The man who denies being both a senior figure in the IRA and a British agent has been granted legal representation at the Smithwick Tribunal today.

Freddie Scappaticci had previously sought permission to be legally represented at the tribunal back in 2006, but was refused.

Today, however, his solicitor made a renewed application to Judge Smithwick who ruled that the situation had altered.

The Judge said that Mr Scappaticci was now a person who was at risk of having their good name and personal property affected by evidence that may be given during the tribunal.

That being the case, Judge Smithwick granted him legal representation of one solicitor and one barrister, limited to the days when he may be mentioned in evidence.

The ex-wife of a former British agent who is suing Mr Scappaticci, the Ministry of Defence and the Police Service of Northern Ireland also had a legal team at today's sitting of the tribunal.

Counsel for Margaret Keeley, the former wife of Peter Keeley who uses the name of 'Kevin Fulton', had sought permission to have a 'watching brief' at the tribunal.

Judge Smithwick said this application was following Ms Keeley's claim in the Belfast High Court for damages.

She has claimed she and her husband were 'lifted' by the IRA internal security unit, known as the 'Nutting Squad' and questioned by Mr Scappaticci.

She is taking an action against him, the MOD and the PSNI for the trauma she suffered during the interrogation.

Judge Smithwick said Ms Keeley's legal team could attend any public session, but they will not be entitled to tribunal documentation.

Her former husband has already been given full legal representation at an earlier hearing.

The tribunal was set up in 2005 to investigate claims of collusion by a garda or other State employee in the murder of two senior RUC officers, Chief Supt Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan.

They were murdered by the IRA as they drove back into Northern Ireland in March 1989.

Following today's sitting, a total of three former gardaí now have legal representation at the tribunal.

Former Sergeant Finbar Hickey was stationed in Hackballscross but was sentenced for signing false passport application forms for members of the Provisional IRA.

Judge Smithwick said Mr Hickey had been interviewed by the tribunal and would be called to give evidence later.

He granted Mr Hickey legal representation of one barrister and one solicitor.

Former garda Leo Colton also sought legal representation at the tribunal.

The Judge was told that allegations had been made that his client was involved with two members of the Provisional IRA and that there was another serious matter which was an attack on his character.

His solicitor, Dermot Lavery, said his client was someone whose conduct is under investigation by the tribunal and he wanted to be legal represented.

Judge Smithwick granted him legal representation.

At an earlier hearing, former garda Owen Corrigan was granted legal representation at the tribunal.

It had been claimed under parliamentary privilege in the UK that he may have been the mole but Mr Corrigan has always strenuously denied this.

At today's sitting, the PSNI was also granted legal representation as was the Attorney General and Eilish Morley.

The tribunal is expected to hear an opening statement from Judge Smithwick on 7 June and then begin hearing evidence two days later.

It was originally set up in 2005 but began its investigative phase in early 2006.

Although an original opening statement and two brief hearings were held shortly afterwards, no evidence has been heard in the tribunal in public.

Supt Bob Buchanan and Chief Supt Harry Breen were murdered by the IRA in March 1989 as they returned to the North following a meeting in Dundalk Garda Station.