Garda file almost ready in Denis Donaldson murder probe

A garda file is almost ready for presentation to the Director of Public Prosecutions on the murder of Republican double agent Denis Donaldson.

Garda Superintendent Michael Finan, who is head of the Glenties Garda District, told an inquest that he expects the DPP to decide within six months if he has enough evidence to prosecute.

The Superintendent was applying in Letterkenny for one more adjournment of the inquest into Donaldson’s death..

He said a file will be submitted to the DPP and six months should be adequate time for him to come reach a decision

Donaldson, 56, was murdered in his remote home at Classey, Cloghercor, near Glenties, Co. Donegal on April 4th 2006.

Donaldson, a senior Sinn Fein figure who headed his party’s support team at Stormont and who had been operating as a British spy for 20 years, was shot four times in the chest, face, arm and hand in a cottage eight kilometres from Glenties.

The inquest has now been adjourned by coroner Dr Denis McCauley eight times.

But today he said that as the garda criminal investigation was “active” he had no alternative but to adjourn it one more time.

He said it was reassuring the investigation was still happening and he would prefer if there was a prosecution.

The coroner said next time, if the DPP decides not to bring prosecutions, he will accelerate the inquest proceedings and seek documentation, including witness depositions.

Ciaran Shiels, solicitor for the Donaldson family, said there had been a couple of arrests but so far there didn’t appear to have been enough evidence to bring charges or prosecute.

Stephen Byrne, counsel for the Garda Commissioner, warned that Mr Shiels should be careful how he commented when referring to a Garda criminal investigation.

He added that that it was a sensitive investigation into an unfortunate death.

The inquest was adjourned until April 26, 2112, with the coroner advising of his intention to accelerate his inquiry if the DPP decides against a prosecution