Wednesday 17 January 2018

Adams sanctioned the killing of British spy, claims former IRA man

‘Consulted’: Gerry Adams
‘Consulted’: Gerry Adams

Allan Preston

A former IRA member claimed Gerry Adams sanctioned the 2006 murder of Denis Donaldson, the senior Sinn Féin official who was working as a British spy.

Mr Donaldson was killed by a shotgun blast in April 2006 as he opened the door to his cottage in Glenties, Donegal.

Denis Donaldson, the senior Sinn Féin official and British spy, who was shot in Donegal in April, 2006. Photo: PA
Denis Donaldson, the senior Sinn Féin official and British spy, who was shot in Donegal in April, 2006. Photo: PA

He was in hiding after being outed as a British agent of nearly 20 years.

The IRA denied his murder at the time, but a BBC 'Spotlight' investigation broadcast last night said security forces still believed the IRA was responsible.

The BBC spoke to a man who claims to be a former IRA member who was recruited as an agent by RUC Special Branch, identified only as 'Martin'.

He told the programme he knew personally that Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams sanctioned the killing. The BBC said they understood Mr Adams had stepped aside from the IRA army council in 2006, but according to Martin "he is consulted in all matters".

"I know from my experience in the IRA that murders have to be approved by the leadership, the political (and) military leadership of the IRA," said 'Martin'.

Asked who he was referring to specifically, he said: "Gerry Adams, he gives the final say."

A statement from Mr Adams's solicitor has strongly denied the allegations.

He said his client "had no involvement and no knowledge whatsover in Denis Donaldson's killing. "He categorically denies he was consulted on what he calls an alleged IRA army council decision or that he had any final say in the matter being sanctioned."

The BBC said security sources had told them the South Armagh IRA commissioned the killing, something they learned from agents and covert surveillance. They added that South Armagh IRA leader Thomas 'Slab' Murphy "insisted that Donaldson be killed in order to maintain army discipline" and that the IRA in the area commissioned the execution.

Mr Murphy's solicitor was contacted by 'Spotlight' - but they said they had received no response last night.

'Martin' said he had informed his Special Branch sources about what he learnt about the murder. "Not too long after Denis was murdered I was told by an active member of the IRA that the IRA had killed him, not anybody else," he said.

"I gave that information to the Special Branch. They were just totally mute, there wasn't any acknowledgement of what I had said. The subject was changed to something else."

Asked if he was surprised, he said: "No I think they knew themselves. I just think that they had seen Donaldson's death as internal housekeeping, they were happy enough to put up with that." He said they chose at times not to act on information as "it was too politically sensitive to do so".

The dissident group the Real IRA claimed responsibility for Donaldson's killing in 2009 - something Martin dismissed.

"I believe the Real IRA claimed it three years later for the kudos."

But Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly last night dismissed the Spotlight claims, calling them "a collection of discredited conspiracy theories which relied on the claims of an anonymous paid liar and British agent."

Irish Independent

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