Smithwick, the senior legal figure who led the special Tribunal of Inquiry into allegations of Garda collusion in the Provisional IRA killing of two senior RUC officers in 1989, was given secret evidence naming the Provisional leader by the now Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI, Drew Harris.

Judge Peter Smithwick, a scion of the brewing family, was given the name of the IRA leader who killed Tom Oliver

DCC Harris, who was then one of the PSNI’s Assistant Chief Constables, wrote down the name of the man for Judge Smithwick in the course of secret testimony he gave to the Tribunal.

Details of the allegation, bar the Provisional figure’s identity, along with other highly sensitive PSNI intelligence on the Oliver slaying were published in Judge Smithwick’s 430 page report which was made public in December 2013.

The investigation into the 1989 IRA killing of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Robert Buchanan began in 2006 and the Tribunal held both public and private sessions. The two policemen were gunned to death in south Armagh as they left a meeting with detectives at Dundalk Garda station.

ACC Harris also handed over further intelligence, all of which he said had been ‘prepared and provided’ in consultation with MI5, the British Security Service. Mr Harris was at that time the PSNI’s point of contact with MI5.

Amongst that intelligence was a detailed claim that the local IRA in south Armagh had not wanted to kill Mr Oliver, even though he had allegedly admitted being a Garda agent.

The IRA in the south Armagh area would have been aware of strongly negative public reaction if he was killed. His death left seven children fatherless.

Seeking clemency for Mr Oliver, they approached the Army Council member hoping to get his support. But he over-ruled them and gave the order to kill the Cooley Peninsula farmer.

As the Smithwick report noted:

“Despite these requests the senior PAC (Provisional Army Council) member directed that OLIVER be executed.”

Judge Smithwick chose not to disclose the name of the IRA leader in his report but it is understood that his identity has been circulating in political, media and legal circles for some time.

The RUC chief handed over two pieces of intelligence to Judge Smithwick which said that Mr Oliver’s death had been ordered by the senior Army Council member.

Tom Oliver, a farmer from the Cooley peninsula in Co Louth, was married with seven children when the IRA abducted and then killed him. They claimed, on the basis of a phone call Mr Oliver made to an unknown Garda officer, which the IRA said it had recorded, that the farmer had been working for the police.

Claims were also made at the Smithwick Tribunal that a Garda officer based in Dundalk had betrayed Mr Oliver to the IRA.

Tom Oliver – his death left seven children without a father

The PSNI intelligence also contained a claim that both Sinn Fein and the IRA were worried that if the Tribunal continued to probe Garda collusion in the Breen and Buchanan killings then ‘specific detail regarding the murder of TOM OLIVER may be disclosed’.

The intelligence provided by ACC Harris came in the form of twenty strands of what was called ‘live and of the moment’ information, which had been collected, he told the Tribunal, “as a direct result of gathering intelligence on the activity of dissident Republican groups”.

The intelligence reports linking the IRA/SF figure to the order to kill Tom Oliver read as follows, according to the published Smithwick Tribunal report:

21.14.14 Strand 17:
“Intelligence indicates that a senior PIRA Army Council member was directly involved in ordering the murder of TOM OLIVER. The senior PIRA Army Council [“PAC”] member had been approached by several PIRA members and others requesting that TOM OLIVER not be killed. Despite these requests, the senior PAC member directed that OLIVER be executed.”

21.14.15 Strand 18:
“Further intelligence suggest that a senior PIRA figure sought direction and instruction from a senior PAC member in relation to the discovery of allegations of TOM OLIVER being an AGS [An Garda Siochana] informant. The senior PAC member subsequently ordered OLIVER to be executed.”

21.14.13 Strand 16:
“Sinn Fein/PIRA members remain concerned that the Smithwick Tribunal continues to disclose possible damaging information. Sinn Fein/PIRA members remain concerned that specific detail regarding the murder of TOM OLIVER may be disclosed.”

The following passage in the Tribunal report was written by Judge Smithwick:

21.14.16 “The name of the senior PIRA figure referred to in this intelligence was provided to me by Assistant Chief Constable Harris in writing during the course of his evidence to the Tribunal.”

Drew Harris – Sinn Fein opposed his promotion to PSNI Deputy Chief Constable

The bulk of the other fifteen or sixteen strands of the ‘live and of the moment’ intelligence dealt with the extent of collusion between the Provisional IRA in south Armagh and individual Gardai based in Dundalk and elsewhere in Co. Louth.

The value and accuracy of this ‘live and of the moment’ intelligence became a matter of some controversy during the Tribunal hearings, not least because ACC Harris refused to supply the raw data upon which the intelligence summaries were based.

Garda assessments of intelligence on the IRA which were handed over to Judge Smithwick were, in contrast, backed up by original reports and Garda Special Branch handlers were permitted to give evidence in person.

The then Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan called the PSNI information ‘nonsense upon stilts’, while Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Kirwan of the Crime and Security Division, complained about the way the PSNI intelligence was evaluated.

However in his assessment of Harris’ intelligence, Judge Smithwick said he had been ‘immensely impressed by his evidence’, adding that ‘the judgment call that I have made is to attach some – although not undue – weight to this intelligence.’

The IRA in South Armagh wanted to spare Tom Oliver but were over-ruled by Army Council member

Drew Harris was promoted to Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI in September 2014. Sinn Fein, which blamed Harris for ordering the arrest of Gerry Adams in 2014 over the disappearance and murder of Jean McConville, withdrew in protest from the PSNI selection process, which involves NI Assembly members.

His father, Alwyn Harris, a Superintendent in the RUC was killed in October 1989 when an IRA booby trap bomb attached to his car exploded outside his home in Lisburn, Co Antrim.

Speculation about what was kept secret in the Smithwick Tribunal report intensified following an interview given by Gerry Adams in 2015 to the RTE journalist, Miriam O’Callaghan.

The Irish Independent reported:

In the same interview, the Sinn Féin leader reacted angrily when it was suggested by presenter Miriam O’Callaghan that he was the “court of appeal” that sanctioned the murder.

Mr Adams denied the claim, describing the accusation as “reprehensible”.

 

HERE IS THE RELEVANT TEXT OF THE SMITHWICK REPORT, FROM CHAPTER 21:

21.11 – An Overview of the ’Live and of the Moment Intelligence’ Provided by the Northern Ireland Office

21.11.1 I now turn to consider the intelligence provided to the Tribunal by the Northern
Ireland Office from late Spring 2012 onwards.

21.11.2 An initial three strands of intelligence were put into evidence by Detective Chief
Superintendent Roy McComb in May 2012; a further five strands of intelligence were put into evidence by him in July 2012; and Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris put into evidence a further 12 strands of evidence, and gave global evidence in relation to all 20 strands, in September 2012. Assistant Chief Constable Harris had more knowledge of the intelligence than his colleague Detective Chief Superintendent McComb, and had, unlike Detective Chief Superintendent McComb, access to all the raw intelligence upon which the 20 précis were
based. An application was therefore made that Assistant Chief Constable Harris be permitted
to give this evidence initially in private session lest his answers stray into areas which could lead to the identification of sources. That evidence was ultimately read into the record of the Tribunal at a subsequent public sitting with minimal redactions which I determined to be in the interests of the protection of sources and/or the protection of British national security. I am satisfied that none of the redactions affected the essence of the evidence given by the Assistant Chief Constable.

