Browne on Donaldson

Writing before Christmas (the Village only updates its website a week in arrears) Vincent Browne examines the circumstances surrounding the Donaldson spy case, and finds that both the British and Sinn Fein have questions to answer.

  • Some correctives to Vincent Browne’s article, Mick.

    Despite Vincent’s reference of the Ombudsman’s report on the searches of Donaldson’s office in Stormont, he, not for the first time, presents that search, and the search of Donaldson’s house, in a different chronological order than the Ombudsman’s report pointed out they took place – In a recent Irish Times article he was much more specific about the chronology that he was promoting.

    The search of his office in Stormont, which was why the police were there, came after the documents were found in Donaldson’s house.. that explains why Sinn Féin’s other offices were not searched. It was a perfectly understandable follow-up search in the circumstances, an issue that Vincent seems unable to comprehend, although, as the Ombudsman’s report pointed out, the manner of the search was questionable

    Additionally, and once again, Vincent repeats the claim that TV companies[plural] were “tipped off” about the search, when, as the Ombudsman’s report pointed out, only one UTV camera crew was present on that morning, recording some footage for a programme, and was able to record the early stages of the search – and they have denied any such tip-off.

    Of course, that could mean that they would also be implicated in the conspiracy [/tin-foil hat]

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘It was a perfectly understandable follow-up search in the circumstances,’

    It is only perfectly understandle if you completely swallow the line fed by the PSNI.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Sure, doesn’t completely swallowing Sinn Fein’s line these days probably amount to much the same thing?

    BTW Pat, you seem to have a lot of time on your hands to spend posting on this site. How do we know you aren’t being… ‘externally funded’?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘BTW Pat, you seem to have a lot of time on your hands to spend posting on this site.’

    I have only recently returned to posting on here after a 6 month absence and since my return have posted occasionally.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Brought in for debriefing, eh?

    Meanwhile, the question stands: why would swallowing Sinn Fein’s line whole be any more credible than swallowing the British line whole, when both lines blur into each other round the back?

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill


    You protest too much. You’re using the Donaldson episode perversely to imply bad faith on the part of SF when the real bad guys in all of this are the British government. However it suits apologists such as your self to come on and shine the light on Sinn Féin in the hope that the main culprits won’t be caught.
    It’s the same type of reasoning that was behind the entire ‘outing’ operation carried out by the PSNI just before Christmas.

    Wasn’t it just hilarious how the various usual suspects in the media waited until after Christmas to publish the stories fed to them by their handlers – oops sources – just so the storie wouldn’t die with the Turkey.

  • Oilbhéar, you must be the only one laughing.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    there is a recognition that elements of the media are loathe to do any type of investigative journalism into this whole incident.

    From day one and the very public raid at Stormont they have carried the RUC/PSNI account of the whole affair unfailingly. To now attempt to investigate would be a tremendous volte face for most of them.
    Far better, to yet again, follow the tried and tested formula of ‘who is next’ and the tiresome leaking of names. In the frenzy that surrounds such events it hides the fact that a lot of the media aren’t very good and that for a few of them their own involvement is quite sinister.

  • Shore Road Resident

    OC, my post quite clearly implies bad faith on the part of both Sinn Fein and the British government. However, for some reason you only seem to have seen “Sinn Fein” in the post and missed “British”. One eye shut, perhaps?

  • aquifer

    How about this. The IRA were insisting on their intelligence ‘pound of flesh’ for their continued co-operation in the peace process. Rather than have a whole swathe of Sinn Fein politicos involved and then dragged into court, destabilising the democratic process, the Brits used their agent as a ‘lightening conductor’ to assemble stuff for the IRA hard men. SFPIRA were dragging their heels on delivering the decommissioning aspects of the GFA, so were due some chivvying, and there was no way the gunmen were going to be gifted a pile of targetting information.

    Browne’s reading is more than charitable to SFPIRA, and I never felt them to be a charity case.