Donaldson appeal amid inquest delays

Published Thursday, 26 April 2012
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The family of murdered Sinn Féin spy Denis Donaldson are appealing to the European Court of Human Rights to force the Irish government to hold an inquest into his death.

Donaldson appeal amid inquest delays
Denis Donaldson at Stormont in 2005. (© Pacemaker)

It was adjourned for the ninth time on Thursday because Gardai haven't completed their investigations - but they say that will be done within weeks.

Mr Donaldson was shot dead six years ago by Real IRA gunmen in a rural cottage near Glenties in Co Donegal.

The former senior Sinn Féin official had confessed to spying for Special branch and MI5 just months before he was killed.

Donegal Coroner Dr Denis McCauley has opened the inquest into Donaldson's death nine times and each time it has been adjourned.

Six months ago Gardai had requested an adjournment to complete their investigations and send a file to the Republic of Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions - but that hasn't happened.

Superintendent Michael Finan told the inquest the file had not been completed because of unfortunate and unavoidable delays.

Within the last few days Garda have met with the Donaldson family to inform them of the nature of those delays.

They also revealed their investigation will be complete within a matter of weeks.

However the Donaldson family are not happy - they are appealing to the European Court of Human rights to force the inquest to be held.

Ciaran Shields, Donaldson Family solicitor, said: "On each and every occasion when there has been an application for an adjournment we hear that the investigation is ongoing that it is active but the telling thing is that there have been three people arrested but to date no charges have been brought.

"Today we have to give the state notice of our intention to lodge proceedings with the European Court of Human rights in Strasbourg in order to seek a resolution from the court."

The next date for the inquest has been set for November.

© UTV News
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