21.11.3 Before setting out the individual stands, I propose to summarise some of Assistant Chief Constable Harris’s evidence regarding the background to and nature of this intelligence. I note at the outset that in his evidence, under cross – examination, Detective Chief Superintendent McComb indicated that a decision had been taken not to share this intelligence with the Tribunal earlier in time. Part of the reason why Assistant Chief
Constable Harris ultimately came to give evidence in respect of the final 12 strands was to correct and clarify this. It appears that Detective Chief Superintendent McComb was not fully familiar with the circumstances in which these précis of intelligence had come to be prepared and, probably somewhat unfairly, was handed the intelligence a short time before his appearance at the Tribunal and, in effect, asked simply to go to the Tribunal formally to prove the intelligence précis on behalf of the PSNI.

21.11.4 Assistant Chief Constable Harris is the Assistant Chief Constable of the PSNI with
responsibility for the Crime Operations Department. The ambit of this department includes organised crime, major investigation teams, Intelligence Branch, Special Operations Branch and Scientific Support Branch. He told me that he has overall responsibility for intelligence within the PSNI. In this capacity, he is also responsible for interface between the PSNI and the Security Service, the Security Service having primacy in respect of national security intelligence. He confirmed that the 20 précis of intelligence had been prepared and provided
to the Tribunal in consultation with the Security Service. He also explained that in Northern
Ireland, the police service has sole responsibility for covert operations and majority responsibility for managing covert human intelligence sources. As a result, a lot of the raw intelligence material comes through his department and he is responsible for its transmission to the Security Service.

21.11.5 Assistant Chief Constable Harris described these 20 strands of intelligence as “live and of the moment” information. He said that the information arose “as a direct result of gathering intelligence on the activity of dissident Republican groups”: “This was intelligence of the moment, and it is an extraordinary position, one which we haven’t been in before, where we have sought to share live intelligence, intelligence of the moment, with an ongoing public inquiry.”

21.11.6 He went on to explain that this presents unique challenges in terms of balancing the
desire to provide relevant information to an ongoing Tribunal of Inquiry on the one hand, and the need to protect sources, which is the paramount consideration, and not to jeopardise the current streams of intelligence which are of great benefit to the PSNI in addressing the very real threat from dissident Republicans. For these reasons, he was not prepared to put the précis of intelligence in a chronological order or to give information as to the date on which each of them was received. He said that all as he could say in this regard was that the
intelligence had been received in a period “much shorter” than the past seven years and that “other than for the work of the Tribunal, this wouldn’t have particularly been talked about.”

21.11.7 Assistant Chief Constable Harris confirmed that as a result of seeing some of the initial raw material behind some of this intelligence, he instigated further searches of the databases which resulted in other material being retrieved. Further material came to light as a result of separate searches altogether, these latter searches being totally unconnected to the work of the Tribunal. He was questioned closely as to why Detective Chief Superintendent McComb, when he gave evidence in May 2012 in relation to the initial three strands of
intelligence, said that the PSNI held no more intelligence relevant to the Terms of Reference
of the Tribunal. Assistant Chief Constable Harris said that some of the subsequent seventeen strands were received since May 2012, and the others existed as of that date but were only retrieved or processed in such a manner that they could be given to the Tribunal afterwards. Accordingly, Detective Chief Superintendent McComb was not aware of them.

21.11.8 Assistant Chief Constable Harris indicated that he was not in a position to give the individual grading in respect of each précis, but told me, emphasising that he himself had viewed the underlying raw intelligence, that all of this intelligence had been through a process of analysis within the PSNI and that he was happy to stand over all of the intelligence as being “accurate and reliable.” He said that the intelligence had been subject to analysis: “in terms of what the source might have been, what are the secondary sources in
behind that, how […] valid is their opinion or comment and actually just a view on the overall reliability of this, in effect, is this just idle gossip, circular reporting and something which we feel we would have doubts about.”

21.11.9 When asked to elaborate on the term “accurate and reliable” he stated: “we are convinced through further work that the information that’s conveyed to us has been accurately conveyed to us and it is reliable both in terms of the context of how it was obtained and the means by which it was obtained and from whom it was obtained as well. So, there is an element of judgment which is based on experience and hindsight in terms of previous reporting and also, then, an analysis of the actual
situation itself which arose in terms of providing the raw material.”

21.11.10 He emphasised, in using the term “source”, this should be accorded the widest possible meaning and included both human and technical sources. He also emphasised that there may be multiple strands of raw material making up a single one of the 20 strands of intelligence put into evidence before the Tribunal.

21.11.11 He was asked as to the possibility that some of the stands of intelligence were simply echoes of other strands, or echoes of evidence given to the Tribunal. He replied: “we are careful to avoid circular reporting in terms of how matters are expressed and going back into the raw material to make sure that, in effect, we are not getting an echo from, be it media reporting or other conversation in respect of the Tribunal, so that test has been applied.”

21.11.12 He also stated that:
“We are very conscious that we don’t want to bring material which is, in effect, will – o’ – the – wisp or is misleading or just which we have significant doubt in respect of. We wanted to be sure that we were bringing material which is of value to yourself.”

21.11.13 The Assistant Chief Constable said that he had formed the view that the information was not coming from mischievous or ill – informed sources. He also confirmed that the analysis included a process of ascertaining whether and to what extent the intelligence is corroborated by other information or intelligence that is known.

21.11.14 Assistant Chief Constable Harris indicated that the Tribunal would not be given access to the intelligence underlying these précis. As stated in the introductory chapter, this was a deviation from the normal practice whereby the PSNI allowed the Tribunal access to un – redacted intelligence so as to verify that the précis accurately reflected the essence of the intelligence. He explained that this new procedure had to be applied in respect of the “live and of the moment” intelligence: “Given the sensitivity of the information that is being provided, I think this is the prudent way of dealing with this and managing the risk that we are taking in providing the information.”

21.11.15 An Garda Síochána made a number of criticisms of the précis, the manner in which they had been produced and the fact that the intelligence underlying them was not being shared with either the Tribunal or An Garda Síochána. I propose to return to these criticisms after having dealt with 20 strands of intelligence.

21.12 – The Initial Three Strands of the “Live and of the Moment” Intelligence

21.12.1 Strand 1:
“The current Smithwick Tribunal has become a significant issue amongst leading republicans. In the course of the current Smithwick Tribunal, members of PIRA are concerned that individuals associated with PIRA’s testimony to the Tribunal will lead
to other material coming to light. By this, they mean information about past murders and leaks from An Garda Síochána (AGS). For these reasons members of PIRA are anxious that the Tribunal should complete its work as soon as possible. Key PIRA
members are aware that some of the testimony to the Tribunal is deliberately false and is intended to bring it to an early conclusion.”

21.12.2 Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Kirwan of An Garda Síochána indicated that he felt that this précis was open to the interpretation that the evidence which was intended to bring the Tribunal to an early conclusion, and which was known to PIRA members as being “deliberately false”, could be that of those alleging collusion. While the words have been crafted in such a way as to leave open, in theory at least, this possible interpretation, I do not share Chief Superintendent Kirwan’s view of it. It is difficult to see how any evidence tending to show collusion would bring the Tribunal to an early conclusion, unless it was so indisputable as to enable me to produce a short report confirming that there was overwhelming evidence of collusion. That has not occurred. A much more sensible interpretation seems to me to be that in providing a version of events outlining how this operation was mounted without collusion (dealt with in the next chapter), former personnel may have hoped that I might accept that version of events and come to a speedy conclusion that there was no collusion in these murders. The difficulties in relying on the wording of a précis are, however, acknowledged.

