Deafening Silence on Republican Collusion
This week new evidence emerged during the Smithwick Tribunal showing that rather than three Gardai officers passing on information to the IRA in the 1980’s there was actually four—and this one was a high ranking Gardai also based in Dundalk just like the others.
The ongoing inquiry has already learned that Finbar Hickey, Leo Colton and Owen Corrigan had conspired with the Provisionals and supplied information that led to the ambush and shooting dead in Jonesborough, County Armagh of two RUC detectives in 1989—Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan. The evidence comes from a number of different sources including a former Gardai detective now retired. The same detective also supplied information on the abduction, brutal torture and subsequent murder of Tom Oliver, a County Louth farmer in 1991. Mr. Oliver was of course a Gardai informer who had been taped by the IRA giving information to his handler. Given that for a large number of years now we—the general public—have been force fed a diet of republican propaganda about the amount of collusion between loyalist and security forces isn’t it strange that there hasn’t been a single utterance from the Provisional/Sinn Fein movement on the increasing number of proven instances of republican/security force interaction? Nor will there be. For as long as I can remember, sectarianism in this country was a one way street only. When Protestants were attacked by Catholics it wasn’t deemed to be sectarian in nature—but when it was—sorry, is—we got it from all angles. The collusion issue is exactly the same. No other name has been suggested for the practice of nationalists or republicans colluding with security forces from whatever country they choose. Again, the term only applies to loyalists. An invention by the Provisional/Sinn Fein machine to harden the image already created of the good guy/bad guy scenario in relation to the conflict here. It isn’t hard to work out which community is perceived as the bad guys. As in the case of Stakenife—Freddie Scappiticci—the silence from the Sinn Fein camp was deafening. Here was a man who—whilst holding a very senior rank within the Provisional IRA—and the leading light, ironically in the squad who looked after internal discipline, including sussing out informers—done over thirty Catholics to their death supposedly in collusion with Army Intelligence and yet it is disregarded by the party. So any thoughts of a statement or even whisper about more of the same are highly unlikely. This of course falls right into line with their overall strategy of tarring individuals or organisations with one brush while in the background—behind the scenes in fact–laying it on thick with their own pitch covered brooms.