Man to be charged over murder of former Sinn Fein worker Denis Donaldson

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By Rebecca Black, PA

A man is to be charged by Irish police over the murder of former Sinn Fein worker Denis Donaldson.

Mr Donaldson was shot dead at a remote cottage in Donegal in April 2006.

It came months after he admitted that he had been an agent for the security forces.

Mr Donaldson was a former Sinn Fein director of elections and close friend of hunger striker Bobby Sands.

The sequence of events surrounding his death dated back to 2002 after three men including Mr Donaldson were arrested following a raid on Sinn Fein's Stormont office.

The powersharing executive between unionists and nationalists collapsed and government restored direct rule to Northern Ireland a week later.

In 2005, charges against three men were dropped and within days Sinn Fein said Mr Donaldson was a British agent and expelled him from the party.

He later said he had worked as a spy since the 1980s.

A long-running inquest into Mr Donaldson's death at Donegal Coroner's Court has been adjourned several times to facilitate Garda inquiries into his murder.

On Wednesday it emerged at the inquest that the Garda had sought a warrant from the special criminal court in Dublin for the arrest of an individual to bring him before the court to be charged with murder.

A Garda spokesman said they requested the inquest proceedings be paused while a fresh criminal investigation is launched.

"At a sitting of Donegal Coroner's Court today, 03 July 2019, An Garda Siochana sought a remand into the inquest into the death of Denis Donaldson, in accordance with section 25(2) Coroners Act 1962," he said.

"As criminal proceedings have been initiated in this case, An Garda Siochana is not making any further comment."

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