The Donaldson family has welcomed today’s conclusion by the Police Ombudsman. During the briefing, Mrs Anderson states there was “corporate failure” by the PSNI in the circumstances which preceded the murder of Denis Donaldson.
Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson found evidence that the PSNI failed to conduct a risk assessment of the threat to Mr Donaldson’s life after his precise location in Donegal was published by a former police officer and a journalist. Ms Anderson’s report states “in conclusion, I am of the view that the family’s concerns about the steps taken by PSNI in the management of this threat to Mr Donaldson are legitimate and justified.” (para. 7.28, page 50).
A spokesperson for the Donaldson family said:
“For reasons that remain unexplained, and unaccounted for, it is reported that the PSNI abandoned its routine practice of risk assessments which had apparently followed Denis’s exposure in December 2005.
“This course of action was taken at precisely the moment when the risk to Denis’s life was at its greatest. This is a flagrant breach of Denis’s Article 2 right to life and the PSNI’s duty of care to him.
“There were repeated attempts to close down this inquiry. The key question has always been: did the PSNI do enough to protect Denis’s life. The Ombudsman’s answer today was: no, they did not.
“No-one has any comprehension of the direct harm and damage to our family caused by the actions and omissions of certain police officers, and others, over the last 16 years.”