21.12.3 Strand 2:
“Since the 1970s a number of AGS and Republic of Ireland (ROI) Customs Officers have provided information to PIRA, particularly forewarning of searches and arrests. In this connection, Garda Hickey’s name has been mentioned as has that of [another Garda whose name has been redacted].

21.12.4 Strand 3:
“PIRA’s intention had been to kidnap Breen and Buchanan. The PIRA operation was planned and led by [redacted] and involved other members of South Armagh PIRA. [Redacted] was directly involved in the shooting attack on Breen and Buchanan’s car. At this time there was a major dispute amongst those directly involved as to how the attack was to be conducted.”

21.12.5 In relation to this strand, I would make one observation in respect of the final sentence. As is referred to in the next chapter, when former personnel of the Provisional IRA were asked in a face to face meeting with members of the Tribunal’s legal team why, if the intention had been to capture and interrogate the two officers, this did not occur, there seemed to be some discomfiture with this question and the former personnel requested a break in the
meeting. I now move on to the subsequent five strands of intelligence.

21.13 – The Subsequent Five Strands of the “Live and of the Moment” Intelligence

21.13.1 Strand 4:
“Intelligence relating to PIRA indicates that PIRA had received information regarding Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan from a Detective AGS officer who has not been publicly associated to the Smithwick Tribunal and that this individual had been paid a considerable amount of finance for the information.”

21.13.2 Strand 5:
“Intelligence indicates that this AGS officer also provided information in relation to Tom Oliver and continued to provide a variety of information to PIRA for a number of years. It is believed that this AGS officer is now retired. This AGS officer was
handled as a source by a senior member of PIRA.”

21.13.3 In respect of these two stands, I note that they are clearly intended to refer to the same Garda officer. In his evidence, Assistant Chief Constable Harris confirmed that the intelligence did not reveal the name of that officer.

21.13.4 Strand 6:
“Separate intelligence indicates that a senior AGS member in Dundalk provided the IRA with the intelligence that enabled PIRA to murder Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan.”

21.13.5 This strand stands separately from the previous two strands, and may well refer to a
different Garda officer.

21.13.6 Strand 7:
“Additional intelligence regarding the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Buchanan indicated that an AGS officer played a role in passing the details of the officers’ movements to the PIRA. Intelligence also exists to link a criminal from the
border area to their targeting.”

21.13.7 The comment in relation to the previous strand applies equally in this case.

21.13.8 Strand 8:
“Intelligence indicates that a former AGS officer, Jim Lane, who was based in Dundalk frequently expressed his concerns to associates that fellow AGS officers Finbarr Hickey and Leo Colton and Owen Corrigan had unethical relationships with PIRA members in the border area.”

21.13.9 This is a strand in respect of which the Tribunal was able to call direct evidence. In this regard, retired Detective Jim Lane was given an opportunity to comment on this précis of intelligence and stated: “I can truly say that the only conversation I had in relation to Finbarr Hickey, Leo
Colton and Owen Corrigan was what we would have discussed – with my colleagues and myself, we would have discussed the incidents that they were involved in. That would be quite natural, that we would have done that, because we were working together every single day […] they were colleagues of ours, and it would have been natural to discuss the incidents; namely the passport incident and the kidnapping of
Owen Corrigan. We would – it would be – even though I cannot remember any specific conversation I had about them, but it would be natural to say that we would have discussed those things among one another.”

21.13.10 Mr Lane also confirmed that he would have had “very rare” general conversations about what was happening at the Tribunal during the previous 12 months. He also confirmed that subsequent to Owen Corrigan’s kidnapping, he had visited him in hospital in a personal as opposed to a professional capacity, but he told me that he did not ask Owen Corrigan what had happened to him. He told me that there probably was speculation about what had
happened to Owen Corrigan around that time, but he did not remember the exact nature of that speculation. In his earlier evidence to the Tribunal, Mr Lane had already told me that he did not believe the allegation that Owen Corrigan was a mole, and had also said that he never had any suspicion or information that Finbarr Hickey had a connection with the ProvisionalIRA.

21.14 – The Subsequent 12 Strands of the “Live and of the Moment” Intelligence Finally, a further 12 strands of intelligence were put into evidence by Assistant Chief Constable Harris. These were:

21.14.1 Strand 9:
“PIRA traditionally obtained extremely good intelligence from Dundalk Garda station. When in PIRA, [name redacted] was involved in intelligence gathering operations and would have been aware of PIRA’s contact in the Garda.”

21.14.2 Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan stated in his evidence to me that the language used in this précis – “would have been aware” – was speculative.

21.14.3: Strand 10:
“KEVIN FULTON is understood to have received information regarding the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan from a PIRA member linked to a senior PIRA figure.”
21.14.4 Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan described this as “vague.”

21.14.5: Strand 11:
“In summer 2011, ‘Mooch’ Blair commented that he was not involved in the murders of RUC officers Breen and Buchanan as was claimed during the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin. Blair stated that he was actually engaged on a separate operation at the
time of the murders. Blair also confirmed that there was a Garda spy involved. This fact had been speculated during the Tribunal.”

21.14.6 The point was made by Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan of An Garda Síochána
that there seemed to have been no consideration taken by Assistant Chief Constable Harris of
the fact that this piece of intelligence was in direct contradiction to a piece of PSNI intelligence that indicated that Mooch Blair and ‘Hard Bap’ Hardy “would have been deeply involved in the murder” (March 1989 intelligence, referred to in Chapter 15). However, I do not think that this is strictly correct. This intelligence simply states that Mooch Blair is
reported to have “commented” that he was not involved in the murders; it does not state that
Mooch Blair was not involved in the murders. Mooch Blair may have commented that he was not involved, but have been involved in murders, and in this respect both pieces of intelligence could be correct.

21.14.7: Strand 12:
“During 2011, a senior PIRA Member confided to an associate their personal fears considering the ongoing Smithwick Tribunal, particularly that the AGS personnel that were previously under PIRA’s control would potentially highlight the level of co –
operation previously provided.

21.4.8 In relation to this strand, I note the reference to “AGS personnel” who “were” under PIRA’s control: this is clearly a reference made in the plural.

21.14.9: Strand 13:
“In late 2011, a senior PIRA member [whose name was given as P.J. O’Callaghan otherwise Patsy O’Callaghan] commented that to his knowledge, AGS Sergeant Owen Corrigan had no time for the IRA, but was a gangster who was out for money”

21.14.10 Strand 14:
“A senior PIRA figure had several AGS officers passing information to PIRA including officers of a more senior position than Owen Corrigan.”

21.14.11 Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan described this as an allegation that was very
serious to An Garda Síochána as it suggested collusion by multiple Gardaí. He criticised the
précis as being “extraordinarily vague.”

21.14.12 Strand 15:
“In relation to the murder of Lord Justice Gibson, a senior member of PIRA has since revealed that the information which led to the PIRA operation emanated from the Garda Síochána.”

21.14.13 Strand 16:
“Sinn Fein/PIRA members remain concerned that the Smithwick Tribunal continues to disclose possible damaging information. Sinn Fein/PIRA members remain concerned that specific detail regarding the murder of TOM OLIVER may be disclosed.”

21.14.14 Strand 17:
“Intelligence indicates that a senior PIRA Army Council member was directly involved in ordering the murder of TOM OLIVER. The senior PIRA Army Council [“PAC”] member had been approached by several PIRA members and others requesting that TOM OLIVER not be killed. Despite these requests, the senior PAC member directed that OLIVER be executed.”

