Ombudsman reopens Donaldson case
The North’s police ombudsman, Dr Michael Maguire, is to reinvestigate family claims that actions by police officers might have contributed to the death of republican informer Denis Donaldson.
Dr Maguire has overturned a ruling by his controversial Canadian predecessor, Al Hutchinson, that there was no misconduct by PSNI officers in relation to the murder of Donaldson, which was admitted by the Real IRA. Donaldson, who was a former IRA hunger striker and the Sinn Féin head of administration at Stormont during crucial periods of the peace process, was shot dead at a farmhouse where he was living near Glenties, Co Donegal, in April 2006.
The previous December he had admitted he had been working as a British agent.
The Donaldson family has long complained that the manner of the outing of Donaldson as an agent and his murder had not been properly explained. The family was deeply unhappy at Mr Hutchinson’s decision three years ago to close the case and his finding that there was no police misconduct.
The new ombudsman, Dr Maguire, has now decided to reopen the case after the Donaldsons provided what they said was new information to his office about alleged police misconduct. Dr Maguire “has decided their allegations must now be looked at again in light of this information”, his spokesman said last night.