Donaldson inquest adjourned for two years

Coroner told "continuing, active, significant investigation" was ongoing

Donaldson inquest adjourned for two years
By Declan Magee

The inquest into the murder of Sinn Féin official Denis Donaldson in Donegal has been adjourned for two years to allow for a criminal investigation to be concluded.

Letterkenny superintendent Michael Finan applied for the adjournment at the latest inquest hearing, which has been adjourned at least 19 times.

He said the adjournment would allow criminal proceedings to be concluded. Supt Finan told coroner Dennis McCauley on Wednesday that a “continuing, active, significant investigation” was ongoing, and that there had been three arrests in relation to the investigation in the last four months.

Supt Finan said there was continuing fruitful liaison with an external police force.

Counsel for the state, Stephen J Byrne, said that if there is a trial it will be at least 12 months before it goes ahead.

The coroner said he believed there had never been so many adjournments in a coroner's court, adding that he hoped the investigation will have a result and the family would get justice.

He adjourned the inquest to September 26th, 2018.

No representative from the Donaldson family attended and they were not legally represented.

The family walked out of the inquest in April in protest at the ongoing delays. Their solicitor said they had issued legal proceedings against coroner Dennis McCauley, the director of public prosecutions, the Garda commissioner, the attorney general and the minister for justice.

Mr Donaldson was shot dead at an isolated cottage at Cloghercor near Glenties in April 2006. He had been exposed as an MI5 informer the previous December. The murder was later claimed by the Real IRA.

Pictured: Denis Donaldson and an erial view of the cottage where he was shot in 2006.