Flash: Top informer found dead
Denis Donaldson, who spied for British forces while working as a top
Sinn Fein official for over twenty years, has been found dead.
Following his outing as an informer in December, Mr Donaldson had begun
living a hermit-like existence in an abandonded cottage near the County
Donegal village of Glenties.
According to reports, Mr Donaldson died of a single gunshot wound.
A pathologist is currently performing a post-mortem.
A one line statement from the Provisional IRA this evening said the
organisation had no involvement whatsoever in Donaldson's death.
Donaldson had been the most senior Sinn Fein official based at Stormont
Parliament Buildings. The west Belfast resident and one time friend of
hunger striker Bobby Sands was a key aide to Gerry Adams who helped
ensure Sinn Fein's Stormont machine ran smoothly.
Mr Donaldson came to public attention in October 2002 after the PSNI
raided Sinn Fein's offices at Stormont as part of an investigation into
His arrest, along with that of his son-in-law, Ciaran Kearney, and of
William Mackessy, a former Stormont porter, became known as
His double life was exposed when the allegations of an IRA spy ring at
Stormont last year. The scandal over the allegations heralded the end
of power-sharing under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Mr Donaldson said he had been a British agent for the last two decades,
having compromised himself in the 1980s during what was a "vulnerable"
period of his life.
"Since then I have worked for British intelligence and the RUC/PSNI
Special Branch. Over that period I was paid money," Mr Donaldson
in a statement to RTE last December.
He said he "was not involved in any republican spy ring in Stormont.
The so-called Stormontgate affair was a scam and a fiction, it never
existed, it was created by Special Branch.
"I deeply regret my activities with British intelligence and RUC
special branch. I apologise to anyone who has suffered as a result of
my activities as well as to my former comrades and especially to my
family who have become victims in all of this."
Mr Donaldson said the allegations of an IRA spy ring had been an
attempt to blame the IRA for the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement
and to sustain the political life of Ulster Unionist leader David