Tuesday 17 January 2017

Mary Lou McDonald calls on BBC to reveal Gerry Adams Spotlight source to gardai

Published 23/09/2016 | 16:45

Mary Lou McDonald Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Lou McDonald Photo: Tony Gavin

MARY Lou McDonald has called for the BBC to provide Gardaí with the name of the source who claimed Gerry Adams sanctioned the killing of Denis Donaldson.

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The Sinn Féin Deputy leader made the remarks as she defended Sinn Féin president Mr Adams amid the allegations that were reported on the broadcaster’s Spotlight documentary earlier this week.

Mr Adams has denied any involvement of Mr Donaldson’s murder, calling the allegations “lies” and said he will consider legal action in relation to the claims.

Ms McDonald called the allegations “a ball of smoke” made by an anonymous person who she described as “a self-proclaimed informant and therefore party to the agenda of the British State”.

The Dublin Central TD was asked if the Spotlight programme makers should identify their source to the Gardaí and replied: “yes, I think they should”.

She said she is “mindful that journalists jealously guard their sources”.

But Ms McDonald added: “I think in circumstances like this where there’s a live Garda investigation if people claim that they have information or evidence of course the appropriate people to bring that forward to is An Garda Síochána”.

BBC Northern Ireland this afternoon released a statement saying that it will continue to protect the identity of Spotlight’s source.

“As stated in the programme, the source’s identity must be protected for reasons of safety,” a spokeswoman said.

Ms McDonald said that “The Gardaí have to do their job” in investigating Mr Donaldson's death adding that his family “deserve to know exactly what happened”.

“The people who carried this out need to be brought to book,” she said.

Ms McDonald pointed out that Gardaí investigating Mr Donaldson’s death have not questioned Mr Adams.

“The Gardaí… have had no reason to interview Gerry Adams on these matters because Gerry has no involvement. That’s the simple fact,” she said.

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald previously said Mr Adams should cooperate with any Garda investigation.

“If allegations are being made and if there is evidence, then I would appeal for anyone to come forward," Ms Fitzgerald said.

"Of course the Gardaí will investigate if there is evidence. Everybody should cooperate with that investigation, including Gerry Adams," she added.

The Real IRA, which has plotted to kill Adams on at least three occasions, previously claimed responsibility for the Donaldson murder.

Donaldson (56) died when he was hit with two blasts from a shotgun at the family-owned cottage 7km from Glenties in April 2006.

His death came almost four months after the Sinn Fein fixer admitted working for the British for the previous 20 years.

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