“It is a matter of deepest regret to the Donaldson family that the Irish state has applied to adjourn the Inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death of Denis Donaldson for the 15th time.

“The family were informed on Friday afternoon that Gardaí would be applying to further adjourn the Inquest ‘due to their continuing investigations into the death of Mr Donaldson.’

“This is all the information that been imparted to the family by An Garda Siochana in advance of this hearing of the Inquest.

“In the 9 years since Denis was killed, Gardaí have repeatedly given assurances in relation to the scope, timeline and expected duration of their investigation together with when the Director of Public Prosecutions will ultimately direct on their submitted file.

“As this latest adjournment application underlines, many of those undertakings have been proved to be utterly worthless and highlight the failure to hold the Gardaí to account for their conduct of this investigation.

“Claims have also been made in relation to the readiness of the Gardaí to co-operate with the investigation currently underway by the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland into the circumstances surrounding the death of Denis Donaldson.

“Despite good faith efforts by the PONI investigation team, including meetings with senior Gardaí, the family understand that Gardaí continue to withhold from the Ombudsman a copy of Denis’ journal that was being prepared by him immediately prior to his murder.

“For the family, the wilful obstruction of another Law Enforcement Agency’s investigation into the circumstances behind Denis’ death serves to further underline that the interests and rights of the Donaldson family are not respected or protected by the Gardaí.”