Date set for tribunal probing IRA ambush of RUC officers

THE tribunal investigating the murder of two senior RUC officers in 1989 will commence its first public sittings in early March.

The Smithwick Tribunal yesterday placed advertisements in newspapers asking potential witnesses to contact it.

The inquiry will examine suggestions that members of the Garda Síochána or other State employees colluded in the fatal shooting of RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and his colleague, Superintendent Robert Buchanan. Both were killed in an IRA ambush near the border between Louth and South Armagh on March 20, 1989, as they returned from a meeting with senior gardaí in Dundalk. The IRA unit which carried out the murders was aware of the route the two men took. Allegations of collusion have been made by at least two journalists.

This case was one of six collusion cases investigated by retired Canadian judge Peter Cory arising out of inter-governmental talks in Weston Park in 2003. He recommended a full inquiry.

The sole member of the tribunal is Judge Peter Smithwick the retired President of the District Court.

Hearings will begin in the King’s Inns in Dublin on March 3.

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