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Gerry Adams 'prepared to speak to police if asked' following BBC Spotlight allegations

By Niall O'Connor and PA

Published 21/09/2016

The claim was rejected by Gerry Adams, who has always denied he was in the IRA
The claim was rejected by Gerry Adams, who has always denied he was in the IRA

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said he would be prepared to speak to police investigating the murder of Denis Donaldson if asked to do so.

Mr Adams said he categorically denied the allegations that he sanctioned the murder of the former Sinn Fein member.

Speaking to reporters at the Ploughing Championship in Tullamore, Co Offaly, the Louth TD insisted the allegations are false.

He said he does not know who killed Mr Donaldson in 2006.

"It's wrong. I repudiate it, deny it absolutely and categorically and specifically," he said.

Asked if he will speak to the police if they wish him to? "Absolutely, of course I will."

The #BBC Spotlight' programme heard from a former IRA member turned British agent known as 'Martin' who alleged that Mr Adams sanctioned the murder of Mr Donaldson in 2006.

The murder happened a decade after the so-called IRA ceasefire was announced.

The veteran republican accused "elements within the British system" of trying to undermine him and his party.

"We have to look at what's behind this agenda," he said.

Police prepare to leave Stormont after a raid on the Sinn Fein office in 2002
Police prepare to leave Stormont after a raid on the Sinn Fein office in 2002

"The person who made this allegation - an anonymous, unnamed, self-professed agent of the British state. So whose agenda is that serving? This is an attempt to rewrite history.

"There are elements within the British system who will never be reconciled with the fact that we have got a peace process and that Sinn Fein are in the leadership of that process, along with others; that Martin McGuinness, for example, leads the administration in the north along with (DUP First Minister) Arlene Foster; that we've got five Sinn Fein ministers (in Northern Ireland); that we are growing here in this part of the island (Irish Republic) and that's what this and what that agenda is about."

Dissident republican group the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the murder in 2009 but the circumstances surrounding Mr Donaldson's outing as a British agent and subsequent death have long been shrouded in mystery.

Denis Donaldson
Denis Donaldson

Sinn Fein's Mr McGuinness branded the allegation against his party colleague "total rubbish".

"The fact is the Donaldson family are actually very close to all of us within the leadership of Sinn Fein," said Stormont's Deputy First Minister.

"And I think the fact that dissident republicans claimed responsibility for this and it appears for the last 10 years the Garda Siochana in Donegal have been investigating that line of inquiry I think gives total nonsense to the allegation that was made principally by someone who appears to be a paid agent, and I use the word 'agent' in inverted commas."

He said the documentary lacked credibility and insisted the claims would not damage Sinn Fein.

"Sinn Fein have had to deal with programmes like this for the last 30-odd years," he said.

"The important thing for us is the wisdom and intelligence of the electorate is there for everybody to see.

"Even against the backdrop of recurring programmes over 30 years, just a few weeks ago the electorate returned us with the DUP to take the government of the north further on, so I don't believe it's going to damage Sinn Fein in the least."

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accused Sinn Féin of adopting an "attack and deny" response to allegations.

Speaking to reporters at the Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Mr Martin admitted that he had not seen the programme in its entirely.

But he attacked Sinn Fein, saying the party is not fit for Government.

"I do get concerned when Sinn Fein just pounce on the messenger, attack and deny, attack and deny, which is a standard pattern od sinn fein response to situations like this," Mr Martin said.

The Cork South Central TD also expressed concern that there has not yet been an inquest into Mr Donaldson's murder.

Asked whether Fianna Fáil would consider entering government with Sinn Fein in the future, he replied:

"Our view is very consistent with our view before the election. We will not be going into governnment with Sinn Féin. We do not believe Sinn Fein is fit for governmebt.

"Their whole modus operandi is wrong. It's not a democratic party and we are very, very clear about that."

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: "The Spotlight programme dealt with matters of great public interest and the BBC stands by its journalism."

Irish Independent

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