A former RUC policeman helped identify the remote hideaway of British superspy Denis Donaldson last month, it has been revealed.
The senior Sinn Féin official fled Belfast after being exposed as an informer of over twenty years in December.
Retired RUC man Colin Breen travelled to the Glenties area of County Donegal with a Sunday tabloid journalist to track down Donaldson before his murder last week.
Breen, who is understood to have close ties with the RUC/PSNI Special Branch, secretly videotaped Donaldson outside his remote hideaway five miles from Glenties. Donaldson pleaded with the men to be left alone.
The newspaper printed the pictures and location of Donaldson, which until then was unknown to the public. The secretly-filmed video was also sold to a number of British television stations.
Donaldson and his cottage were readily identified by locals from the report. The former double-agent was shot dead at the cottage on Tuesday, with growing speculation that his murder was ordered by his former bosses in Special Branch.
The revelation that a former RUC man was involved in the Sunday World report has caused concern within the nationalist community in the North. The newspaper story did not reveal Breen’s role.
Meanwhile, the Donaldson family has stated that they accept the Provisional IRA’s assurance that it did not kill the double agent. The west Belfast family issued a statement saying it believed the IRA.
“We acknowledge the speedy statement from the IRA disassociating themselves from this murder. We believe that statement to be true,” said the family.
The Donaldsons said they did not know who murdered Mr Donaldson but indicated that the British intelligence services who “ran him” as a spy and newspapers who disclosed his location must bear some of the responsibility.
“On Tuesday, April 4th, Denis was murdered. We do not know by whom. But the difficult situation which our family has been put in is the direct result of the activities of the special branch and British intelligence agencies,” the statement said.
“In December, Denis left his home in Belfast and moved to Donegal where it was his desire that he be left alone to rebuild his life. Unfortunately, he continued to be pursued by sections of the media, some of whom gave details about his whereabouts,” it said.
A small private family funeral took place to Belfast city cemetery on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has revealed that Donaldson had never told the party the extent of his involvement with British intelligence.
“Denis Donaldson was very unforthcoming about his activities. The party broke off all contact with him shortly after all this.
“He was told that if he wanted to make a full disclosure he should get in touch with us. He never did.
“Denis Donaldson had turned into a pathetic figure. I have huge sympathy for his family as I do for the families of other informers and agents, particularly those who were killed by the IRA.”
Writing in Village magazine, Mr Adams said he did not think the killing was motivated by revenge.
“Did I expect Denis Donaldson to be killed? There was always a danger that he could be attacked if he was in some public place,” he said.
“But no, I didn’t expect that any republican would go out premeditatedly to kill him.
“Not when the IRA had clearly set its face against this.
“So I don’t think the killing of Denis Donaldson was a revenge killing. I think his killing was to make sure that his secrets died with him. The timing may or may not be significant.”