An ex-British Army spy claims he is being refused the opportunity to give evidence at the Swithwick Tribunal in Dublin concerning alleged collusion between the IRA and the Irish police force (Gardai).

Ian Hurst was in court in Britain yesterday to address the ongoing Leveson Inquiry, concerning how Rupert Murdoch's News of the World hacked into his phone, when he made the shocking allegation. Hurt also claimed that Dublin was the headquarters for News Internationals IRA phone hacking activities.

Hurst reportedly alleges that News International journalists used a former army colleague of his to find out what Hurst knew about Martin McGuinness's role in the IRA as well as details about Freddie 'Stakeknife' Scappaticci, the longtime double agent who passed critical information about the Provos movements to British authorities.

Hurst added that he wanted to give evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin, currently investigating how the IRA killed top RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan in 1989.

The Swithwick inquiry was set up to investigate allegations that a mole in the Irish police force provided the IRA with sensitive information to target the two police officers for assassination.


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Hurst claims he was told he could not deliver his evidence in front of the media or public.

Hurst told the Herald yesterday he believes the inquiry's refusal to let his testimony be heard in public is intended to protect senior figures in the Northern peace process.

Hurst claims he has evidence of Stakeknife's role in the Breen/Buchanan killing and that the murder plot was known to high-ranking members of the IRA and Sinn Fein.

In Dublin the Smithwick Tribunal moved to the Special Criminal Court yesterday to hear evidence from the Real IRA founder Michael McKevitt, who is not subject to Hurst's restrictions.