21.14.15 Strand 18:
“Further intelligence suggest that a senior PIRA figure sought direction and instruction from a senior PAC member in relation to the discovery of allegations of TOM OLIVER being an AGS informant. The senior PAC member subsequently
ordered OLIVER to be executed.

21.14.16 The name of the senior PIRA figure referred to in this intelligence was provided to me by Assistant Chief Constable Harris in writing during the course of his evidence to the Tribunal.

21.14.17 Strand 19:
“Intelligence suggests that Owen Corrigan engaged in corrupt activity targeting criminals, and was motivated by greed. The intelligence also suggests that he did provide sensitive information to the PIRA and that he did so for reasons of self –
preservation.”

21.14.18 In relation to this strand of intelligence, Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan
suggested that the reference to Owen Corrigan providing information for self – preservation
ties in with the Garda intelligence received to the effect that when Owen Corrigan was abducted in December 1995, he was asked by his interrogators about people providing information to the Gardaí in Dundalk. I have already found as a fact that I do not accept that that was the purpose of the abduction and interrogation of Owen Corrigan. Also, I do not find Detective Chief Superintendent’s interpretation on this point persuasive. When the second
sentence is read in the full context of the strand as whole, it seems to me that a more obvious
interpretation is that by engaging in corrupt activity, he left himself vulnerable to exposure and, therefore, compromised in the sense that he may have had to provide information to avoid such exposure. I do of course, accept, however, that the précis are worded in such a way as not to be too specific, and this does create a difficulty in terms of being 100% certain of the intended meaning.

21.14.19 Strand 20:
“A senior PIRA member revealed that he was responsible for the murder of John McANULTY. Intelligence indicates that someone informed PIRA that McANULTY was meeting with RUC officers. The senior PIRA member was subsequently informed of the allegations and McANULTY was later murdered.”

21.15 – The Evidence of Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan in Relation to the ‘Live and of the Moment’ Intelligence Generally

21.15.1 While emphasising that there was “seamless co – operation” between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI in intelligence matters, Detective Chief Superintendent Peter Kirwan of An Garda Síochána, Crime and Security Division, was critical of the précis. He explained that in his approach to the processing of intelligence information, there are two phases: the evaluation phase and the analysis phase. He described the evaluation phase as: “the appraisal of an item of information in relation to the reliability of the source, taken in conjunction with the credibility of the information.” The latter aspect would seem to include the circumstances in which the information was provided. The analysis phase was described by Chief Superintendent Kirwan as the most important phase. He said: “it’s really examining the different strands of information which you have, examining for meaning, highlighting the essential features of it, integrating it with other strands and, hopefully, coming out the other end with a kind of a clearer picture.”

21.15.2 He placed emphasis, in this “analysis” phase, on cross – referencing the intelligence to see how it fits in with other information that the holder has. In essence, he believed that Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris’ evidence seems to suggest that there had been an over – reliance on the first “evaluation” phase and not sufficient cross – referencing of the
information against other information held. In this respect, he emphasised that the PSNI had produced no intelligence received in 1989 indicating that there was collusion, and that thiswas something that had to be taken into account seriously in assessing the credibility of thecurrent intelligence.

21.15.3 Equally, I must observe that very little of the intelligence received by the PSNI at the time of the deaths of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan can be said to rule out the possibility of collusion. There was the one report received by the RUC in March 1989, and referred to at section 21.4 above, to the effect that someone on legitimate business at the Garda station recognised the officer, but for the reasons already explained, I do not think this to be credible. Similar considerations apply in respect of the intelligence report received by An Garda Síochána in the final quarter of 1989 to the effect that a PIRA member had accidentally spotted the two RUC officers south of the border on 20th March 1989. Furthermore, as outlined in section 9.9 of this Report, I have seen no evidence from either
police service which justified the assertion, in then Commissioner Crowley’s report to the
Department of Justice of 18th April 1989, that there was: “a consensus in both forces that the RUC officers were targeted when leaving Armagh or en route and followed to Dundalk.”

21.15.4 An Garda Síochána did, however, within a few years of the murders, receive intelligence which indicated there was collusion, namely the three strands received from the same source suggesting collusion both in the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan and in those of the Gibsons. Chief Superintendent Kirwan himself
acknowledged that this intelligence came from “a reliable source” but qualified this by saying that the source was reliable “in a confined area of activity and in a specific geographic area.”

21.15.5 He also confirmed that there was no indication that An Garda Síochána had passed
those three strands of intelligence to the RUC at the time when they were received. This is an
important point, because in the early 1990s the investigations into the murders of Chief
Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan, which occurred within the jurisdiction
of Northern Ireland, would still have been very much live files.

21.15.6 To illustrate his belief that the PSNI had not carried out an adequate “comparable objective analysis of the information” available to it, Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan identified four strands of PSNI intelligence which he said were contradictory. In this regard, he compared two older pieces of intelligence, which had been received by the RUC, with two of the current strands of intelligence. The first he cited was the 1991 intelligence to the effect that: “an unknown female who worked in Dundalk Garda Station passed information to an
unknown Provisional IRA man.”

21.15.7 The second was the March 1989 intelligence that: “a person visiting Dundalk Garda Station on legitimate business recognised the RUC officers and passed details to the IRA.” The two items of the current intelligence he cited in comparison were: “an unknown Garda officer passed details of the RUC officers’ movements” and “a criminal from the border area was linked to the targeting of the RUC officers” (both, as far as I can make out, a reference to
strand no.7 above).

21.15.8 However, I do not think that all of these strands are necessarily as contradictory as the
Detective Chief Superintendent suggests. In particular, both of the current items in fact seem
to me to form part of the same strand (though I add that Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris did acknowledge that several strands of raw intelligence may make up a strand contained in précis form). A senior PIRA figure can be involved in the targeting of the RUC officers without this excluding the possibility of collusion. Indeed, it can almost be assumed that if a senior PIRA figure were targeting the RUC officers, he would use all of the resources at his disposal to do so and, if he had a source within Dundalk Garda Station, would employ this resource to assist him in his task. Therefore I do not see that these two elements are contradictory. In relation to the older intelligence, I have already expressed the view in
relation to both strands that there is no evidence to suggest that these are credible. In these
circumstances, one would be entitled to form the view that information received today is credible, notwithstanding that it contradicts information which one believed – wrongly, as it has turned out – to have been credible in 1989 or 1990. (I should add that an “unknown female” working in Dundalk Garda Station is not, in theory, incompatible with an “unknown Garda officer”, but if an officer is intended to convey a member at the rank of Sergeant or
above, I am not aware of any females of such rank in Dundalk in 1989).

21.16 – The Sharing of Intelligence Information between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI

21.16.1 Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan also raised the separate issue of the sharing of
intelligence. He said that he was happy that intelligence of this nature should be put into
evidence in public hearings of the Tribunal in précis form, but that it creates a difficulty both for the Tribunal and for An Garda Síochána:
“I am not unhappy with the précis at all. It serves the purpose that [is] prescribed for it. It serves the purpose of articulating, in a public forum, matters of great sensitivity. What I am unhappy about is that that would be seen as an appropriate format to share
information with me and my Department. It’s completely out of the norm. It leaves me at a complete disadvantage, or the people that work with me at a complete disadvantage, in trying to figure out what it means.”

21.16.2 Insofar as relates to the Tribunal, Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan said that there is a double difficulty for the Tribunal in that not only does it not get to see the underlying intelligence, but it is also deprived of the benefit of An Garda Síochána’s proper assessment of that intelligence.

