Donaldson family taking legal action against the NI Police Ombudsman

The family of Dennis Donaldson is taking legal action against the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman.

In a statement this evening, their solicitors Madden and Finucane say in April, they raised grave questions about the role PSNI  Special Branch members in the circumstances leading to Denis Donaldson's murder, and this week's BBC's Spotlight programme have confirmed those concerns.

They say it now seems that when those issues of complaint were raised with the current Police Ombudsman, they were "systematically suppressed".

 

Full statement -

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY OF DENIS DONALDSON

IN RESPONSE TO REVELATIONS IN BBC SPOTLIGHT

 

In April 2011, we published new information that raised grave questions about the role PSNI Special Branch members played in the circumstances leading to Denis's murder.

Disclosures by BBC’s Spotlight programme (Tues. 18th Oct. ‘11) have confirmed our statement of concerns.

PSNI Special Branch members knew the movements and communications of Denis Donaldson, and his wife Alice, during the time that he had sought refuge in Donegal.

One former senior member of PSNI Special Branch knows how this information was obtained, why it was gathered, where it was processed, who accessed it, and what was done with it.  His code-name is ‘Lenny’.  He is Denis’s former PSNI Special Branch handler. 'Lenny' remained a senior member of PSNI Special Branch until earlier this year when he retired from that organisation.

It is now apparent that the issues of complaint, deemed to be “grave and exceptional” that were raised with the current Police Ombudsman were systematically suppressed.  The role played by ‘Lenny’ had been central to our family’s complaint.  The current Police Ombudsman did not even interview ‘Lenny’.

The current Police Ombudsman further demonstrated bland indifference to the content of a journal, which Denis Donaldson had secretly compiled, but which was seized by Gardai at the scene of his murder. They continue to withhold that material from the family citing “security concerns”.  

Our solicitors are now preparing legal action in light of the Police Ombudsman’s handling of our complaint.