Monday 20 November 2017

Malachai O'Doherty: IRA was riddled with informers, and Donaldson was killed to save blushes

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams (centre) addresses the media at Leinster House, Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams (centre) addresses the media at Leinster House, Dublin. Photo: Stephen Collins

Malachai O’Doherty

Several questions arise from the BBC Northern Ireland 'Spotlight' programme on the murder of Denis Donaldson. Why did the IRA kill him? The easy answer is that it was executing an informer, as it had done many times before. But the war was over. The arms had been decommissioned. Donaldson was no further obvious risk if the IRA machine was going to be dismantled.

Killing him to deter others from informing made little sense, if there was to be less criminal activity to inform on.

Of course, the IRA would go on importing weapons from America, so secrets had to be protected, but there was another possible motive.

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