Donaldson family say PSNI, MI5 central to killing
Donaldson family say PSNI, MI5 central to killing

The family of high-ranking Sinn Fein official Denis Donaldson who was murdered for being a spy believe his PSNI Special Branch handler has secret information that could help the Garda murder investigation.

It is five years since Mr Donaldson was shot dead in County Donegal after he revealed he had worked as a spy for British military intelligence.

Mr Donaldson’s family claim British state agencies, particularly PSNI Special Branch, were “central to the murder”.

It is believed Donaldson was killed to protect other highly placed British agents within Sinn Fein.

They now say they are increasingly frustrated and concerned by the lack of progress in the murder inquiry.

It is almost two and a half years since the last meeting between Gardai police and the Donaldsons.

According to the Donaldsons, a meeting was scheduled for last week but Gardai cancelled it.

They want answers to a number of key questions.

In a statement they said: “There are serious discrepancies and anomalies in accounts relating to the circumstances leading up to Denis Donaldson’s murder”.

In December 2005 Mr Donaldson received a written warning from the PSNI that he was about to be exposed in the media.

The family said he was later telephoned by his Special Branch handler, identified only as ‘Lenny’.

“This call caused Denis to secretly flee Belfast immediately”, the family said.

The Sinn Fein official then publicly admitted his role as an agent in Dublin the next day; he then went back into hiding.

On the 4th of April 2006 Denis Donaldson was shot dead in a cottage in a remote part of Donegal. Last year, a claim of responsibility was made in the name of the ‘Real IRA’.

The family’s statement said: “In order to be effective, thorough, independent and compliant with our family’s rights under [European human rights legislation], any investigation of Denis’s murder must examine the identities, motivations, activities, links, communications and movements of Lenny and their Special Branch associates. ‘Lenny’ is intimately informed about the events surrounding Denis’s murder. ‘Lenny’ holds the answers to many questions.

“All of this information, including the document released today, ought to have been obtained by investigating gardai from the PSNI. These indisputable facts should have informed the Garda investigation over the last five years.”

Mr Donaldson’s family say they want to be able to move on. “Our family wants this case settled in a way which allows us and our society to move forward in a context where state power is no longer unaccountable.”

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