Thursday 18 January 2018

Tanaiste calls on Gerry Adams to cooperate with spy murder probe

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams

The Minister for Justice has insisted that Gerry Adams should cooperate with any garda investigation following claims accusing him of involvement in the murder of British spy Denis Donaldson.

The Sinn Fein leader was forced to hit back the allegations made in the BBC programme Spotlight over the killing in Donegal in April 2006.

The BBC carried the claims by another former spy that the murder would had to have been sanctioned by the politician.

Mr Adams has described the allegations as "lies".

He has also said he will consider legal action in relation to the claims.

The Real IRA, which has plotted to kill Adams on at least three occasions, previously claimed responsibility for the Donaldson murder.

"Of course if allegations are being made and if there is evidence, then I would appeal for anyone to come forward," Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald said yesterday.

"Of course the gardai will investigate if there is evidence. Everybody should cooperate with that investigation, including Gerry Adams," she added.

"Any matters brought to the attention of An Garda Siochana will be investigated fully and any appropriate steps will be taken thereafter," Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan added.

It comes following revelations that a veteran republican was questioned by police about the murder of Denis Donaldson after his fingerprints were found inside the cottage where the British spy was shot dead.

Donaldson (56) died when he was hit with two blasts from a shotgun at the family-owned cottage 7km from Glenties in April 2006.

Donaldon's death came almost four months after the Sinn Fein fixer admitted working for the British for the previous 20 years.

However, it has now emerged that gardai recovered the fingerprints of veteran Belfast republican Victor Notarantonio after the cottage killing.

It is understood those prints were recovered from a painting Donaldson had been working on at the time of his death.

When gardai failed to get a match for the prints, they were sent to the PSNI, which confirmed they belonged to Notarantonio, an outspoken critic of Gerry Adams.


When Notarantonio was questioned by police in the North, he claimed to have visited Donaldson at the cottage four weeks before the killing.

He vehemently denied any involvement in the murder, insisting he was a friend of Donaldson and that he had travelled to Donegal to seek his advice on a feud involving the Notarantonio family and another family at the time.

Notarantonio was released without charge.

Two weeks after his visit - in March 2006 - a reporter from a Sunday newspaper had traced Donaldson to the same cottage.

The British spy was shot dead a fortnight later.

Donaldson had been interned in the 1970s with Victor Notarantonio's father Francisco, who was later murdered by the UFF.

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