Adams rejects RUC pair deaths claim

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said it is nonsense to suggest he blamed two of the most senior RUC officers killed by the IRA for their own deaths.

The republican leader said those who attack him are at odds with the Smithwick report, which raised concerns about the security arrangements in place for Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan.

Politicians on all sides in Dublin and Belfast reacted in disbelief after Mr Adams yesterday said the men effectively drove themselves to their own death.

Mr Adams claimed his comments reflect what was recorded by Judge Peter Smithwick at the end of an eight-year investigation.

“So those who attack me are at odds with what is contained in the Smithwick report,” he said.

“It is nonsense to suggest that I was blaming the two RUC officers for their own deaths.

“Everyone knows the IRA was responsible. That was never in question.”

The tribunal found an unidentified IRA mole in the Garda station in Dundalk tipped off a terrorist hit squad that the men were attending a meeting in the town on the day of the murders, March 20 1989.

Mr Adams said the Smithwick report also recorded concerns about the security arrangements for RUC officers travelling to Dundalk through South Armagh.

“These include the fact that information about possible IRA attacks on RUC officers crossing the border was passed to Garda Headquarters and passed by it to the RUC,” he said.

“It is a fact that RUC officer Bob Buchanan was crossing the border on average ten times each month and on most occasions he travelled in his own car which was ’readily identifiable’.”

Mr Adams said he is conscious that at the heart of this issue are two bereaved families.

“I did not need reminded of this by any of my political opponents and I am concerned, as I was during the Newstalk interview, not to say anything which detracts from that or which causes any further hurt,” he said.

“That was never my intention.”

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