Sunday Business Post

Murdered RUC officer in collusion claim

21/12/03 00:00
By Paul T Colgan

RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, who was killed by the IRA in 1989, may have been compromised by gardai when they learned he colluded with loyalist killers, according to security analysts.

Canadian Judge Peter Cory, who has recommended a public inquiry into the killing of Breen and his colleague, Bob Buchanan, appears to have overlooked specific allegations made against Breen linking him to loyalist paramilitaries and attacks made in the Republic during the 1970s.

Breen was named in a 1999 affidavit by former colleague RUC officer JohnWeir as having assisted him in the procurement of home-made submachine guns for loyalists.

The weapons were produced by an organisation known as Down Orange Welfare and were thought to have been used in attacks on nationalists in the north and on southern targets.

Weir's evidence was cited in last week's Barron Report into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Barron described him as "credible" and said he "came over as someone with considerable knowledge of the events which were taking place in the areas where he was stationed".

Barron's report referred to Weir's statement regarding Breen, though it did not name Breen.

Weir was jailed in 1977 for the murder of a Catholic grocer and later went on to reveal that RUC officers routinely took part in loyalist attacks on both sides of the border.

Breen made numerous visits to Dundalk Garda station in the 1980s to liaise with special branch officers about paramilitary activity in the region. He and Buchanan were assassinated by the IRAin 1989 while travelling north after such a meeting. He was the most senior RUC officer to be killed during the troubles.

Judge Cory found that the RUC and Garda had intelligence documents which, if proven accurate, would point to collusion between members of the Garda and the IRA in the killings.

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