Police Ombudsman to re-investigate misconduct allegations in Denis Donaldson case

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As far as I can tell, an inquest has yet to be held into the death of former senior Sinn Féin member, and informer, Denis Donaldson in 2006 – responsibility for which was claimed by the Real IRA.  But, despite a previous NI Police Ombudsman‘s finding that there had been no police misconduct here, the new incumbent has reportedly launched a new investigation into allegations that police officers may have contributed to the death of Denis Donaldson.  BBC NI home affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney explains.

…a BBC Spotlight investigation in October 2011 revealed investigators had not interviewed a special branch officer who Mr Donaldson’s family believe may hold vital information about what happened.

They were also unaware he had been writing a journal which his family believe could contain clues about who killed him and why.

The current ombudsman, Michael Maguire, confirmed on Wednesday that he has launched a new investigation.

It is understood investigators will seek access to the journal, which was removed by Garda officers investigating the killing, and to interview the special branch officer.

Well, good luck with that…

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  • keano10

    ” They were also unaware he had been writing a journal which his family believe could contain clues about who killed him and why.”

    Hang on. Let’s clarify this. Are you saying that while he was alive he was writing a journal about who his potential future killers might be?
    Donaldson was a self-confessed informer who voluntarily used Sinn Fein to announce his multitude of betrayals. That was his personal and pre-meditated choice presumably in the hope that such an action might save his life.

    Surely the potential list of people who wanted to kill Denis Donaldson must have been huge? It seems quite bizarre that he chose to start a new life in rural Donegal. Truly odd.

    I just find the whole notion that there was some complex conspiracy in relation to his murder, somewhat naive. No human being deserved what he got. But the brutal realities of this conflict meant that there must have been many people who would have wanted to do this?

  • Pete Baker

    keano10

    “Hang on. Let’s clarify this. Are you saying that while he was alive he was writing a journal about who his potential future killers might be?”

    Obviously not. That’s part of the allegations that the NI Police Ombudsman is now re-investigating. Hence the quotations.

    “I just find the whole notion that there was some complex conspiracy in relation to his murder, somewhat naive.”

    Tell that to those making the allegations. That would be Denis Donaldson’s family…

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Wasn’t the conclusion previously that the UK security services murdered him or is my aged memory failing me?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Joe, I think you will find it was an IRA grouping or as they are called in the media, dissidents!!! No IRA grouping at the time claimed the murder it was several years later. Now the interesting part, no senior shinner was on or in the media calling these groups traitors when they dispatched Dennis Donaldson at his isolated Donegal cottage, at point blank range with an untraceable shot gun? Go figure.

  • tacapall

    There is no doubt unanswered questions remain an open wound for the Donaldson family and many others, like why a man who betrayed his comrades and country for so long and who got to such a high position within the republican movement, was allowed or was given the illusion that all would be forgotten, that his safety was not in doubt.

    His handlers in British intelligence im sure did not want exposure about actions or incidents reported to them by Donaldson that could have been prevented but were allowed to happen in the interests of advantage. Donaldson no doubt was a valuable asset to British intelligence, but how valuable was he to them if he exposed their prior knowledge of IRA operations, like the Enniskillen bombing.

    How could anyone like Donaldson and Scappaticci lead a double life for so long without being exposed, was the republican movement an old boys club, where rank and status was determined not by past actions or value but simply on friendship or were they put in those positions by invisible people who controlled those above them in the chain of command.

    As each week passes and more information is revealed about the activities of British intelligence and RUC special branch involvement in the IRA, UDA, UVF and the rest of the alphabet soup of paramilitaries that were engaged in the past conflict, a clear pattern is emerging that murder and violence was allowed to happen on a wide scale, murder and violence was controlled and directed by agents of the state on behalf of the state on a wide scale.

    If he was writing a journal and it was detailing his activities during his career as a British agent provocateur in the IRA then those who would have most to lose from the revelations within that journal would have been the most to gain from his death.

    I support the family, indeed I believe its in the interests of everyone that his death is re-examined and a light be shone on his past involvement with British intelligence, they should be forced to justify why they allowed a person who they believed was a terrorist to go about doing the same thing for so long.

  • Kevsterino

    I don’t remember being shocked when Mr. Donaldson was assassinated as much as I was shocked by his public confession, shoulder to shoulder with the leadership of Sinn Fein.

    I believe the scope of what the public doesn’t know about the whole scenario is breathtaking.

  • http://WindowsIDHotmail danielsmoran

    Yet another inquiry and the protesters must be depressed as this fits into their whole rant ‘as in ‘Themmuns gets ivrythin’ an we get nathin’ scenario. But by insisting the flag should stay up all year round, they only confirm why nationalists want it restricted as they know the motive behind keeping it up is to score petty points off, and keep ‘themmuns in their place and know who rules the roost, but the trouble is, they don’t anymore.

  • Reader

    tacapall: If he was writing a journal and it was detailing his activities during his career as a British agent provocateur in the IRA then those who would have most to lose from the revelations within that journal would have been the most to gain from his death.
    It’s as though you think the IRA would have been less effective and less aggressive without secret assistance and incitement from the Brits.
    In your view, how might the troubles have played out if the security forces hadn’t infiltrated the various terrorist groups?
    By the way, I don’t know if you were on the internet in the days when Donaldson came out, but if you were, you couldn’t have missed the visceral hatred from all shades of republicanism. If you want a long list of suspects, dig through the internet archives.

  • Barnshee

    Man murdered in other country
    Other country`s police force finds diary– keeps diary
    WTF has it got to do with Police ombudsman?

    PS Man murdered –Cui bono?

  • tacapall

    Reader lets not attempt to defend the indefensible, people employed to uphold the law engaged in practices that were against the law in fact they were a proactive factor in an increasingly large number of trouble related sectarian murders.

    I know Donaldson had many enemies I did not say otherwise, all I said was those who had most to lose from his being alive were the ones that had most to gain from his death.