Donaldson family don’t blame IRA…

THE Donaldson family – who are as much a victim of circumstance as anyone in this whole sorry affair – have released a statement. Although they do not know who was responsible for Denis’ murder, they say the difficult situation which they had been put in was “the direct result” of the activities of the Special Branch and British Intelligence agencies. They also say they don’t believe the IRA was responsible for the murder, and ask for privacy. “We would ask those politicians and media commentators who have sought to use this tragedy to score cheap political points to stop doing so,” the statement added, pointing the finger at sections of the media for revealing Denis’ whereabouts.

  • The Devil

    So what the family are saying that working as a British Agent doesn’t automatically make you an outcast…. hmmmm new Sinn Fein new thinking.

  • Busty Brenda

    Denis was a grown up.

    Big boys rules. Big boys games.

    He knew what he was doing. He knew the consequences, BUT Scap got away with it, so he thought he could to.

    Denis is to blame for the uncomfortable position of his family. He tried to play both sides and be well paid into the bargain.

    Big boys rules. Big boys games.

    Denis played. Denis lost.

  • joinedupthinking

    I have a lot of sympathy for this family.
    But the hard fact is they don’t know who killed Denis. So how can they give the IRA a clean slate?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Denis is to blame for the uncomfortable position of his family.’

    Exonerating in one fell swoop those who controlled him from the safety of Lodon for over twenty years.

    ‘But the hard fact is they don’t know who killed Denis. So how can they give the IRA a clean slate?’

    In much the same way that the majority of the media, commentators and politicians don’t know who killed him but have no problem in apportioning blame. In cases like this you are by and large directed by your own bias.

  • Joe


    The fact is that nobody knows who did this foul deed. But that hasn’t stopped a lot of people, including certain politicians and commentators on this site, from pointing the finger at the IRA.

    We need to wait and see what the authorities come up with. Idle speculation is simply that… idle.

  • heck

    Busty Brenda,

    you must not have a heart under that big bust.

    I suppose I can use the same line of arguement to comment to the families of dead policemen-

    they are big boys-knew what they were getting into when the joined the police–the did it to their families

    dead soldiers –volunteer army–paid killers-knew what they were doing- did it to their families

    dead judges/airey neave/prison officers– “Big boys rules. Big boys games”

    I may not like some of these people but have some sympathy for their families. They were all somebody’s son or husband or father.

  • Innismurray

    Does anyone seriously think that the Gardai will
    attribute blame for DD’s murder to British security services no matter what evidence they have? Dissident republicans, rogue PIRA or as an outside choice loyalists will be the only ones in the frame. In previous cases where there was evidence of British security force involvement such as the in the murder of Seamus Ludlow, the bombings in Dublin and Monaghan it took many years for it to become public knowledge. We can expect no more in this case as it is not in the national interest of the ROI to blame the British. The ROI needs peace in NI and to achieve that long term it must have the Brits friendly.

  • TL

    I feel terrible for the family, and even for him, as he must have know what fate awaited him.
    As for the statement taking blame from the IRA, that is a bit premature isn’t it?

  • The Devil

    A loyalist hit-team drawn from all over Ulster did it, nobody would expect them to travel all the way to the arsehole of Donegal to execute someone who helped them in the past and could do so in the future with revelations at a later date.

    Trevor from strangeford was the getaway driver, he’s a former RUC man bitter at being layed off with a nice house and massive pension.

    A shifty protestant solicitor planned the whole thing to embarrass the Shinners for all of about 2 minutes.

    Brian Nelson was the triggerman.

    ****** THE ABOVE IS THEORY A *********
    ********* BELOW IE THEORY B **********

    Someone in the Provo’s did it either sanctioned or unsanctioned.

    hmmmmmmm, I dunno, it’s a tough choice.

  • TL

    Devil you are a mastermind….once you laid it all out theory A really sounds logical.

