Family of murdered MI5 spy Denis Donaldson pursue legal action against Irish State after 19th inquest delay
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Family of murdered MI5 spy Denis Donaldson pursue legal action against Irish State after 19th inquest delay

THE family of a murdered British spy are pursuing legal action against the Irish state after their latest attempt to have an inquest held was delayed.

Denis Donaldson was shot dead by the Real IRA ten years ago this month, after it was discovered he had been an informer working for MI5.

The landmark 19th adjournment of the family’s bid to have an inquest held has prompted them to pursue legal action, the family's solicitor Ciarán Shiels confirmed yesterday.

Mr Shiels said legal action has been taken against the Irish attorney general Máire Whelan, the Director of Public Prosecutions Claire Loftus, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, the coroner Denis McCauley and the Irish Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, BBC NI reports.

West Belfast native Mr Donaldson was 55 when he was shot and killed at an isolated cottage near Glenties in Co Donegal on April 4, 2006.

He had climbed the ranks in Sinn Féin and was a senior official within the party, as well as a close confidant of Gerry Adams.

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His status as a British spy emerged in 2005, a year before his death.

In 2009, three years after his murder, the Real IRA claimed responsibility for his death.

Despite almost 20 attempts at having an inquest into the murder held, his family were faced with a further delay when Donegal coroner Denis McCauley adjourned the case yesterday.

The four-month adjournment was on the request of the Gardaí, who are investigating Mr Donaldson’s death.

A Garda superintendent told the coroner that they had no intention to delay or inhibit the inquest but that the Gardaí must be allowed to gather all the evidence before it takes place.