The parents of a Co Armagh man who was shot as an informer by the IRA’s ruthless internal security unit say they believe Garda have suppressed vital information which could help identify their son’s killers.
Portadown couple, Pat and Irene Dignam – whose son John was abducted by the IRA in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan in June 1992 – said they will be pressing senior Garda officers to disclose the truth about their son’s death when they meet later this month
The Dignam’s claim there is evidence someone in the Garda colluded with the British intelligence services to suppress information about the 1992 triple murder of their son and fellow republicans, Gregory Burns and Aiden Starrs
The three men – who had been recruited by the British Army’s highly secret Force Research Unit (FRU) – where found shot dead in South Armagh in June that year.
At the time the IRA said all three had admitted being British intelligence agents.
The Dignams said it had been claimed the circumstances of their son’s murder had been suppressed for 17 years because of the alleged involvement of Belfast IRA man Freddie Scappaticci – aka British agent Stakeknife.
However Irene Dignam said the family now believed the truth about murder had been shrouded in secrecy to protect an intelligence agent "much closer to home".
"Garda said they didn’t investigate John’s death because they had no evidence to suggest he was abducted, interrogated or murdered in the Republic", said Irene Dignam.
"That’s rubbish and we can prove it. Someone in the Garda" decided my son’s murder was not to be investigated and I want to know why".
The Dignams said a republican mole inside the Garda had supplied information to the IRA which ultimately led to their son’s death.
The Portadown couple said they would ask Garda about two houses near Omeath, Co Louth where the IRA interrogated alleged informers.
They said Garda detectives knew the houses were being used by the IRA but had never searched either property.
It has previously emerged that a former Force Research Unit soldier – now deceased - who "handled" Starrs, Dignam and Burns had recorded an audio tape in which he states the three men were British agents.
The tape confirms all three were killed when British military intelligence refused to be relocated them in England after their cover was blown.
The request was rejected by a senior British military intelligence officer on cost grounds.
It is understood the audio tape names everyone involved – the senior officer who gave the orders, other handlers, undercover agents and RUC and Garda officers.
The PSNI’s Historical Enquiries team is currently investigating the circumstances of John Dignam’s murder.
By Chris Anderson