21.16.3 It seems to me that there are two separate issues here which should not be conflated. The first is the sharing of information by the PSNI with An Garda Síochána for operational policing purposes. Some of the strands, in particular those which related to the murder of Tom Oliver which is an unsolved crime in this jurisdiction, were shared by the PSNI with An Garda Síochána. Drew Harris gave evidence that there was less urgency in the sharing of
historical intelligence. An Garda Síochána contend that they have a legitimate interest in investigating the allegation that there were, historically, several Garda officers in Dundalk colluding with the Provisional IRA. In this regard, I do, however, note that although An Garda Síochána was provided with the name of the second Garda officer referred to in Strand 3 above (along with Finbarr Hickey) in May 2012, when he was asked in April 2013 what
investigations had been conducted on receipt of this information, Detective Chief Superintendent Kirwan’s reply suggested to me that not a huge amount had been done.

21.16.4 This suggests to me that an element of An Garda Síochána’s complaint in fact arises from the entirely separate second issue, namely the provision and sharing of information to assist this Tribunal inquiring into historical events.

21.16.5 Ultimately the question of the sharing of operational intelligence is a matter between the
two police forces and, strictly speaking, not part of my terms of reference. However, anyone present at the Tribunal for the cross – examination of Assistant Chief Constable Harris by Counsel for the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, or that of Chief Superintendent Kirwan by Counsel for the PSNI, or for the final oral submission made on behalf of the Garda Commissioner, would be left in little doubt but that the co – operation between the forces might
not always be “seamless.” This is something which does not have a bearing on my analysis of the
central issue to be determined by this Tribunal, but it is something to which I shall return in my
recommendations.

21.17 – Assessment of the “Live and of the Moment” Intelligence

21.17.1 As regards the issue of how the Tribunal is to assess the current intelligence, this unquestionably places me in a difficult position. I do not have access to the underlying raw intelligence to verify for myself the circumstances in which this intelligence was provided. Undoubtedly, this would have been preferable, and it is something which I sought to achieve in discussions with the Northern Ireland Office, the Security Service and the PSNI.

21.17.2 I do have to recognise, however, that we find ourselves in a somewhat unique situation, in which the security agencies of one jurisdiction are sharing current intelligence with a public Tribunal of Inquiry sitting in another jurisdiction. I am told by Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris, under oath, that this intelligence had been properly processed such that he is happy to stand over the assertion that it is accurate and reliable, but that that is as far as he can go.

21.17.3 It has been suggested in a submission on behalf of the Garda Commissioner that this “of
the moment intelligence” is “nonsense upon stilts.” That is a serious accusation. It calls into question the good faith and competence of the PSNI officers who analysed this information and, in particular, of Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris who gave evidence that he is personally familiar with all of the underlying raw intelligence.

21.17.4 In the final analysis, I must make a judgment call. I must decide whether, as is urged upon me by some of the parties, to dismiss this intelligence from my mind altogether on the basis that it is a “nonsense upon stilts”, or to accept the bona fides of Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris, and to rely, to some degree, on his sworn evidence. In this respect, I have been immensely impressed by his evidence, not only in terms of his professional expertise and experience, but also by his explanation of the constraints under which he is operating, his concern for the
protection of life and the of preservation of peace, and his genuine desire to assist the Tribunal in
so far as he can. In these circumstances, the judgment call that I have made is to attach some –
although not undue – weight to this intelligence.

21.17.5 Insofar as it relates directly to the Tribunal’s of reference, the ”of the moment” intelligence gives an indication that there was collusion. In this respect, I think it is noteworthy that both police services have now, at separate times and from sources which they regard as reliable, received intelligence suggesting collusion in the deaths of Chief Superintendent Breen
and Superintendent Buchanan. In this jurisdiction, I have had the benefit of seeing the three original intelligence reports in question and have heard evidence from the Detective who handled the source. As stated in section 11.11 of this Report, on this basis I am satisfied that weight oughtto be attached to them.

21.17.6 The intelligence material is in no way conclusive or determinative of the issues before
me, but nor is it something which I can, in good conscience, ignore. It is an element to which I
believe regard must be had in my ultimate analysis, set out in Chapter 23, of the question of whether or not there was collusion.

Malachi O’Doherty’s Adams Book Reviewed

I was going to review this book myself but then I read John Manley’s article in The Irish News yesterday and realised my readers – at least those who cannot afford to penetrate that newspaper’s paywall – might enjoy a different though no less incisive view of Malachi O’Doherty’s world of Gerry Adams.

And when life is getting shorter there are always much better things to do.

Here’s my favorite bit:

…….there are plenty of O’Doherty’s peers happy to be quoted on the jacket, telling us how significant its contents are. “Illuminating”, “judicious” and even “Conradian” are among the adjectives applied. At times I was forced to ask myself whether we’d read the same book.

This Fintan O’Toole comment jumped out at me:

‘It’s much the best thing to be written about Adams.’

Maybe it’s time Fintan got out a bit more.

I read in The Belfast Telegraph this morning that O’Doherty had talked at his launch about how Gerry Adams had stopped the IRA from opening fire at British troops during rioting in Ballymurphy in 1970.

Somehow this was illustrative of his ambivalence towards violence. In fact it was a clever ploy to radicalise the ordinary five-eighth’s in Ballymurphy on the basis that nothing generates hatred for the State more effectively than the thwack of a baton. The story first appeared in A Secret History of the IRA nearly fifteen years ago.

I got the Kindle version, the main benefit from which is that I paid £6.00 less than the cost of the hardback.

 

Gerry Adams and friends…..

Book review: Lack of revelations means Gerry Adams biography ultimately disappoints

JOHN MANLEY
07 September, 2017 01:00

Gerry Adams: An Unauthorised Life by Malachi O’Doherty is out now, published by Faber and Faber

Book of the Week

GERRY ADAMS: AN UNAUTHORISED LIFE by Malachi O’Doherty, published in paperback by Faber and Faber, priced £14.99

THE name Gerry Adams provokes varied responses. At one extreme he’s seen as the driver of a long and bloody campaign of violence, while at the other he’s regarded in almost messianic terms, a freedom fighter turned peacemaker.

Whatever your take on the Sinn Féin president of 34 years and counting, it’s hard not to acknowledge that he’s an intriguing individual, a man of contrasts and contradictions. Depending on the occasion, the audience or the context, he can be warm and disarming or sinister and intimidating. His political career and personality warrant deep scrutiny, though too often the authors of such pieces are clouded by bias and a predetermined agenda.

In Gerry Adams An Unauthorised Life, Belfast-based writer/journalist Malachi O’Doherty explores his subject’s multifaceted character, charting the life of the former West Belfast MP from his childhood in Ballymurphy through to his quasi-statesman-like status.

It’s unfair to suggest O’Doherty has made a career critiquing Adams and the republican movement but it’s a regular theme in his writing, its cachet helped greatly by his Catholic, west Belfast background.

This book isn’t a polemic though the author’s obvious contempt for and resentment of the republican movement and its methods are never far from the surface.

And while it’s non-fiction, the early chapters rely heavily on O’Doherty’s imaginings and recollections of 1970s Belfast, alongside many of Gerry Adams’s own experiences, as recalled in his memoirs.

The effect is to give the narrative a rather twee, concocted tone that jars, given that the expectation is for something much more sober and factual.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of O’Doherty’s peers happy to be quoted on the jacket, telling us how significant its contents are. “Illuminating”, “judicious” and even “Conradian” are among the adjectives applied. At times I was forced to ask myself whether we’d read the same book.