  • Innismurray

    Hi Devil
    A lot of NI protestants/unionists have holiday homes in Donegal, including the Ardara/Glenties area. I am not suggesting these might have been used in executing DD’s murder but if it was done by loyalists, and one could not totally dismiss it, they might not have had to travel as far as you suggest. I’m sure people in the area could do without the current attention which DD’s murder has attracted to the hills of Donegal. For the record I don’t know who did it. I’m not expecting to find out in the near future either.

  • Planning a career

    I think I’ll go into merchant banking, or perhaps the law. I was thinking of trying my hand at spying – the money is good – but this incident has made me think again. Let’s face it, the retirement plan sucks. It’s even worse if you’re a double spy, because you never know which of your employers is going to terminate you – and in that business “terminate” means just that. My money says the Brits did it. He was worth more to Sinn Fein alive, especially with all he must have known. Let’s hope he passed it all on to them before he was terminated. I wouldn’t put it past some rogue elements in the Garda to have played a role, either. After all, he chose to live in Donegal, of all places, and we all know the Gardai there are as straight a sthe road to Clonakilty.

  • The Devil

    glad to be of assistance for once.

    Planning a career,
    if that’s what you really think, can I suggest a career as a surgeons model, as it is clear you have already had the frontal labotomy…….

  • TL

    Devil your posts have been very entertaining. So I suppose I’m becoming something of a Satanist.

  • missfitz

    I still think it would be interesting to know what were the compromising circumstances that made him take up spying for a living.

    What if:

    When he was being questioned by the nice men a few weeks ago, he told them what he had done to turn.

    What if:

    Part of that story was relayed to the individual or family of the person a possible act was carried out upon

    What if:

    The family/individual/concerned other was very pissed off and decided that DD would pay not jsut for the deed but for compounding the abhorrence of the deed with becoming a spy.

    I dunno, it seems plausible to me, particularly when you look at cui bono. Neither the shinners, the securocrats nor the loyalists stand to gain

  • Busty Brenda


    It’s got nothing to do with having a heart, and everything to do with individual responsibility. When someone joined the police they did so with their eyes wide open and took reasonable security measures I would imagine. Same goes to those who joined the IRA.

    As for DD, he played the game he knew the rules,
    he lost.

    Thats individual responsibility. Not all the dead of the troubles died due to lack of individual responsibility, there were victims, who got caught up in the troubles ie the victims of Omagh for example.

    But DD KNEW the risks in playing the game he played. His choice and his INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY.

    Sorry about his situation but the only person to have put the Donaldson family in an uncomfortable position was the husband father and brother they spoke of.

    He was a big boy, who played a big boys game and lost.

  • Joe

    I’m totally amazed at the number of amateur crime solvers there are on these pages. Sherlock Holmes was “nuthin” compared to you all.
    No doubt the Gardai and the PSNI are doing nothing but monitoring these pages to find out who really “dunit”.

  • missfitz

    As I also have a large bosom, I will answer your earlier question.

    I agree with Brenda on this. Spying on your friends and family comes into a different category than joining police or security forces. There is no way to dress up a betrayal, it is elemental to most people that you dont tout.

    ANd its not an Irish thing, all cultures have taboo about telling tales, gossiping, betrayal of confidence.
    It doesnt correlate with doing a legitimate job in society

  • TL

    You might not know this Joe but we also have a van w/ flowers on it and we go from town to town with our talking dog sloving crimes. Holler if you ever need us.

  • missfitz

    I would expect nothing less…….

  • Busty Brenda

    I agree with missfitz, no one likes a judas iscariot.

    Who felt sorry for denis when he took his queens shilling, and he took plenty, 20 odd years worth.

    He put his family in the position they were in, no wonder he was alone in that isolated cottage.

