Republic of Ireland news

Donaldson murder accused still in police custody

Denis Donaldson was murdered 10 years ago in Co Donegal. Pictured with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Fein party president Gerry Adams in 2005. Picture by Press Association
Gareth McKeown

A man in his forties arrested on Thursday in connection with the murder of former Sinn Féin official and MI5 spy Denis Donaldson was still being questioned last night.

Gardaí confirmed that the man was still being held at Letterkenny Garda Station in Co Donegal and helping them with their enquiries into the 2006 murder.

They can hold him for 72 hours before they must either release him or charge him.

Mr Donaldson (55) was shot dead at an isolated cottage near Glenties, Co Donegal, in April 2006.

He had been living in the cottage following his exposure as an agent four months before his death.

The Real IRA claimed responsibility for the murder in 2008.

The arrest comes a week after a 74-year-old man appeared in court accused of withholding information linked to the murder.

Patrick Gillespie, of Craigvar Street in Glasgow, was granted bail after he appeared before the non-jury Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

An inquest into the murder has been adjourned at the request of investigating gardaí in Letterkenny almost 20 times, with concerns raised that it may compromise the criminal investigation.

Earlier this year, Mr Donaldson's family launched legal action in an effort to have the inquest take place, with the exact circumstance of his death still shrouded in mystery.

In 2014 the Garda made a mutual assistance request to a police force outside the Republic in an effort to gain what it described as potentially "significant" evidential material. This material was secured in March of this year.

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