Irish Republican News · December 22, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Orde excuses on Stormontgate ‘an insult’

Efforts by the PSNI police chief Hugh Orde to blame the spying activities of a British informer on Sinn Féin have been greeted with derision by nationalists.

Denis Donaldson, the head of Sinn Féin’s administration at Stormont parliament buildings in Belfast, was exposed last week as a paid British agent of some twenty years standing.

The shock revelation followed the collapse of a case in which Donaldson was accused of being at the centre of a republican “spy ring”.

The accusations, which initially emerged in a blaze of publicity in 2002, caused the collapse of the political institutions set up under the 1998 Good Friday peace Agreement.

Today Orde paid a visit to the 26-County Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to promote his version of events over the so-called Stormontgate scandal.

Orde has repeatedly pointed out that classified documents had been discovered at the home of agent Donaldson, who lives in republican west Belfast.

“My officers discovered hundreds of pages of documents which had been stolen from Stormont,” he insisted. “It exists. I have it in my possession as we speak,” he declared.

Orde reassured few when he claimed an official plot to collapse the Agreement should have been more thorough than the Stormontgate raids.

“We would have been a lot more sophisticated than that. We wouldn’t have left [the documents] under someone’s bed. We would have put them somewhere far more damaging.”

The briefing was atteneded by the Taoiseach, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, Minister for Justice Michael McDowell and the Garda police Commissioner.

In keeping with the strict British secrecy over the affair, details of what was discussed at the meeting today were not revealed.

Describing the discussions as “confidential”, Ahern ironically urged that the “maximum possible information be shared with the public”.

Speaking to a protest outside the gates, Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald said “political policing” had to end.

“The idea that PSNI Chief Constable would come to Dublin to meet the Taoiseach to justify the use of British agents on this island is a complete and absolute nonsense and is an insult to the people of Dublin.

“It will be lost on nobody in this city that it is the PSNI and British authorities who to this very day are refusing to co-operate with the Dublin-Monaghan inquiry and who are refusing to tell the truth about the role of their agents and agencies in that bombing.

“It is time for the era of political policing to come to an end. It is time that the activities of those within Britain’s Intelligence Agencies who are working against the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement are brought to an end. It is now clear that it is their actions that brought down the power sharing institutions in the north in 2002.”

Other demonstrations took place in Belfast, Derry and Cork.

Speaking outside PSNI Headquarters in Belfast, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said he had told British prime minister Tony Blair that there was an element of the British policing and intelligence system that was opposed to the peace process, and that this was at the core of the current crisis.

“Mr Blair bears the sole responsibility for tackling this problem,” he said. “Ending political policing and the negative activities of British agencies is his responsibility.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News