A former Assistant Garda Commissioner has been strongly criticised for "treating the Smithwick Tribunal with contempt" and failing to turn up to give evidence.

Kevin Carty, who retired last year from the force as an Assistant Commissioner, was written to by the tribunal several times this year.

He was called to appear today and although registered letters sent to his home in Celbridge were signed by him, he has not contacted the tribunal.

The tribunal was told that he does work for the United Nations and is based in Vienna.

In 2003 he was appointed as an advisor to the Independent Panel on Safety & Security for UN Personnel in Iraq.

He was later appointed to another body, the UN Security in Iraq Accountability Panel.

He met the tribunal staff in July 2007 and gave a statement to them.

He was then sent several letters this year asking him to come to give evidence or at least confirm that the statement he had given back in 2007 was accurate and sign it.

All the correspondence has been ignored despite the fact that a 'Kevin Carty' signed for the letters at his home in Celbridge.

Mr Carty was a Detective Inspector in March 1989 when two senior RUC officers, Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Supt Bob Buchanan, were murdered by the IRA just minutes after leaving a meeting in Dundalk Garda Station.

Mr Carty assisted in an internal garda probe conducted in the days after the murder, questioning the gardaí 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 Carty 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 Carty 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 Carty 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".

Mr Carty, has been rescheduled to give evidence to the Smithwick Tribunal on 27 September.

James Kilcoyne at tribunal

A garda sergeant told the Smithwick Tribunal that if people were abducted, questioned and released by the IRA they would be unlikely to tell anyone about what happened.

Sgt James Kilcoyne from Carlingford said he did not know if Tom Oliver, a farmer from Cooley who was abducted and murdered by the IRA, had been kidnapped and released on an earlier occasion.

He said in the border community if someone was abducted and later released by the IRA they would not tell people about it.

Sgt Kilcoyne was also questioned by counsel for Freddie Scappaticci, the man who denies he was involved in the IRA internal security unit which murdered Mr Oliver.

Niall Mooney asked the witness that if someone was a garda informer would they not be likely to tell their handler they had been abducted.

The witness replied that it was not something he would be aware of.