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Tuesday 23 October 2018

Gardai investigating murder of Denis Donaldson arrest two

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 Newsdesk Newsdesk

Gardai in Donegal investigating the murder of former Sinn Féin official and British agent Denis Donaldson have arrested two men.

A man in his 40s and another in his 30s are being detained at Letterkenny Garda Station under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Mr Donaldson (55), a Sinn Fein official, was shot dead at an isolated cottage near Glenties in County Donegal in April 2006 following his exposure as a British spy.

One of those arrested was Gary Donnelly, a hardline republican and independent councillor in Derry and Strabane.

Mr Donnelly was arrested on Sunday after he spoke at a centenary commemoration of the Meenbanad ambush in Co Donegal where two republicans were freed from a British Army escort in what is considered one of the first acts in Ireland's War of Independence.

Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easpaig, an independent councillor in Donegal who organised the event, said: "We believe Gary Donnelly's arrest to be politcally motivated.

"It was a staged arrest, politically motivated and it was to undermine the work of independent councillors like ourselves."

Mr Mac Giolla Easpaig said the arrest warrant had been issued on November 22 and that Mr Donnelly was a frequent visitor to Donegal and could have been arrested on a number of occasions in the last two months.

Ciaran Shiels, solicitor for the Donaldson family, from law firm Madden and Finucane, said: "The family have no comment in relation to either arrest at this stage.

"However, we don't believe either individual to be 'Lenny', Denis Donaldson's PSNI and RUC handler.

"The family believe he is the person with the most serious questions to answer in this matter and we would urge, yet again, that the authorities speak to him under caution and as a suspect in this case."

Gardai are appealing to any persons who may have information to contact them at the Incident Room at Letterkenny Garda Station at 074 9167100 or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666111 or any Garda Station. 

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