McKevitt says no IRA contact inside Gardaí

Smithwick tribunal

Dissident republican Michael McKevitt has told the Smithwick tribunal he had no contacts inside An Garda Siochana passing him information.

The Real IRA leader said he did not have a “friendly garda” who warned him before a search of his home looking for a false passport in January 1990.

“Nobody tipped me off,” he told the inquiry during a brief hearing lasting less than 15 minutes.

“I don’t recall getting any phone call like that ever,” McKevitt said.

The tribunal is looking at allegations that information leaked from Dundalk garda station led to the deaths of two senior RUC officers as they returned from a cross-border security meeting on 20 March 1989.

McKevitt was granted limited representation before the tribunal before his evidence, which was heard in the Special Criminal Court.

McKevitt was questioned about a search which took place on 27 January 1990, when Gardai were looking for a false passport.

Nothing was found during the search, and earlier this year retired detective inspector Dan Prenty told the tribunal he believed that there was a leak before the search.

The warrant was issued by chief superintendent Myles Hawkshaw at 11pm the night before the search, which took place at 7am.

“I’ll be honest with you, ” McKevitt told tribunal barrister Ms Mary Laferty SC, “over the years I remember the house being searched, but I couldn’t say about 1990.”

“Any time I was searched there was never a search that we were told was for a passport.”

“I can be very clear that I was never told there was a search in the house for a passport.”

“I was not told. I would remember that.”

“If you had would you be telling me?” Ms Laverty asked.

“I’d probably have to, I’m here under oath,” McKevitt replied.

“Searches were carried out but there was never any false passport to find in the first place,” he added.

The tribunal resumes tomorrow [Tuesday 29 November].