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Donaldson family to sue state
27 April 2012 --
Relatives of murdered British
agent Denis Donaldson are to take legal action against the Irish state.
An inquest into the Belfast
man's killing in April 2006 was adjourned for a ninth time in Letterkenny
A former senior member of Sinn
Féin, Mr Donaldson (56) was shot dead at a family holiday home near Glenties in
Co Donegal months after it emerged that he had acted as a British agent for the
previous 20 years.
At a reconvened inquest into
his death yesterday, investigating gardai requested a further adjournment to
allow a file to be completed for the Republic's Director of Public Prosecutions.
Garda Superintendent Michael
Finnan told coroner Denis McCauley the file would be ready within weeks.
But the Donaldsons' family
solicitor, Ciaran Shields of Madden and Finucane, said
the delay in conducting the inquest was unacceptable.
He said the family now intended
taking action against the state under Article 2 of the European Convention on
Human Rights which protects the right to life.
The development came after Mr
Donaldson's daughter Jane called for evidence held by all state agencies north
and south of the border to be disclosed.
In a letter to The Irish Times
on Monday, Ms Donaldson said the true story of her father's death was still
being written and the role of senior police officers was central to any
"In particular, attention has
been drawn to the activities of a person known as 'Lenny', the Special Branch
handler who maintained communication with Denis until his murder," she said.
The Belfast woman claimed
'Lenny' knew where her father was living in Co Donegal and had vital evidence
about his murder.
"The Garda Siochana has
vigorously opposed the commencement of inquest proceedings into Denis's murder
on grounds that it has a live investigation under way," Ms Donaldson wrote.
"Such claims stretch credulity
amidst many unanswered questions about the independence and effectiveness of
this Garda investigation."
Mr McCauley adjourned the
inquest until November 8.