“April 4th 2011, marked five years since Denis Donaldson was murdered in Co Donegal.
Gardai last met the Donaldson family face-to-face about their investigation two years and four months ago. Gardai cancelled a meeting with the Donaldson family scheduled for last Friday, 1 April 2011, on the basis that they needed more time to answer questions from the family concerning their investigation.
We believe five years is sufficient time to answer our fundamental questions. These include serious discrepancies and anomalies in accounts relating to the circumstances leading up to Denis’ murder. The Donaldson family cannot investigate those circumstances.
The role played by British state agencies, particularly PSNI Special Branch, is central to Denis’ murder. That is not idle speculation.
We are today releasing the document that precipitated the circumstances of Denis’ exposure and ultimate murder. The existence of this document has been publicly questioned by some individuals and media.
We are releasing it in order to begin setting the record straight. The chain of events flowing from this document culminated in Denis’ murder. The document was issued by one of the agencies which handled Denis as an informer.
This PM1 document (attached) was created on Saturday, 10 December 2005, by the Regional Assessment Unit (Castlereagh) of PSNI Special Branch. Two days earlier, Denis’ high-profile trial had collapsed and the so-called Stormont ‘spy-ring’ had been exposed as a Special Branch lie.
After receiving the PM1 document from uniformed police, Denis then spoke privately with Sinn Féin over several days and admitted his role as an agent.
An unprompted telephone call to Denis from his former handler, so-called ‘Lenny’, happened five days later on the afternoon of Thursday, 15 December 2005. This call caused Denis to secretly flee from Belfast with immediate effect.
After publicly admitting his role as an agent in Dublin the next day, Denis then went back into hiding until three months later, when he was again publicly exposed and soon afterwards murdered.
In order to be effective, thorough, independent and compliant with our family’s rights under Article 2 of the ECHR, any investigation of Denis’ murder must examine the identities, motivations, activities, links, communications and movements of ‘Lenny’ and their Special Branch associates. ‘Lenny’ is intimately informed about the events surrounding Denis’ murder. ‘Lenny’ holds the answers to many questions.
All of this information, including the document released today, ought to have been obtained by investigating Gardai from the PSNI. These indisputable facts should have informed the Gardai investigation over the last five years.
Our family wants this case settled in a way which allows us and our society to move forward in a context where state power is no longer unaccountable.; where a new beginning to policing is fulfilled despite the actions of those – from without and from within – who oppose the transformation of policing and the process of peaceful transition.
We wish to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge the support and guidance of our legal representatives, Madden and Finucane, the former MP for West Belfast, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, and the Chief Commissioner for Human Rights, Professor Monica McWilliams, as well as other people of influence who are now exercising a keen interest on our family’s behalf.
Our pursuit of the concerns outlined herein does not in any way nullify or negate our fundamental human right to privacy and family life, which we have consistently sought to safeguard and will continue to do so.”

Previously, some news reports have incorrectly claimed that Denis Donaldson fled on his own to Donegal. In fact, he was accompanied by his wife who took refuge with him. Some news reports have also incorrectly claimed that the dwelling in which Denis Donaldson and his wife took refuge was solely owned by their son-in-law. In fact, the dwelling was owned at the time by several family members. It was also a location with which PSNI Special Branch was thoroughly familiar, not least because Denis Donaldson had been granted bail variations on many occasions in the preceding four years of his court case in order to travel to that location.


PM1 document created on Saturday, 10 December 2005, by the Regional Assessment Unit (Castlereagh) of PSNI Special Branch

Statement from Family of Denis Donaldson