Agent’s lawyer charges ‘mask slipped’ when Garda spoke of ‘Brits’

Smithwick tribunal

A lawyer for a former British agent said the “mask slipped” when a retired garda detective sergeant accused of collusion referred to British authorities as “the Brits” at the Smithwick tribunal.Photo: Smithwick tribunal of inquiry

“What you’re doing by blaming the big bad Brits, you’re playing the Green card,” Mr Neil Rafferty told retired sergeant Mr Owen Corrigan. Mr Rafferty represents former British agent “Peter Keeley”, also known as Kevin Fulton.

Mr Corrigan rejected this suggestion.

Asked why he was giving evidence to a tribunal, Mr Corrigan said it was because of Keeley, “an employee of the British Army, an agent of the British Army who was sent on instructions to Judge Cory.”

A report by Canadian judge Peter Cory recommended a tribunal of inquiry into allegations of Garda collusion in the deaths ofRUC officers chief superintendent Harry Breen and superintendent Bob Buchanan, citing evidence from Mr Keeley. Mr Corrigan has described the allegations as “shameful, monstrous, and a terrible lie”.

“This was all planned, this all came from Mr Fulton’s employers,” Mr Corrigan said.

And he said Keeley “made a carer out of telling lies”, and “will say, do or write anything for money”.

Mr Corrigan also said that allegations of Garda collusion were “created by journalists”.

And he said that author of “Bandit Country”, journalist Toby Harnden, “offered the ultimate insult to the chairman of this tribunal and decided not to attend, so I don’t think we can give much credibility to that individual.”

And he said Mr Harnden was “a typical Daily Telegraph reporter ensconced over here in Northern Ireland.”

He said he could not recall what he was doing on the day the two RUC men were murdered, as it was an ordinary day and he did not have any special duties. He said he believed he was in Dundalk garda station when he heard the news of the fatal ambush.

Mr Corrigan also rejected allegations from Mr Keeley that he was an agent working for the IRA, and that his handler was Belfast Republican Mr Freddy Scappaticci.

“I never met Mr Scappaticci, I don’t know him from Adam,” he said.

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