Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD commenting on this mornings Smithwick Tribunal said:
“The Smithwick Tribunal asked to meet with the Sinn Féin leadership in May 2006.
At that meeting the Tribunal representatives asked if we could facilitate an engagement with the IRA about the killing of RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and RUC Superintendent Robert Buchanan on the 20th March, 1989 and “suggestions that members of An Garda Síochána or other employees of the State colluded” in this.
Subsequently, the Sinn Féin leadership established that there could be no engagement with the IRA because, as a consequence of the outworking of the IRA leadership statement of July 2005, the IRA had left the stage.
But we were advised that there was the possibility of former Volunteers engaging on a voluntary basis with the Tribunal.
The Sinn Féin leadership worked to facilitate this.
Having established the process between the Tribunal and these former volunteers Sinn Féin played no further role in the process, though our understanding is that the people involved were in a position to answer all questions about the IRA action in which the two RUC officers were killed.
Sinn Féin facilitated this process because of our commitment to assisting bereaved families if and when we can. This may not be possible in all cases.
Sinn Féin believes that there needs to be an effective process for dealing with all legacy issues. In our view the Irish and British governments should invite a reputable and independent international body to establish the creation of an Independent International Truth Commission as part of an effective truth recovery process.
The closure which victims, victim’s families and survivors deserve, demands that those who contributed to the conflict have to pledge ourselves to tell and to listen to the truth about the past. Over time this will contribute to genuine national reconciliation and an inclusive healing process.
For my part I would actively encourage republicans to co-operate with such a process.
The Irish government should proactively engage with the British government on this issue and seek to ensure that such a process is established." ENDS