Leading unionist refuses to back down on IRA police informer claim
Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson has refused to withdraw allegations that a member of Dundalk police conspired with the IRA in the 1989 murder of two RUC officers, reports the Irish Times.
Donaldson said he had named now retired Det Sgy Owen Corrigan in the House of Commons in 2000 to bring the allegations into the public domain and have it investigated by an independent tribunal. He also said he declined an offer from Jim O'Callaghan, SC for Corrigan, to repeat the claims "outside the building."
O'Callaghan told Donaldson that he only had the word of double agent Kevin Fulton, also known as Peter Keeley, that Corrigan had conspired with the IRA. He also said Fulton had been described as a "fantasist," a "Walter Mitty" and an "intelligence nuisance" by several witnessess.
He told Donaldson that in 60 days of tribunal hearings the only evidence of collusion between Corrigan and the IRA had related to an alleged meeting in a car park described by Fulton.
O’Callaghan said the timing for the meeting could only have happened after Corrigan was retired from the force, initially on sick leave, and, therefore, the allegation was “impossible."
Donaldson responded that Corrigan could have supplied intelligence to the IRA after he left the police about things he learned while an active member of the force.
He also said that while Fulton had been the only source to name Corrigan, “many people in political circles” had discussed the possibility of a mole in Dundalk Garda station, as had journalist Toby Harnden in his book 'Bandit Country.'
He said he had consulted a senior member of the security services on whether Fulton “was who he said he was” in relation to being a British agent in the IRA and this had been confirmed.
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