Former UUP leader Tom Elliott says new allegations that electronic communications were passed between a Garda and a member of the Continuity IRA from the border area echo the circumstances surrounding the 1989 murder of RUC Superintendent Bob Buchanan from Bready.
He said the latest allegations have potentially serious implications.
He made the comments after the Irish Department of Justice confirmed: “It is understood that An Garda Síochána is aware from its own intelligence and enquiries of suggestions that a member of the force passed on the names of persons who had been arrested on a particular occasion.”
Mr Elliott commented: “There were rumours of this for years and the Smithwick Tribunal brought some of that out.
“It is getting to the stage where some people will be thinking that a wider inquiry is necessary regarding collusion between some members of the Garda and the IRA.
“We need to know basic details such as how long was this Garda a member and how many years he may have been passing information for. Relationships like this don’t develop overnight.”
The revelations emerged at the weekend. Mr Elliott said questions needed to be answered in relation to the alleged communications.
“The next important aspect to identify is who exactly he was passing the information to. Was it being given to so-called ‘dissident’ republicans or republicans who align themselves with Sinn Féin? This has potentially serious implications.
“I`ll be writing to the Dublin Government seeking that they push this investigation on as soon as possible.
“This can`t be brushed under the carpet or kicked into the long grass hoping that people will forget about it.”