03/03/2006

Tribunal to investigate murders of RUC officers

A tribunal to investigate the murders of two senior RUC officers will be opened today in Dublin, 17-years after the incident occurred.

Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Robert Buchanan died during an IRA ambush in March 1989, shot as they returned from a meeting with senior gardai in Dundalk.

The Smithwick Tribunal, headed by retired District Court Judge Peter Smithwick, will carry out investigations into claims that a member of the gardai tipped the IRA off to the route the two RUC officers planned to take on their journey home.

Judge Smithwick will officially open the tribunal today, with the hearings being held over the coming weeks.

Retired Canadian Judge, Peter Cory, previously investigated the murders, and it was his recommendation that a public inquiry be carried out.

Judge Cory presented a report on the killings to the British and Irish governments in 2003 suggesting that the alleged collusion between the IRA and gardai officials should be investigated further.

(EF/SP)

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