Two questioned over MI5 murder

Two questioned Mi5 murder
Denis Donaldson was murdered at Cloghercor, Doochary, Co Donegal in April, 2006. Photo: 16/12/2005

Two men have been arrested over the murder of IRA informer and MI5 agent Denis Donaldson in 2006.

Donaldson, 55, was a senior Sinn Fein official and was shot dead at a remote cottage near Glenties, Donegal, after being exposed as a British spy. He was close colleague of Gerry Adams.

Gary Donnelly, independent councillor in Derry and Strabane and a republican, was detained on Sunday.

He was subsequently released without charge. It’s the second time that Mr Donnelly has been arrested and released without charge as a result of investigations in to the murder.

A Garda also confirmed that a second man, in his 30s and also arrested on Sunday, and remains in custody under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

The Garda press office described the investigation as “ongoing”, and have appealed to anyone with information relating to Mr Donaldson’s murder to contact them.

Dissident republican group the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the killing in 2009.

Mr Donnelly was arrested after speaking at a centenary commemoration of the Meenbanad ambush in Co Donegal, where two republicans were freed from a British Army escort. An act considered to be one of the first in Ireland’s War of Independence.

Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easpaig, an independent councillor who organised the event, said: “We believe Gary Donnelly’s arrest to be politically motivated. “It was a staged arrest, politically motivated and it was to undermine the work of independent councillors like ourselves.”

Raising questions over the timing of the arrest, Mr Mac Giolla Easpaig said that warrant was issued on 22 November and as a frequent visitor to Donegal, Mr Donnelly could have been arrested “on a number of occasions in the last two months”.

Ciaran Shiels, solicitor for the Donaldson family, of Madden and Finucane, said: “The family have no comment in relation to either arrest at this stage.

“However, we don’t believe either individual to be ‘Lenny’, Denis Donaldson’s PSNI and RUC handler.

“The family believe he is the person with the most serious questions to answer in this matter and we would urge, yet again, that the authorities speak to him under caution and as a suspect in this case.”

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