An Unauthorised Life follows a chronological trajectory through the Troubles, Sinn Féin’s emergence as a political force and the development of the peace process. It improves as its subject’s life becomes more public and therefore there’s less reliance on conjecture but ultimately it disappoints.

A key theme is using interviews and secondary sources to help highlight the flaws in Adams’s personality and his inconsistent accounts of certain episodes. It draws on the experiences of a familiar bunch of justifiably aggrieved IRA victims and disgruntled former Provos, all of whose stories we have heard at least once before. The other main contributor is Gerry Adams himself, whose various books are cited in the notes scores of times.

Collectively, however, they offer no fresh insights into the Sinn Féin president’s psyche or conclusively answer whether he is/was in the IRA – though certainly the evidence presented here and elsewhere suggests yes. If new facts are unearthed, the author disguises them well or fails to substantiate them. His assertion that Adams is a millionaire, for instance, is dropped in casually without a single qualification.

Arguably many may regard the book’s most startling revelation to be the author’s claim that “Gregory Campbell is both intelligent and funny”.

John Manley

(John Manley is political correspondent of The Irish News

Gerry Adams Is Wrong – Sinn Fein Has Lots Of Information About Tom Oliver’s Killing……

Those of my readers with long memories – and time on this earth to match – will recall the controversy that erupted south of the Border in July 1991 when the IRA killed 37-year-old Co Louth farmer and father of seven children, Tom Oliver, claiming that he had been an informer for the Garda Special Branch.

It wasn’t just that southern political and public opinion saw nothing especially wrong in an Irish citizen assisting the Irish police, but it appeared from post-mortem evidence that Tom Oliver had been badly beaten and that his confession may have been tortured out of him. That went down badly; a beaten man will say anything to stop the pain. And, worst of all of course, seven children had been left fatherless.

A family member was quoted in one report as saying:

“Whoever they were, they thumped him and thumped him to get him to say what they wanted him to say. After the post-mortem a priest said it looked liked they’d dropped concrete blocks on every bone in his body.”

Subsequent reporting suggested that Tom Oliver’s death opened up deep fissures in the community on the Cooley peninsula where the family kept cattle; IRA sympathisers believed the informer charge while family friends and allies did not.

Recently the Gardai announced that they have re-opened the investigation into Tom Oliver’s murder but details are sparse. The police will say only that ‘fresh lines of inquiry’ have been been opened.

The announcement produced something that has become a ritual event  whenever an historic IRA killing returns to the headlines. A politician from one of the mainstream Dail parties, either FG or FF, calls on Gerry Adams to come clean, and Adams either denies all knowledge or avoids a direct answer.

This time it was Louth Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick who made the customary call on SF leader Gerry Adams to tell what he and Sinn Fein knew about the Oliver killing.

And Gerry Adams’ response was steeped in the same ritual:

‘Let me be very clear, Sinn Féin has no information about the murder of Tom Oliver.’

The gap between the two seemed unbridgable. Except in this case it is possible to deliver a judgement: Adams’ claim is just not true. The reality is that Sinn Fein has lots of information about the murder of Tom Oliver.

Gerry Adams and Tom Oliver. In the background is Ardee Garda station, where the new investigation into Oliver’s killing is based

In the weeks and months after the Tom Oliver killing, I had been doing some research on the quite separate killing of another, alleged IRA informer, who had also met his end at the hands of the IRA in south Armagh.

On the evening of July 26th, 199o, a week shorter than a year before Tom Oliver met his end, the body of thirty-year old Patrick Flood, a bomb-maker for the IRA in Derry city was found at the side of a country lane in Newtonhamilton, halfway between Armagh city and Crossmaglen, the capital of what the British media in those days liked to call IRA ‘Bandit country’.

A single shot to the back of the head had killed Flood, his arms had been tied behind his back and a garbage bag had been pulled over his head, the hallmarks of the execution by the IRA of an informer.

A tape-recording of Flood’s confession was later made available to a reporter from The New York Times, evidence the journalist, Kevin Toolis called ‘compelling’ in a lengthy piece for the Times‘ weekend magazine.

Patrick Flood

He wrote:

For the first time, they (the IRA) allowed an outsider to hear such a recording. (The voice on the hour long tape has been authenticated by a member of the Flood family.) It is a horrifying document, the voice of a man in mortal fear — knowing he is about to be shot. It is the voice of a man who betrayed his comrades not for money or ideology, but for love. “The police were always reminding me about my wife,” he told his interrogators, in a near sob. “They could bring her in at any time. They would break her like a plate. She would go down a long, long time. It was the really big hold they had over me. That really shattered me.”

Toolis also reported that the RUC, off the record, had confirmed the IRA’s charge. It seemed an open and shut case. The IRA had uncovered a well placed police agent in the ranks of the Derry Brigade and he had met the fate that all informers know they risk.

Except, in the autumn of 1991, I was hearing something very different about Patrick Flood, that he was not an informer at all, but had been killed to protect someone of great value and his confession was bogus. Was this true? Possibly, probably not, but worth a look.

In those days we did not know as much as we do now about Freddie Scappaticci, the senior IRA spycatcher who, with the codename Steak Knife, had arguably become Britain’s most valuable double agent deep inside the Provos’ ranks.

Amid the many as yet unproven but widely believed allegations leveled at Scappaticci’s British Army handlers is that on occasion they may have protected real informers by framing, and then turning a blind eye to the killing of innocent IRA activists, i.e. innocent of informing.

In such a way, ‘Fred’, as he was known to the British Army, would help the real informer to survive undetected and the whole panoply of British spies in the IRA would be kept intact.

Freddie Scappaticci

And perhaps it was just a coincidence that I had begun to hear conflicting claims about Patrick Flood’s guilt not long after Scappaticci’s IRA role had featured in the trial and imprisonment of Danny Morrison, the Sinn Fein and IRA spokesman.

Morrison was convicted (but some years later cleared) of involvement in the abduction of another suspected informer, Sandy Lynch who was being held in a west Belfast house where he was interrogated by ‘Scap’, as the spy was known to his IRA comrades. You can read Morrison’s version of that affair here.

During the Morrison trial, lurid evidence had been given about Scappaticci’s modus operandi. He had, for instance, threatened Lynch that he’d get him down to south Armagh to finish the interrogation; he’d feel a needle jab in his rear end and then wake up, trussed by his ankles to the rafters of a barn somewhere where no-one could hear his screams.

Had Tom Oliver suffered such a fate? And what of Patrick Flood? Had he made his confession after being tortured in this way by Scappaticci? Had he woken up in a south Armagh barn to find himself trapped in a nightmare beyond words?

And so, only dimly aware at that time of all the background to Scappaticci’s activity or importance, I decided that I would need to listen to or read Patrick Flood’s confession. And then we could see where the story led.

So I reached out to the Provos in Derry, Patrick Flood’s home town. Not to Martin McGuinness but to a senior Sinn Fein member, a man who would later play a prominent role both in the peace process and the Good Friday institutions, despite his sometimes embarrassing lack of an IRA curriculum vitae. It is an important part of the story that he was Sinn Fein only.

He said he would see what he could do.

I waited for a while, repeated my request and eventually I heard back from Sinn Fein’s press office in Belfast. If I turned up at a particular address at a certain time my request would be facilitated.

