Tag Archives: Smithwick tribunal

The Charleton Report

As possibly the only journalist in Ireland to have covered two Garda tribunals of inquiry in their entirety, I should probably say a few words about what will probably come to be known in shorthand as the Charleton Tribunal. For starters, although I’d be glad to do so, it’s deeply unlikely I will cover a third Garda inquiry. The Morris and Smithwick tribunals &em; Morris in particular &em; occurred under… Read Article →

Statement from the family of the late Bob Buchanan

The family of the late Superintendent Bob Buchanan, acknowledges that the Tribunal of Inquiry, chaired by Judge Peter Smithwick in Dublin, is endeavouring to obtain the truth in relation to the events of 20th March 1989 and the possible collusion by members of An Garda Siochana and members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army. However, without the attendance of all witnesses who can provide assistance to ensure the Tribunal can… Read Article →

Light relief

The schedule at the Smithwick tribunal is predictable; two hours of evidence from 11am to 1pm, and two more from 2pm to 4pm. Today, the schedule was out of kilter. The morning witness finished early, so the tribunal broke for lunch at 12.30pm. That meant they were returned 30 minutes early at 1.30pm. The first afternoon witness didn’t take too long, then Kevin Myers took the stand. You can read… Read Article →

Missing witnesses

On 7 June 2011, the Smithwick tribunal outlined 214 witnesses they planned to call to give evidence: 107 serving and former gardaí, 42 serving and former RUC/PSNI officers, and 65 civilians. Meanwhile, an exchange of letters between tribunal chairman Peter Smithwick and justice minister Alan Shatter was published. In brief, Shatter wanted the tribunal to finish as quickly as possible, Smithwick objected. In a 27 May letter, Smithwick worried “the… Read Article →

Behind closed doors

All Ms O’Sullivan knew was the name of the witness. She had no idea what the witness statement contained, and so no idea if what the witness might say in evidence was relevant to her client. So could she please hear the evidence? Just in case something had to be challenged to defend her client’s reputation. It couldn’t possibly have anything to so with your client, Peter Smithwick told her…. Read Article →

Naming names

So it turns out, Tom Connolly didn’t have the name of a new Garda mole. His announcement of “unease” in Dundalk Garda station came as a surprise to the Smithwick tribunal. Fair play demands that everyone has the chance to confront an accuser, so the tribunal didn’t purse the question at the time. They later took a statement from Connolly, so that lawyers could prepared for cross-examination. Last Wednesday, Connolly… Read Article →

What they didn’t say

Sometimes, it’s the questions they don’t ask. Retired superintendent Tom Connolly told the Smithwick tribunal today about his time in Dundalk, and the day two RUC officers where killed in an IRA ambush returning from the station where he worked. Days later, press reports suggested a Garda “mole” fed information to the IRA. Tribunal barrister Justin Dillon asked had Connolly heard those rumours? “I did,” he answered bluntly. “I’d say… Read Article →

Ink and the law

The Smithwick tribunal will not provide overnight transcripts to lawyers because it will cost too much, tribunal chairman Peter Smithwick ruled today. Last month, 200 Words reported Smithwick’s decision not to publish daily transcripts, and the protests that followed from several legal teams. Today, having considered their arguments, Smithwick confirmed his earlier decision. He said the lawyers had argued they could not always attend every sitting of the tribunal, and… Read Article →

Justice…shall be administered in public

Overnight transcripts from the Smithwick tribunal may not be made available to the public or to the various legal teams granted representation at the inquiry into alleged Garda collusion with the Provisional IRA. “The transcripts will not be put on the internet,” counsel for the tribunal said at today’s brief public hearing. They would also not be available to his legal colleagues, he added. Legal teams for other parties at… Read Article →