Family hit out at investigation

Family hit out at investigation
The family of murdered Denis Donaldson told a Coroners Court they have concerns the Garda investigation into his death is “inadequate” and no one will be brought to justice.

The family of murdered Denis Donaldson told a Coroners Court they have concerns the Garda investigation into his death is “inadequate” and no one will be brought to justice.

Superintendent Michael Finan sought a three-month adjournment, when Letterkenny Coroners Court sat on Thursday afternoon, saying the Director of Public Prosecution is now seeking further “technical” information in relation to the file they have submitted. He said the information request came in May and it has now been supplied to the DPP.

Solicitor for the Donaldson family, Ciaran Shiels, said this was “another let down” and added they did not expect a prosecution to arise from the investigation.

Lawyer for the State, Stephen Bryne BL, said that could be possible but added: “Let’s not all lose hope that somebody be held accountable”.

Mr Shiels said the family had concerns the “investigation was inadequate” and gardai have not explored certain lines of inquiry into Mr Donaldson’s murder, alleging they did not contact Mr Donaldson’s PSNI handler, known by the name “Lenny”, or the handler’s senior officers. He claimed the former IRA member was still in contact with “Lenny” while residing in a rural cottage near Glenties prior to his death.

He added the family believe there was a “live line of inquiry” that could have been investigated “since the start of this”.

The solicitor added they were seeking to review the Garda investigation file prior to the inquest as they wished to “fully participate” in the pending hearing.

In response, Mr Byrne said he was objecting to “specific material” being submitted, adding it had the “potential to interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation”.

This request was also “significantly outside” the legal remit of the coroner, he said.

Coroner Dr. Denis McCauley said he was trying define the format the inquest would take when it eventually gets underway and took questions from both parties in relation to submissions they made since the last Coroners Court sitting. He highlighted there will come a time “when we say enough is enough”, and the matter will have to proceed.

He adjourned the inquest until March 27, 2014 to allow time for the DPP consideration and to avoid holding the inquest close to Christmas, which the court heard was a “difficult” time for the family.