And so I duly appeared. The man who was to accompany me on this mission had replaced Danny Morrison as the main point of media contact for the Provos in Belfast. By this stage Morrison was a guest of Her Majesty at the Maze prison, following his conviction at the Sandy Lynch trial.

I knew my companion more by repute than through any meaningful contact, although our paths had crossed more than once. I won’t name him but I knew him to be fairly senior in the Provos, someone who had been in the H Blocks during the early stages of the protests for political status.

He was married to the daughter of a legendary IRA leader, someone who had been at the top or near the top of the organisation since the Provos’ foundation. I had also once seen him delivering documents to Gerry Adams in the SF centre at Sevastopol Street in the lower Falls.

I remembered the incident well because Adams had lost his temper with this character and subjected him to a torrent of abusive anger in front of his colleagues so violent that I actually felt sorry for him. I was seated out of Adams’ view during this eye-opening episode. It was evident from what I had seen that the SF official worked for and reported to the Sinn Fein president.

So I met the SF press person, he joined me on the passenger seat of my car, I pointed the vehicle towards the M1 and we headed to south Armagh. At Cullyhanna, I was directed into a side street and into the backseat of another car. A hood was slipped over my head and I was told to lie down.

I can’t remember how long the journey took or how many double-backs we made, except that it seemed endless. The hood stank of pig manure, which can resemble the stench of human vomit, and, most disconcerting of all, it had no eye-holes.

This was a garment fashioned not just to confuse an inquisitive journalist but to quieten a condemned man. All I could think was that the last person to wear this hood may have heaved his last not long after it was placed over his head, to be replaced at the last moment by a garbage bag.

Eventually we came to a stop. Still wearing the hood, I was half-assisted, half-carried into what I discovered was a near-derelict cottage. The hood was removed and I was helped into a chair.

On a chair beside me sat another journalist, a local reporter who was, let’s say,  renowned for his access to the local Provos; I won’t give his name to save him embarrassment.

Opposite us crouched two characters wearing khaki fatigues and balaclavas over their heads with slits cut at eye-level. Of the three, it was hard to say which was the most unwelcome sight.

It took but a few moments to realise I was the victim of a set-up. This meeting was not about Patrick Flood at all but Tom Oliver. I had been tricked into participating in a stunt designed get the Provos’ version of the murder of Tom Oliver into the media; my companion was chosen because he could get his story into the local Co Louth and south Armagh papers while I was clearly seen as the conduit for the Dublin audience.

At the time that Tom Oliver met his violent end the IRA had hinted that they had uncovered the alleged informer through electronic surveillance. Like most people, I assumed this meant that phones had been tapped, possibly police phones; something quite sophisticated. It had to be, this was the south Armagh IRA after all.

But the real explanation was laughable. Noticing that Tom Oliver made calls from the same phone box at the same time on certain days (presumably after putting him under surveillance), the IRA had secreted an ordinary tape recorder in the booth just before he was to turn up, pressed the record button and hoped for the best. This was, remember, in pre-Android days.

All the IRA had as a result was Oliver’s side of a conversation with his supposed Garda handler. They played a little bit of it to the pair of us but it was a very poor quality recording, all the more difficult to understand because of his country accent. But the IRA men would not make the tape available.

The IRA didn’t have any evidence that Oliver had spoken to a policeman, except that which was implied by the farmer’s side of the conversation. Oliver may have denied the accusation and how could the IRA prove he was lying? Was this why, according to his family, he was beaten; did he admit the charge only to stop the violence? Or was it true?

I was furious when we eventually left but I controlled myself on the journey home. Discretion is the better part of valor, as they say, particularly when you have a duplicitous Sinn Fein press officer as a passenger. To be honest I just wanted to see the back of him asap.

I was determined not to write this story; to do so would reward the worst sort of skullduggery. But this was a difficult time for me at The Sunday Tribune. I was at loggerheads with my editor, who just did not believe my pieces on the still infant peace process (like most of his counterparts in the Southern media in those early days), and I suspected, with reason, that he and others would prefer someone else in my job.

I was, for instance, having weekly rows with a news editor who insisted on knowing who my sources were for every story I filed. Normal practice in most newspapers is that writers are only asked to do this when there is a legal problem or its equivalent. I would refuse and there would be a shouting, or even screaming match. Episodes like these are often the prelude to a sacking.

So, if I imagined that I would tell the story of my sorry expedition to a sympathetic audience, I was to be disappointed. Just write the story, came the order. And so I did, as short as possible and trying as best I could to convey the sordid particulars.

My ruffled feathers are not, however, the reason for this post. It is clear to me, and I hope my readers, that Sinn Fein knew a great deal about the Tom Oliver killing. The senior person in Derry who initiated my excursion probably knew, the SF press office in Belfast certainly knew and so did the people to whom they reported and from whom they got instructions.

Sinn Fein most likely also knew who had interrogated Tom Oliver and who had pulled the trigger. Their chief press officer at the time had taken me to meet them, for goodness sake.

To give him his due, Danny Morrison sent me a message from Long Kesh expressing abhorrence at the way I had been treated. But from Gerry Adams there was not a word.

I do not know whether Gerry Adams was privy to all of this. It is theoretically possible that this all happened behind his back, or that he was away in another part of the country when the scheme was dreamed up.

But in my experience few things happened in Sinn Fein without his knowledge and approval. His press people answered to him, as they still do. Nonetheless I will not call him a liar.

But I would be astonished if he did not know the full background to that unfortunate farmer’s miserable ending or my humiliating expedition to south Armagh. And if he didn’t know it before I ventured into south Armagh, he certainly did afterwards.

As his colleague, the late John Kelly once said of Gerry Adams: ‘Not a sparrow falls from a tree but he does not know it.’ But one thing is clear: Sinn Fein knew a lot about Tom Oliver’s squalid end. To claim that they did not is a falsehood. To that I can attest.

How Trump’s Afghanistan Policy Is De-Stabilising The Indian Sub-Continent…..

Analysts predict that Washington’s policy of isolating Pakistan could push it closer to Russia, China, Turkey and Iran, and that this will only exacerbate matters, dooming to failure US efforts to help the Afghan government bring stability and peace to the region.

The Pakistani authorities have sprung into action to muster support and backing from regional powers. The country’s foreign minister is visiting China, Russia and Turkey this week, in pursuit of “regional consensus.” Both China and Russia have officially backed Pakistan in response to Washington’s allegations and lauded the country’s role in the war against terrorism.

“We would like to see effective and immediate US military efforts to eliminate sanctuaries of terrorists and miscreants on Afghan soil, including those responsible for fomenting terror in Pakistan”

Following Mr Trump’s suggestion of Pakistani culpability in the failures of American military adventures in Afghanistan, and its harboring of the “agents of chaos,” on August 21, Pakistan gave its first public response – following intense civil-military deliberations – three days later. The Prime Minister’s office said the Afghan war could not be fought in Pakistan, adding: “We would like to see effective and immediate US military efforts to eliminate sanctuaries of terrorists and miscreants on Afghan soil, including those responsible for fomenting terror in Pakistan.”

Simultaneously, Pakistan immediately delayed a planned visit to Washington by Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif. The US Ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale – who had earlier paid a courtesy call on Asif, on August 14 – conveyed to him the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s desire for a meeting to discuss the state of bilateral relations and Washington’s new South Asia policy. The invitation was accepted, but no date has been set. Meanwhile, Pakistan also postponed a scheduled visit from Alice Wells, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Despite media and public anger, Pakistan – in view of its precarious financial health – cannot risk annoying the US overly much. The US accounts for 16% of Pakistani exports, and the country’s current account deficit surged to US$12.12 billion in the fiscal year 2016/17, compared to US$4.86 billion in the preceding year.