  • Joe

    Talking about talking dogs, TL: years ago my grandfather was walking down a country lane and heard this squeaking voice saying “Help me”.
    He looked around and all he could see was a frog.
    He asked the frog “Did you just speak?’
    The frog said “Yes, I’m not really a frog; I’m a beautiful princess and a bad witch turned me into a frog. If you kiss me I’ll turn back into a beautiful princess and be yours forever”.
    Grandpa picked up the frog and stuck it in his shirt pocket.
    The frog popped its head out and said “I don’t think you understood, I’ll do ANYTHING you want”(nudge nudge).
    Grandpa said, “Heck, at my age I’d rather have a talking frog”.

  • klaus

    Forget politics, let’s talk about those busty bosoms. 😉

  • Realist

    “A lot of NI protestants/unionists have holiday homes in Donegal, including the Ardara/Glenties area. I am not suggesting these might have been used in executing DD’s murder but if it was done by loyalists, and one could not totally dismiss it, they might not have had to travel as far as you suggest.”

    Deary, deary me.

    Then again, it might have been mavericks within the fractured PRM who stiffed him for being a tout.

    Some Provos are still “honourable” to the rules, whether Gerry likes it or not.

  • PaddyReilly

    St Thomas Aquinas talks of things proceeding from multiple causes, one of which is always God. There are four others, I think. A tree is one of the causes of a table: a carpenter and the idea of tables are others.

    Denis Donaldson, when young, joined the IRA. So the IRA is one of the causes of his death; though partition, the UVF and Lloyd-George are others. Donaldson committed some strange indiscretion in his youth that meant he was amenable to being blackmailed into doing the will of MI5 and the RUC, so these are also causes.

    Elements in the RUC decided to use him to bring the Stormont executive down. These same elements decided a year or more later to expose him, presumably because he wasn’t following their orders closely enough. These, for my money, are the chief cause. I think they expected him to take refuge in England, so that the secret of their activities would be safe. He did not: he moved to the Republic, a loose cannon as far as they were concerned. Then the Sunday Scum reported his whereabouts. Why? There are plenty of people whose whereabouts have not been revealed. Another cause.

    And Donaldson, after this, did not move. Nor apparently did he clarify his past activities in a way that would render his termination of use to nobody. So he himself was a cause, it was partially suicide.

    Who actually pulled the trigger is irrelevant.

    Donaldson’s family are within their rights to accept the assurances of the IRA, the Salvation Army and Bord Bainne that they were not the actual assassins, even if the actual facts are not known. It is possible that the assassin was himself once an employee of Bord Bainne, but the responsibility is his, not Bord Bainne’s.

    And as for the IRA, even if an ex-member of this organisation were responsible, how do we know that he was not being blackmailed by ex-members of the RUC?

  • missfitz

    Ah jaysus Paddy
    What about free will?
    Thats a load of mopery crap, if you excuse my language.

    We all face difficult decisions and make choices that will show our mettle.

    Funny I was thinking this just last week when faced with an ethically challenging situation. I realsied that I was uncompromising in my views, but I would not have realsied that beforehand.

    WHen we step up to the plate we make choices. There are influences obviously, but those influences can be moderated by our own free will and determination of choice.

  • TL

    I’m scared by so many things in that post PaddyReill. However, the biggest among them that you appeal to St. Thomas. The last time I saw a Thomist we captured him and took turns lashing him with a copy of “Being and Time.”

  • Realist

    I would have had more respect for the PRM had their statement said “We haven’t a clue who killed Mr Donaldson, and will be conducting an internal investigation on the matter to ascertain whether or not members of our organisation had any involvement”.

    Because, frankly, that is the position.

    They would not have known otherwise within a matter of a few short hours.

    They also know, that whatever the truth of it, Blair will do anything neccessary to keep the “process” alive.

    Blair lacks what some PRM members have…honour towards the rules.

  • Glen Taisie


    help me to follow your logic by working this one out.

    Billy Leonard takes some action.

    Is he personally responsible?

    Are Sinn Fein responsible as he is a current member?

    Are the SDLP responsible as he was a former member?

    Are the DPP responsible as he was a former member?

    Are the RUC responsible as he was a former member?

    Are the Orange Order responsible as he was a former member?

