The Denis Donaldson murder inquest has been adjourned today for a 16th time, with his family once more boycotting the hearing in protest.

A letter from Donaldson family solicitor Ciaran Shiels of Madden & Finucane was read by coroner Denis McCauley in which there was a protest about relatives not being told an application for a further adjournment would be made until Tuesday.

The family and their solicitor boycotted the hearing in Letterkenny.

Mr McCauley said he shared the frustration of the family in only being told on Tuesday of the application for a further adjournment.

He asked Garda Supt Michael Finan to ensure they would be better informed in future.

He refused to grant the requested six-month adjournment, but agreed to one final delay for four months.

He said he accepted Supt Finan’s information about continuing inquiries. He said: “It makes me confident an active investigation is taking place. There is a possibility of a criminal case being taken.”

Investigators hope to bring a criminal prosecution to court before a full inquest takes place.

Donaldson, 56, was shot dead by gunmen in a rural cottage near Glenties more than nine years ago on April 4, 2006.

The Real IRA claimed it was responsible.

The former senior Sinn Fein official had confessed to spying for police Special Branch in Northern Ireland and secret service MI5 just months before he was killed.

The inquest was adjourned for the 16th time until December 9.

Highland Radio News