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 I was aware of it possibly before I went to Dundalk,” he explained. “Certainly when I arrived in Dundalk. I was told by some sources there was unease about a certain individual.
As a journalist, my next question would be: “Which individual?”
Instead, Dillon said the tribunal would return to the topic on “another day”.
Later, chairman Peter Smithwick said the tribunal might need Connolly’s help again “at a later stage”.
Three former gardai have been identified as possible moles. All deny the allegation vehemently, and have lawyers at the tribunal defending their reputations.
The rules of evidence say you shouldn’t make accusations against someone not there to defend themselves.
So does the tribunal know of a fourth alleged mole, someone who’s name is not yet in the public domain?
UPDATE: See new post on Naming Names.