Friday 23 August 2019

Man to be charged with murder of British agent Donaldson

Murdered: Denis Donaldson. Photo: PA
Murdered: Denis Donaldson. Photo: PA

Rebecca Black

A man is to be charged by gardaí over the murder of former Sinn Féin member and British agent Denis Donaldson.

Mr Donaldson was shot dead at a remote cottage in Donegal in April 2006. It came months after he admitted that he had been an agent for the security forces. Mr Donaldson was a former Sinn Féin director of elections and a close friend of hunger striker Bobby Sands.

The sequence of events surrounding his death dated back to 2002 after three men, including Mr Donaldson, were arrested following a raid on Sinn Féin's Stormont office.

In 2005, charges against the three men were dropped and within days, Sinn Féin said Mr Donaldson was a British agent and expelled him from the party. He later admitted he had worked as a spy since the 1980s.

Yesterday, it emerged at a long-running inquest into Mr Donaldson's death at Donegal Coroner's Court that gardaí had sought a warrant from the Special Criminal Court in Dublin for the arrest of an individual to bring him before the court to be charged with murder.

A Garda spokesman said they requested the inquest proceedings be paused while a fresh criminal investigation was launched.

Mr Donaldson's family said that they are determined to get answers about what happened to him. They said in a statement: "The charges to which gardaí referred were sparked by a new avenue in their investigation opened back in 2012.

"That development had coincided with the decision by the current Police Ombudsman to reopen an inquiry into the role of senior PSNI intelligence officers in a criminal conspiracy to expose and endanger Denis Donaldson."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News