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Delays in Donaldson Inquest unacceptable and inexcusable - Adams

26 August, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said that the continued opposition of An Garda to the commencement of an inquest into the killing of Denis Donaldson in April 2006 is “unacceptable and inexcusable”.

Mr. Adams welcomed the intention of the Donegal Coroner to set a date for an inquest when the next hearing takes place on January 27th 2011.

The Sinn Féin President said:

“There has been an unnecessary delay in setting a date for the inquest into the killing of Denis Donaldson. This has caused further and needless distress to the Donaldson family.

Given the circumstances surrounding the death of Denis Donaldson, his role as a British agent, and allegations surrounding the part played by Special Branch and the British Security Service/MI5 in his death, it is essential that the inquest is fully compliant with international standards of human rights.

The family is entitled to full disclosure from state agencies in both jurisdictions.” ENDS

Note to Editor:

There have been four adjournments in the holding of the Donaldson inquest.

Similar delays have occurred in the north as state security agencies have sought to deny families access to all of the facts involved in a death. Following a challenge by the family of Patrick Shanahan the European Court of Human Rights ruled that any failure to hold an inquest within a four and a half year period was a breach of international and human rights commitments.
Today's delay in setting a firm date for an inquest into the Donaldson case now means that that four and a half year period will have passed by the time of the next hearing. At that point the Irish government will be in breach of international standards.

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