Denis Donaldson: fresh inquiry into murder of British spy within Sinn Féin

Police ombudsman re-opens investigation into death of Gerry Adams's key aide, who was secretly working for British state

A new inquiry has been opened up into the murder of top Sinn Féin administrator and British spy Denis Donaldson.

Donaldson was a key aide of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams even though he was secretly working for the British state inside both the IRA and the party.

The police ombudsman in Northern Ireland has confirmed that it has established a fresh investigation into the circumstances behind Donaldson's killing in 2006 at his isolated cottage in County Donegal, across the border in the Irish Republic.

The Real IRA admitted responsibility for shooting dead the 55-year-old republican veteran, who wielded considerable influence within Sinn Féin and the IRA. Donaldson travelled to the US and the Middle East in his international work for the republican movement.

Three years ago, the then ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, said there had been no police misconduct and closed his inquiry into the police handling of the affair.

However, his successor, Dr Michael Maguire, ordered officers to make new inquiries following allegations that Donaldson was keeping a journal of his time in exile and had connections with a special branch officer.

The ombudsman's spokesman said: "The police ombudsman's office can confirm that it is looking at allegations about police conduct in connection with events surrounding the death of Mr Donaldson. The office had previously looked at these allegations. Since then, members of Mr Donaldson's family have brought new information to the office which they were not previously aware of. The police ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, has decided that their allegations must be looked at again in light of this new information."


Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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