Denis Donaldson

Denis Donaldson

“Every family who has lost a loved one during the conflict has the same heartache of an empty chair at Christmas time. But for some that loss is worsened by a hierarchy of victims: one where a person labelled as ‘informer’ was selectively demeaned in life and is deemed in death as unworthy of any basic dignity – from any side to the conflict. In these cases, all sides to the conflict seem antagonistic towards the victim’s family asserting their human rights.

“For the past 17 years, that has been our family’s experience. Our family’s loss and our rights have been treated with institutional contempt. National Security does not justify this. All we are asking is that statutory agencies, and those in authority or oversight, do their job in accordance with human rights and the rule of law.

“Our family’s ordeal involves the State Agencies in both jurisdictions on this island in uncovering the facts about a criminal conspiracy which resulted in a conflict-related murder, 8 years after the Good Friday Agreement. The public interest in establishing the truth is clear.

“In March 2022, the Police Ombudsman found a ‘corporate failing’ under Article 2 of the ECHR by State Agencies in the north in how they treated Denis Donaldson and members of our family. Now, State Agencies in the south of Ireland appear to be acting with the same disregard for the rights of our family, most recently with the 26th adjournment of the inquest.

“The Irish State – and others – stand in the dock of public hypocrisy if they continue to criticise the UK government’s approach to legacy while turning a blind eye to the mishandling of the case of Denis Donaldson and the injustices which our family is facing.

“As a family we shall not accept this. We urge others in authority to help us overcome this.”