DONALDSON INQUEST ADJOURNED: FAMILY TO SUE STATE OVER DELAY

April 26, 2012

THE inquest into the murder of IRA agent Denis Donaldson has been adjourned again today as a lawyer representing his family said he had been instructed to take proceedings against the Irish State.

Donaldson, 56, was murdered in his remote home at Classey, Cloghercor, outside Glenties on April 4th 2006.

He had been operating as a British spy for 20 years and was shot four times in the chest, face, arm and hand in a rented cottage.

Although there have been two arrests relating to Donaldson’s brutal murder, nobody has ever been charged in connection with it.

At the time of the murder it was blamed on the Provisional IRA.

But the Real IRA in Derry later claimed responsibility for the killing with mainstream republicans claiming the death suited the British intelligence establishment.

Denis Donaldson’s daughter Jane wrote to the Irish Times ahead of a scheduled pre-inquest hearing in Donegal.

“It is my family’s sincere hope that we shall be permitted to proceed unhindered with an Article 2 compliant inquest of the standard required to ensure disclosure from state agencies – North and South – of all the facts surrounding the murder of Denis Donaldson,” she wrote.

The family believe that the Special Branch “holds vital information about his earlier exposure [as an agent] and subsequent murder”, and it is the disclosure of that “full knowledge” that they are seeking.

Today Garda Supt Michael Finnan told the inquest that a file on the killing would be sent to the DPP “within weeks.’

An adjournment was needed to allow the file to be completed and allow the DPP to take a decision on whether or not there should be prosecutions.

However Ciaran Shiels, solicitor, for the Donaldson family told coroner Denis McCauley that he was taking an action against the Irish State under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights because of the undue delay in holding an inquest.

The delay, he said during a 40-minute hearing, was beyond the time period specified as unacceptable in previous cases.

The case was adjourned until November 8.

At hearing

 

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