Justice

Sinn Féin calls on new Garda Commissioner to act on Tom Oliver information

Mr Oliver was killed by the IRA in 1991

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Sinn Féin calls on new Garda Commissioner to act on Tom Oliver information

Sinn Féin calls on new Garda Commissioner to act on Tom Oliver information

Sinn Féin's Justice spokesperson, Donnchadh O'Laoghaire, has called on the incoming Garda Commissioner to follow up on any information he has in relation to the murder of Louth man Tom Oliver.

Mr Oliver was killed by the IRA in 1991, after being abducted from his home in Riverstown, Co Louth on 18 July 1991.

His body was found less than a day later in a field in Beleek, South Armagh. He had been tortured and was shot in the head.

Following his death, the Provisional IRA issued a statement to say that Mr Oliver was killed because he was a Garda informer.

This claim has been refuted by family and friends of Mr Oliver, as well as the Gardaí. No one was ever convicted in the murder investigation that followed.

Talking to Michael Reade on LMFM radio today, Deputy O'Laoghaire said when it was put to him would he ask the new Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, who ordered the killing of Tom Oliver, the Sinn Féin deputy said,

“Well obviously any information that he has that's relevant to any investigation, then he should follow up on that.”

“Every family, including the family of Tom Oliver, deserve truth and justice.”

When asked if he would like to see arrests made in relation to the murder of Mr Oliver, the deputy said:

“Any outstanding offences took place, any information that people have that can lead to arrests, that information should be used. And if the information exitst for arrests to be made then they should be made.”

When the deputy was probed further on the Tom Oliver case specifically, his response was,

“Through the normal policing procedures, if there is an investigation to take place, then yes, if people have information they should provide that information and then an investigation should take place and whatever appropriate actions, including arrests, need to take place on foot of that, that should happen."

The Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson was then asked if this would be helpful to the peace process, the deputy stressed that truth and justice was the most important thing.

“Obviously the most important thing is that families get truth and justice. However, I think its important that obviously everyone has a right, as I say, to truth and justice, everyone has a right that any crime or any offence, anything like that, that should be investigated properly and that should be followed through to its full conclusion.

"But the best way of dealing with all these issues is through a full truth and reconciliation process, that encompasses all loss of life and all issues that arose during the conflict.

"There was significant fault on all sides and I think everyone is entitled to truth and justice and I think that the only way that that would be properly achieved is not through some piecemeal approach but through a comprehensive process that takes in all issues.”