Belfast Telegraph

My arrest over killing of IRA spy in Donegal a farce, says councillor

By Leona O'Neill

A Republican councillor has been released without charge after being arrested in Donegal in connection with the death of MI5 spy Denis Donaldson.

Derry and Strabane independent councillor Gary Donnelly (47) yesterday described his arrest as a farce.

He was arrested on Sunday after speaking at a republican commemoration in Donegal.

His car was stopped as he returned to Londonderry and he was detained under terrorism legislation on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm at the home of Mr Donaldson on the day of his murder.

Mr Donaldson (56), a close associate of Gerry Adams, was a key figure in the rise of Sinn Fein. He was murdered at his isolated Co Donegal cottage in April 2006, four months after it emerged he had been an MI5 agent for two decades.

In 2009, the Real IRA claimed responsibility for his killing.

Mr Donnelly was released from Letterkenny Garda Station at 2.30pm yesterday. He said no fresh evidence had been put to him.

"I'm ecstatic to be released," he said. "However, I'm disappointed that I was arrested in the first place. I think that it was a farce.

"There was no evidence of any sort put to me of any quality. I think it was a publicity stunt.

"I believe that it shouldn't have happened. I was arrested in 2011 over the same incident and there was absolutely nothing new in this arrest.

"I think it was ridiculous."

In 2011 he was also released without charge.

The Garda said one of two men arrested on Sunday had been released and that a file was being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Another man aged in his 30s remains in police custody.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph