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Adams: It was not my intention to cause further hurt

SINN Fein president Gerry Adams has said it was never his intention to cause "further hurt" to the families of two police officers murdered by the IRA in 1989.

The Louth TD sparked outrage after the publication of the Smithwick report by stating that Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan had been "laissez faire" with their personal security.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Adams said he was "very conscious that at the heart of this issue are two bereaved families". "What I said reflects what is recorded by Justice Smithwick,'' he said. "It is nonsense to suggest that I was blaming the two RUC officers for their own deaths. Everyone knows the IRA was responsible. That was never in question." Meanwhile, Chief Constable Matt Baggott has insisted relations between the PSNI and Garda will not be soured by the report's findings.

Mr Baggott told the Policing Board that day-to-day cooperation, including the sharing of intelligence and information, would continue despite the damning revelations in the Smithwick Report of collusion with members of the IRA . "Our relationships and our cooperation with the guards is excellent," he added.

Also yesterday, a man once named in the House of Commons as colluding with the IRA criticised the Smithwick Report for its conclusion that someone in Dundalk Garda Station colluded in the senior RUC officers' deaths.

Former Garda detective sergeant Owen Corrigan welcomed that there was no finding of collusion in his part in the double murder but disputed that he had "an inappropriate relationship with the Provisional IRA", insisting that all his dealings with the paramilitary group were "for the purposes of gathering information and/or intelligence".

In April 2000, DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson used parliamentary privilege to name Mr Corrigan.

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