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Garda arrests two over murder of Denis Donaldson

By Rebecca Black

Published 27/07/2016

Shot: Denis Donaldson
Shot: Denis Donaldson

Two men - including a pensioner - have been arrested by Garda detectives investigating the murder of former Sinn Fein official Denis Donaldson.

The pair were held in Co Donegal yesterday. One of the men is aged in his 40s, while the other is in his 70s.

Last night they were being held at Letterkenny Garda Station under the provisions of Section 30 of the Republic of Ireland's Offences Against The State Act.

Sinn Fein's former senior administrator turned British agent Donaldson was shot dead at a remote cottage in Doochary, Co Donegal, on April 4, 2006.

It was initially believed that the Provisional IRA was behind the killing.

However, the Real IRA claimed responsibility for his murder almost three years later.

Donaldson was a veteran republican who had served in the Maze Prison alongside hunger striker Bobby Sands and was a close confidant of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.

Following devolution, Donaldson went on to become a senior administrator for Sinn Fein at Stormont.

In 2002 he was arrested in a raid on the Sinn Fein offices as part of a PSNI investigation into an alleged republican spy ring.

In 2005 Adams announced to a Press conference that Donaldson had been an informer. He is believed to have been a double agent who had worked for police and MI5 for 20 years.

He was murdered just four months later in Donegal.

No one has ever been charged or convicted of the murder.

The Garda is appealing for anyone who may have information in relation to its murder investigation to contact officers at the incident room at Letterkenny Garda Station on 074 9167100, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111, or any Garda station.

In April Donaldson's family walked out of a sitting of the Coroner's Court after the 20th delay to the inquest into his murder.

The family's lawyer Ciaran Shiels said the delays had become intolerable and that he had been instructed to commence judicial review proceedings in the Republic against the Garda Commissioner, the Coroner, the Attorney General, the DPP and the Minister for Justice.

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