The Belfast Telegraph has published a gushing article about Alan Mains. What it does not mention is his controversial evidence at the Smithwick Inquiry. This investigated the murders of Breen and Buchanan by PIRA.
It has never been clear why Mains did not accompany his friend and boss , Breen to Dundalk.
Three possibilities immediately present themselves:
- He was never tasked to go.
- He asked Breen might he have time off to play rugby.
- He wanted to go to the gym.
Readers need to study the report to decide which, if any of these is the truth. The rugby one is repeated in the Belfast Telegraph article.
Jamie Bryson wrote about Mains in his book , Three Headed Dog. He alleged that Mains worked for MI5. He was Kevin Fulton’s handler, inter alia.
Mains never sued.
Most RUC officers I have spoken to regard Mains as a fantasist, claiming to have been here and there, without cause.
He went so far to tell me that he had been at the scene of my parents’ murders, yet nobody I have spoken to recalls him being there or why he would have had any need to be there. There is no evidence in the papers I have seen , of his presence.
His rise to stardom was connected to his friendship with Ronnie Flanagan, that bibulous womaniser, who did the bidding of the British state in rebranding the RUC.
Anyway, don’t take my word for it, read Smithwick.
So Dear Belfast Telegraph, next time you want to eulogise someone like Mains, do you homework.
Here is the extract.
“6.1.16 Mr Mains gave evidence over the course of two days and was robustly cross – examined by both counsel for the Garda Commissioner and counsel for Mr Owen Corrigan. It is fair to say that one of the central points of their cross – examination is that Mr Mains’ original statement of 22nd March 1989 appears inconsistent with his evidence about:
(i) Chief Superintendent Breen asking Mr Mains him to accompany him to Dundalk;
(ii) his being asked to phone Bob Buchanan to see if Superintendent Buchanan was available to go to Dundalk; and
(iii) his making a telephone call to the Dundalk Garda Station on Chief Superintendent Breen’s behalf to arrange the meeting.
It was, in essence, suggested that Mr Mains’ written statement of 22nd March 1989 does not support his evidence in relation to these three aspects and therefore affects his overall credibility as a witness.
6.1.17 It is the case that the following part of Mr Mains’s statement does not sit easily with his evidence in relation to his role in setting up the meeting in Dundalk:
“He [Chief Superintendent Breen] informed me that he had to attend a meeting in Dundalk that afternoon with the Border Superintendent, Superintendent Buchanan, along with Chief Superintendent Nolan, Garda.”
6.1.24 “I would add that it appears from all of the evidence before me that neither the statement which Mr Mains did provide in 1989 – which refers to Harry Breen’s concerns about unnamed members of An Garda Síochána – nor the further specific information in relation to Owen Corrigan which I find as a fact Mr Mains did share with the senior officers, was communicated to An Garda Síochána. I find this extremely surprising. In the immediate aftermath of the killings of two of the most senior RUC officers to be murdered in the Troubles, the RUC was informed that one of them, only hours before is death, had expressed concerns about a Garda officer being in the pay of ‘Slab’ Murphy. It seems incomprehensible to me why the RUC did not immediately raise that matter with An Garda Síochána. The likeliest explanation that one can find on the evidence is Mr Mains’ account of what Sir John Hermon said to him in Newry on 21st March 1989, namely that Owen Corrigan had already been investigated and had been cleared. Yet both the Police Service of Northern Ireland and An Garda Síochána have indicated to the Tribunal that there is no documentation to support the suggestion that such an investigation in relation to Detective Sergeant Corrigan was carried out. I am therefore compelled to the view that the information ought to have been, but was not, shared with the Gardaí, and no reasonable explanation for this failure can be discerned.”
It should also be pointed out that no RUC officer , called to give evidence at Smithwick, remembered Mains’s alleged meeting with the Chief Constable.
On 6th June 1990 there were, on conservative estimates ,100 RUC informers among the PIRA in Belfast.
Each had a team of handlers, probably four in number, to cover sickness, leave etc. Four hundred so far.
The handlers had bosses; sergeants, inspectors, chief inspectors, superintendents etc. Let’s estimate a further fifty senior officers.
Four hundred and fifty so far.
Then the meetings had to be covered by E4A and others, each one, day by day. Maybe another 100 officers , who would have seen the likes of Scappaticci, Sean Maguire, Brian Gillen etc “singing like canaries” in car parks in Hillsborough, Holywood , Helens Bay etc.
Five hundred and fifty.
The there was the “Hen House” where women, in serried ranks typed up the transcripts of the recordings of the meetings. Another fifty, at least.
Six hundred now.
Move to the civil servants in the NIO and others who read the ‘product’.
Then the Director of Public Prosecutions and his staff…
I’m rounding it up at seven hundred.
Maybe a third are dead.
But out there , today are several hundred people who could help the victims. They could tell the awful story of state involvement in supposedly terrorist murders.
Only a few have spoken out.
Why? Like the Cosa Nostra , the silent ones are motivated by money. Patten payments. Big pensions.
Before turning attention and criticism on the republicans, victims should ask themselves-why the silence? The answer is that the relevant RUC officers and civil servants are corrupt. Like the Mafia.
Who? Think of Flanagan, White, McQuillan , Matchett and Mains, all still earning from the misfortunes of the victims and failing to tell the truth.
This is the real tragedy of the Troubles.