    Are the Seventh Day Adventists responsible as he was a former member?

    Any ideas

  • TL

    Please don’t encourage the Thomist.
    As for Billy it was my fault…I talked him into it.

  • Mal One

    I have no regard whatsoever for the Shinners nor
    for their attempts to ride two horses at the same time. However, I do feel very sorry for Dennis and his family.

    By his own admission he was a British agent. Why on earth did he choose to end his days in relative squalor in Donegal. It is hardly a great advert for a carrer as an agent, double or otherwise.

    Did the British really cast him adrift without a lifebelt? Why would they do that or did Dennis simply reject any resettlement offer in the hope that his former Shinner mates would see he was left alone?

    Also, who was it that outed him in the first place? There were many allegations that this was about to happen but never did. My recollection is that Dennis outed himself. Again, why?

    Many questions but few answers.

  • Mal

    Denis “outed” himself because his handlers told him he was going to be outed. I suppose he thought it was better if it came from him.

  • Mal One


    I think you might be right but again why would his handlers spook him to do this and under whose direction and why?

    Any red faces amongst the shinners would just be temporary and just as quickly forgotten so what was the big picture?

  • mark

    ‘Why on earth did he choose to end his days in relative squalor in Donegal’

    He didn’t. ‘Squalor’ is tabloid nonsense and weak journalism becoming ‘reality’.

    Look at the overhead shots (bad phrase) you see a water hose going into the house and two gas canisters at the wall. He had heat, water, cooking facilities but no electric; it was clearly a recently rendered building, well painted/maintained and seems to have decent windows and doors. (Looked like new to me)

    If squalor means no electricity, I know many people that live in temporary squalor after their ‘powercard’ expires.

    The grounds and one outbuilding also appears to have been landscaped to some extend.

    Just like the torture claim now thought of as fact by many is a complete load of shit. (Post mortem)

    This doesn’t change the real substance – a man is dead. Much of the rest of the initial story is lies/nonsense and those that reported the lies are not being challenged over their assumptions of guilt while getting it so wrong on other elements.

    [b]PSNI and Garda[/b] sources were both quoted as mentioning ‘torture in several papers. It must be fair to say they were telling lies, making it up, bullshitting. Several other papers gave credits to journalists for interviews that were just transcriptions of RTE and UTV interviews. (Is that a lie or just a bit dishonest?)

    Regardless. The print media in particular (as it is always playing catch up) has been guilty of serious failings in reporting but hey who cares it must have been the IRA. Stuff standards. Roll out …..

  • GurnyGub

    Oh Father,on me knees, it’s been 40 years etc


  • Martin

    Those isolated rural conditions would have been the ideal place for someone who had a notion of writing a book.

    It is also possible that DD was in fact a triple agent all along and that upset MI5

  • GurnyGub

    Sorry, you already said that(just noticed)

  • GurnyGub

    Triple schmipple! We should all live by the law, it’s just about the same law in every country, and should be in our hearts too.

  • WestChick

    As someone who belives Donaldson was sacrificed by the security forces for a bigger pawn, I have to say I actually think that British Intelligence (the ultimate oxymororn?) was responsible for his death. Donaldson has never said who else was working with him and I think most people on this site believe that he was the tip of the iceberg, so I have to wonder what value his death would be to the shinners, and would whoever he was protecting not have a greater motive for silencing him.
    Busty brenda
    As a fellow busty lady, I have to agree with you, you play the big boys games you have to be prepared for how they finish the game…and both sides that he played are known to finish the game this way!!
    I feel for his family, but he knew what he was doing.

  • micktvd

    I have to say that Paddy reilly’s attempt to give a broader historical context to this sorry affair is completely legitimate as historical explanation. We do not have free will in any absolute sense, and I don’t think Paddy’s piece says that DD didn’t make decisions on his own. It is good to look at longer term causes as well as immediate ones in any explanation of events. There are absurdities at both ends of the scale. Think about the absurdity of saying that WW1 had no role to play in the formation of Hitler’s psychopathy.

