Today, the Dail voted to accept a proposal to impose a deadline for the completion of The Smithwick Inquiry into the murder of 2 senior RUC Officers. Chief Superintendent Harry Breen & Superintendent Bob Buchanan who were ambushed and shot by the IRA as they travelled back from a meeting with Gardai in Dundalk in 1989. The Inquiry was called to investigate allegations of collusion in the murder between the IRA and officers of An Garda Siochana.
To impose such a tight deadline is, quite frankly, ridiculous and makes the whole exercise pointless. There is a wealth of evidence to examine and even if resources were made available, which they haven't been, the evidence requires a concentrated eye to ensure that nothing is missed. When the priority is a deadline and not accuracy, things will be overlooked and mistakes made.
There's a chance you may not have heard much, if anything, about this particular case and that is because the right people haven't been supporting it. By 'right people' I mean those who have experience of battling governments in cases such as these and that means republicans and more specifically, Sinn Fein.
It may seem bizarre to suggest that Sinn Fein fight for the truth to be told over the murders of two RUC officers but when you examine their past form, it really shouldn't be. Sinn Fein's support for previous Inquiries where collusion between state forces and terrorists is suspected has always been argued by Sinn Fein to be a matter of importance for everyone and not just republicans. They're absolutely right. Under no circumstances must agents of the state be allowed to murder or conspire & collude with others to murder.
So, with that in mind, where are Sinn Fein? Where is their vociferous support for the families of Breen & Buchanan (I understand it may not be welcomed, but it must be offered)?
The reality is that, for Sinn Fein, the identity & background of the vitcim and the perpertrator is the real deciding factor in their hunt for the truth. You can't claim a noble cause and then pick and choose who that cause applies to.
Sinn Fein may well believe that these men were legitimate targets for the IRA and they may even be bold enough to say so, but they must not be allowed to continue to push their 'human rights' agenda in the press without being brought to task over this case.