Smithwick and Mains- a taster

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:

  1. He was never tasked to go.
  2. He asked Breen might he have time off to play rugby.
  3. 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.

 

 

 

 

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Why Drew Harris is not to be trusted

Readers of this blog will have read my previous articles about the murders of my parents and my attempt to obtain justice for them.

During this campaign I have engaged, inter alia , the RUC, the PSNI, the HET , the Police Ombudsman and others.

A recurring theme, like “Blackpool” through a stick of rock , has been that there is no intelligence as to the killers. Every organisation has said the same thing.

Consider this. The two most deadly areas of conflict in the Troubles were South Armagh and North Belfast. It is likely that these two areas received the most attention from the security forces.

The “supremo” re intelligence in the PSNI is Drew Harris. He is presently Deputy Chief Constable.

In 2014 , when he was an ACC , I raised with him , again, the issue of intelligence, either before , during or after the murders. I had pointed out the persons whom  I alleged were informers to the PSNI, MI5 or the Army. [See previous blogs]. All agencies had told me that no such intelligence existed.

He said in a letter to me dated 11th August 2014, “Whilst is [sic] not appropriate to comment upon the governance arrangements that exist in relation to the exchange of intelligence between agencies, I can assure you that both the SCRT and the HET had full access to all available information and intelligence during the course of their respective Reviews.”

I recommend to you that you read Ed Moloney’s blog entitled “The Tom Oliver Killing-Transcript of Drew Harris’ Testimony to the Smithwick Tribunal”

Aside from the specific references to the killing, Mr Harris is plainly uncomfortable about the twenty pieces of intelligence [not silver] which had lately been laid before the tribunal at his hand.

Where have they been all these years, was one question.

Mr Harris placed these items of intelligence before the tribunal in October 2012. When his testimony  was read into the record, the tribunal had been hearing evidence for 124 days.

More importantly, North Belfast was riddled with PIRA informers. Sean Maguire, now SF/IRA publicity director , operated there. The  command structure encompassed Gillen, Spike Murray, Scap and McGuinness. All likely informers.

To suggest that no intelligence exists for 1990 in North Belfast ,  comparable to that in 1989   in South Armagh, is a lie and a desecration of the memory  of a man who served the RUC and of a woman who was an “innocent victim”

It’s time ‘men’ like Harris and others who populated Special Branch stood up and admitted what they did and the level of collusion between the State and PIRA.

Or are they just happy to spend their pension in Marks and Spencer ?

Does National Police Memorial Day prick any conscience?