The Garda police in the South have refused repeated requests to send the secret journal of top informer Denis Donaldson to the Police Ombudsman in the North of Ireland.
The journal was being written by the the high profile Sinn Féin official, who for decades functioned as a paid informer and double-agent. It was found by Gardaí in the County Donegal cottage where he was shot.
The Ombudsman is investigating allegations that members of the PSNI police in the North may have contributed to his death.
Mr Donaldson’s family believe the journal could contain clues about what happened. But Gardaí have refused to let investigators have access to the document.
There are fears that Gardaí are refusing to release the item because of revelations it may contain on police collusion.
Denis Donaldson’s secret life as an informer for MI5 and the police remains shrouded in mystery. After being told by his handlers that the media were going to expose his role as an agent, he held a hasty press conference to admit his guilt before fleeing across the border to a remote family cottage in County Donegal.
Shortly afterwards, he was shot dead by unknown assailants.
Three years later the ‘Real IRA’ said it was responsible, but his family have accused that PSNI of exposing him as an agent, thereby contributing to his death. They believe the journal could contain potential clues to who killed him and why.
The family was initially told that the journal would be returned to them, but later informed this was not possible for what were described as “security reasons”.
Ombudsman Michael Maguire’s investigators want to read it as part of their inquiry into the allegations that members of the security forces may have contributed to Denis Donaldson’s death.
A lawyer for the family said they cannot understand why one law enforcement agency will not share information with another.
“The family are of the view it is vital that the police ombudsman receives this journal because they believe it could contain potentially important information,” said lawyer Ciaran Shiels.
“The police ombudsman’s office obviously sees it as a live line of inquiry and it’s extremely disappointing that the garda (Irish police) are obstructing the investigation.
“I think its ridiculous, I think it’s nonsensical, I think it’s completely illogical. The police ombudsman is only attempting to investigate an issue characterised by them as being grave and exceptional and it’s simply beyond the family’s reason as to why the garda would obstruct them.”