    For what it’s worth, over here (in Australia) we had immediate news items, both print and media, stating that DD had been tortured, most likely by the IRA, before being shot. I may have missed further clarifications, and will check today’s papers.

  • PaddyReilly

    What I wrote was not Thomism (which I only vaguely remember) or an essay on historical context but an attempt to establish criminal responsibility.

    If Billy Leonard shoots his wife, then only he is responsible.

    If, following Sinn Fein policy, he participates in a boycott then both he and Sinn Fein are responsible.

    There is a school of DUP rhetoric which holds firstly that Sinn Fein and the IRA are identical (despite significant numbers of that party’s voters and membership being female and less than 12 years old at the time of the ceasefire) and secondly that actions by individuals who were once members of the IRA are actions of the IRA as a whole.

    This is merely a political stance (ie a lie) which is refuted by such cases as Billy Leonard, who embodies Sinn Fein/RUC/Orange Order/etc.

    As regards Donaldson, the most significant event in his life is that his former activities were exposed by his RUC handlers. This is an event so unprecedented that it requires an explanation.

    It seems fairly obvious that they wanted him to be killed by the IRA.

    Equally obviously, the IRA never existed to do the dirty work of the RUC, and so if ex-members of the RUC want Donaldson dead, then the IRA would want him alive.

    If I send a taxidriver to XYZ street, knowing that vicious sectarian murderers with a propensity for murdering taxidrivers are lurking there and hoping that they will kill him, do I not have criminal responsibility if they do? Should I not be arrested first, before any attempt to catch the actual assassins?

  • The Devil

    Busty Brenda wrote

    “I agree with missfitz, no one likes a judas iscariot”

    I would just like to point out that you are in fact inncorrect, because I just loved the guy.

    Where would I be without him… he was the making of me, and now that I think of it Ian Paisley, The Pope, Pastor Kenny Clinton, The Spanish Inquisition, Fr Alec Ried, The Ayatollas, Martin Luther, Fr Brendan Smyth, Mother Teatowel head,

    hmmmmmm you might be right this Judas bastard might have been a plant that I fell for hook line and 30 pieces of silver

  • Glen Taisie

    “If Billy Leonard shoots his wife, then only he is responsible.”

    Billy and his wife are both mebers of Sinn Fein and former members of the SDLP.

  • Rory

    If Billy Leonard shoots his wife then surely PaddyReilly (and maybe Thomas a Quinas too) bear some of the culpability for putting the idea in his head in the first place.

    I only hope that Mrs Leonard is a regular visitor to this site so that, forewarned, she can skip offside.

  • John

    Now that the terrorists have been defeated and forced to surrender by the citizens of NI, I prayed that I would never see any more murders.

    However, the murder of many Irish citizens since the terrorist’s ceasefires concerns me.

  • Jacko

    It really is laughable what some people will coax themselves into believing.

    Take this from WestChick for example: “Donaldson has never said who else was working with him …”

    Do you actually think they know who else is a tout? That they meet each other for a pint every now and again in the tout’s club or something?

    And this from the same poster: “… British Intelligence (the ultimate oxymororn?) …

    These are the people who ran Denis and Scap for decades without discovery – and God knows how many other high placed touts still in place – and she(?) thinks they are stupid.
    Laughable, really laughable.

  • PaddyReilly

    Should Billy Leonard kill his wife I am happy to acknowledge that it was me (and Saint Thomas Aquinas) that put him up to it, but I know for a certainty that Dr Who on the other thread (and hundreds like him, including a certain octogenarian birthday boy) would say it was the work of IRA/Sinn Fein and the reason why there can be no powersharing.

    But suppose the fool fails to shoot her, or forewarned by this thread, she moves to a safe house? What will the DUP do then, poor things? Obviously, if a Sinn Fein voter kicks his dog, then this is a proof that the party has not turned its back on violence.