While addressing the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) last week, the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Tariq Bajwa, termed the ballooning deficit the greatest challenge to the country’s economy, saying the bank was weighing up various measures – including currency depreciation – to improve its balance of payment position.

Pakistan will need foreign currency to service its bulging debts of over US$80 billion. Funds are running out and it may find itself running cap in hand to the IMF sooner rather than later before defaulting on debt-servicing liabilities.

Sean O’Callaghan And The Murder Of John Corcoran

If you have been following the coverage in Britain and Ireland of Sean O’Callaghan’s untimely death in a Caribbean swimming pool, you may have noticed two things. One was the many gushing tributes paid to the former IRA activist turned informer by friends in the Tory party’s neoconservative wing and their friends in Ireland (see here, here, and here); the other was the almost complete absence of any proper investigation of his part in the violent death of a fellow informer, John Corcoran from Co Cork.

If Corcoran’s death was mentioned at all, it was mostly in passing.

An old colleague from Sunday Tribune days, Michael Clifford has used his column in The Irish Examiner to give some balance to all that by subjecting O’Callaghan’s alleged role in killing Corcoran to some required scrutiny. In the process he has rubbed off some of the shine from the widely-accepted version of Sean O’Callaghan, the morally outraged convert to non-violence.

Another conclusion from his article? That it is very possible that the Gardai Special Branch, and by extension the Irish Department of Justice – i.e. the Irish government – colluded in Corcoran’s murder, either before or after the fact, on the basis that the Corkman was a minnow in the world of double agents and therefore expendable, whereas O’Callaghan was an item of considerable value whose life should be preserved.

Here is his piece:

MICHAEL CLIFFORD: Informer took murder secrets to grave

Seán O’Callaghan was never brought to account for the murder of John Corcoran, most likely because the State may well have found itself in the dock beside him, says Michael Clifford

IT WAS a mundane end to a lonely life. If Sean O’Callaghan had drowned 20 or even 10 years ago, as he did in Jamaica last Wednesday, it would have been highly suspicious. Murder would have been suspected. He had many enemies within the so-called republican movement as a result of his status as a high-profile informer in the IRA.

Life has moved on. The republican movement, as it then was, is now simply Sinn Féin the political party, and O’Callaghan was an occasional irritant in the party’s project to rewrite the history of the Northern Troubles. His testimonies of the sectarianism, the wanton criminality, the expedient killing, all gave lie to the bright shining image of selfless freedom fighters protecting their families.

But the Tralee man also had major credibility problems. He claimed he began informing after becoming disillusioned about the celebrations among Northern comrades following the murder of a female UDR soldier in the North in the late 1970s.

Maybe so. However, there could well have been a more base reason.

Over the years, I’ve spoken to a number of retired gardaí who worked in State security during the Troubles.

What always amazed me was the trivial reasons for which some IRA personnel turned informer. In one case, it was as a result of being stopped while driving without insurance. Another involved a threat to tell a man’s wife about his affair.

“Once you got them to start talking on the smallest thing, that was it,” one former garda told me. “There was no going back for them after that. You had them.”

Maybe O’Callaghan’s decision to inform was based on moral principles, maybe not. It is widely accepted that he informed on the 1985 importation of arms aboard the trawler Marita Ann, for which his former colleague and current Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris was convicted.

That same year, O’Callaghan had a role — the extent of which he had given conflicting accounts about — in the murder of Corkman John Corcoran.

This crime has never been properly investigated, and there is a strong case that it involved collusion by the State.

Mr Corcoran, a native of Togher in Cork City, was a low-level IRA operative who had been giving information to the gardaí about the organisation’s activities in Cork.

His comrades began to suspect him following a few successes by the gardaí in uncovering arms.

O’Callaghan has claimed he warned his handler that Mr Corcoran was under suspicion and his life in danger. A few years ago, in researching Mr Corcoran’s murder, I was told by sources who worked in State security in the 1980s that warnings had been given to Garda HQ that Mr Corcoran was in danger from people other than O’Callaghan.

Vincent Browne wrote extensively about this matter in the late ‘90s, citing separate sources with similar claims.

There is a plausible theory that these warnings were ignored on the basis that O’Callaghan was the more valuable informer and if Mr Corcoran was rescued by the gardaí, then O’Callaghan might come under suspicion. Or, to put it more bluntly, Mr Corcoran’s life was sacrificed in order to preserve the flow of information from O’Callaghan.

John Corcoran’s body was discovered in a sleeping bag on the side of a road outside Ballincollig on March 23, 1985. The IRA claimed responsibility for the murder.

O’Callaghan left the country later that year and, in 1988, walked into a police station in England and admitted to earlier crimes, including two murders in the North.

He was sentenced to life in prison but released under licence in 1996.

On three occasions in the 1990s, he admitted to journalists that he had personally shot Mr Corcoran dead at a farm in Co Kerry, following an interrogation and confession.

Here’s what he told Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe while in prison in 1994.

“I took the mask off him. It was just the most pathetic sight. To the very end, I was hoping the guards would come through the door, just take Corcoran and his wife away somewhere, give them a new life, a new identity.”

Then, convinced he had to do it, O’Callaghan walked over and shot Mr Corcoran in the head, he told the Boston Globe.

He gave similar accounts to Ger Colleran of The Kerryman and the Sunday Times’ Liam Clarke.

Later, he repudiated these admissions on the implausible basis that he only made it up to force the gardaí to properly investigate Mr Corcoran’s murder.

He was right about one thing — the gardaí appear to have had little interest in investigating the murder. A source close to the investigation told me that Mr Corcoran’s Garda handler wasn’t even interviewed.

In 1998, in rply to a parliamentary question from Dick Spring about the murder investigation, then justice minister John O’Donoghue revealed that in late 1988 “a Garda investigation file was forwarded to the director of public prosecutions with a view to prosecuting the person involved (O’Callaghan) in Northern Ireland under the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act”. O’Callaghan was then in custody in the North.

The reply went on to state: “This aspect was subsequently overtaken by events when the person was convicted on a charge of murder in Northern Ireland and received two life sentences there.” Yet, when O’Callaghan was released in 1996, there was no effort by the gardaí to interview him or pursue a prosecution for murder. It was as if they preferred that the whole thing would simply go away in case it might throw up some unpalatable truths.

In all probability, O’Callaghan did shoot Mr Corcoran dead. He was never brought to account for that, most likely because the State may well have found itself in the dock beside him.

O’Callaghan’s untimely death, at 62,
ensures he will never be a witness to a truth and reconciliation body, should one ever be established. It might reasonably be suggested that his relationship with the truth was highly tenuous anyway, but he certainly had some insight into the IRA’s operation in the Republic. It is also the case that the information he passed to the gardaí did, in all likelihood, save lives.

Sinn Féin claims these days that it wants all the truth from the past to be laid out in order to facilitate proper reconciliation. These claims have little credibility when one considers the potential political fall-out for Sinn Féin if the real truth about how the war was fought did emerge. Equally, the British government has plenty it would rather remain buried in the past.

The whole murky business surrounding the death of John Corcoran shows that the Irish State also has its own secrets that few in Government Buildings would ever want dug up. For those fearful of the past’s capacity to embarrass, O’Callaghan remained something of a loose thread. Now he has taken his secrets to the grave.