Former top Garda Kevin Carthy fails to appear at Smithwick Tribunal
A former assistant Garda commissioner has been strongly criticised for failing to turn up at the Smithwick Tribunal to give evidence.
The tribunal is investigating allegations of Garda collusion in the murders of two senior RUC officers.
Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan died in an IRA ambush in south Armagh on 20 March 1989.
Kevin Carthy, who retired last year, was accused of treating the tribunal with contempt.
He was written to by the tribunal several times this year and called to appear on Friday.
Although registered letters sent to his home in County Kildare were signed by him, he has not contacted the tribunal.
The tribunal was told Mr Carthy works for the United Nations and is based in Vienna.
He met with the tribunal staff in July 2007 and gave a statement to them then.
Mr Carthy was a detective inspector in March 1989 when Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan were murdered by the IRA just minutes after leaving a meeting in Dundalk Garda Station.
Mr Carthy assisted in an internal Garda probe conducted in the days after the murders, questioning gardai in Dundalk on the day about whether there was a leak to the IRA.
Senior counsel for the tribunal, Mary Laverty, said she was at a loss to explain why Mr Carthy had not turned up.
She said she was aware that he was working in Vienna, but the letters had been signed for with the same name and signature.
Judge Smithwick said he was "very disappointed" that a former Garda assistant commissioner had ignored correspondence from the tribunal.
Counsel for the Garda commissioner said Mr Carthy had retired from the force in June of last year and was working in Vienna for "various international policing operations".
Judge Smithwick said it was "very, very wrong" for a former senior garda to treat the tribunal "with that sort of contempt".
He said he would offer Mr Carthy an opportunity to appear and give his evidence, warning: "I take a very, very strong view if he doesn't."
It was, the judge said, a great discourtesy to "totally ignore a summons sent to him".