29 January 2006

FRU man prepared to out rogue cops

Sunday Life

Ex-Army officer says he can prove Garda/IRA contact

29 January 2006

A FORMER Army intelligence officer says he can prove allegations that a Garda officer was in regular contact with the IRA and passed sensitive information to the terrorists.

Martin Ingram says that, if he is allowed to assist the inquiry set up to investigate the murders of two senior RUC officers, he will corroborate the evidence of former IRA man 'Kevin Fulton', who claims he saw the former Garda officer meet with a senior figure in the organisation.

Justice Peter Smithwick is making preliminary arrangements for the inquiry into the 1989 murder of Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan as they returned from a meeting at Dundalk Garda station.

Fulton told Canadian judge Peter Cory that he met the Garda officer when he travelled to a border location in the late 1980s with a senior IRA commander.

Fulton told the judge: "On one occasion in the late 1980s, I was with my senior IRA commander and another individual in my car. I knew the other individual to be Garda B.

"I was introduced to Garda B. I knew that Garda B, who was stationed at Dundalk, was passing information to the Provisional IRA."

Fulton said that, after the Breen and Buchanan murders, another IRA man told his senior commander that Garda B had phoned the IRA to tell them that the officers were at the Dundalk station.

Ingram, who served as an intelligence officer with the Force Research Unit (FRU) from 1980 to 1984 and from 1987 to 1991, is currently gagged by the Ministry of Defence.

But the co-writer of Stakeknife: Britain's Secret Agents in Ireland, told Sunday Life that, if Justice Smithwick felt his testimony was important to his inquiry, he would be prepared to give evidence - provided his legal difficulties with the MoD were overcome.

He said: "As a soldier, I was aware of a number of gardai who assisted the military and the RUC to check car numbers or addresses of terrorists living in the Republic and I have no intention of naming or identifying those officers. They helped in the fight against terrorism and saved lives.

"But there were a few gardai who worked for the other side, who I have no qualms about exposing and I became aware that Garda B was helping the IRA.

"I know that, because I saw intelligence documents about this garda.

"Freddie Scappatticci was meeting him regularly, because Freddie was both the second-in-command of the IRA's internal security unit and also a member of the organisation's general headquarters staff and liaised with Garda B to discuss more general matters.

"I will never divulge details of Garda officers who provided information to thwart terrorists and save lives, but I am fully prepared to out rogue police officers like Garda B and I can corroborate what Kevin Fulton says about this officer's contacts with the Provisional IRA."

Justice Smithwick recently met DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson in his Lagan Valley constituency to update him about the preparations for his inquiry.

The MP met the families of the two murdered officers earlier this month to brief them of the judge's plans.

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