Donaldson claims British plotted to save Trimble
Former Sinn Féin official Denis Donaldson who was unveiled as a British spy last year has claimed he was sacrificed in a secret service plot to preserve the political career of then Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble.
The former aide to Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams sensationally admitted last December that he had been a British spy for over 20 years.
The former prisoner was famously photographed with his arm around Bobby Sands in an iconic image that went round the world during the 1981 IRA hunger strike.
Mr Donaldson is pictured in today's edition of the Sunday Worldnewspaper which discovered his whereabouts at a secluded cottage in the Donegal gaeltacht.
He told the paper: "The plan was to collapse the institutions to save Trimble - David Trimble was trying to out-DUP the DUP and in the end the DUP swallowed him up.
"The whole idea was to get Trimble off the hook and get republicans the blame. "But it didn't work because Trimble is history now." He added:
"There was never a spy ring at Stormont." Donaldson also said he had no idea how documents relating to the private details of British Army Chief of Staff, hundreds of prison officers and other individuals came to be found in a holdall in his west Belfast home.
The former political aide told the newspaper he was not in contact with any of his former party colleagues. Mr Donaldson denied being in hiding and said he simply wanted to be left alone.