Date registered: Mar 2005
Vehicle: '01-E320 & 02-ST2
Location: John 15:18-19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Denis Donaldson tortured, then executed.
Well, aside from peace in the Middle East, will there ever be peace in Northern Ireland??
Part of me (the cynical side!) almost wonders if it was in part done by those who don't want peace and who acted with the intent to disrupt the peace process.
British spy shot dead in Ireland
Irish foreign minister: Mutilation was done to his body
DUBLIN, Republic of Ireland (AP) -- A former Sinn Fein official recently exposed as a British spy was found fatally shot Tuesday after apparently being tortured, police said -- an act certain to send shock waves through Northern Ireland's peace process at a critical moment.
Denis Donaldson, Sinn Fein's former legislative chief in the failed power-sharing government of Northern Ireland, admitted in December he had been on the payroll of the British secret service and the province's anti-terrorist police for the previous two decades. He then went into hiding -- because the traditional Irish Republican Army punishment for informing is death.
Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell said Donaldson, 55, had been tortured before being killed -- apparently with one or two shotgun blasts to his head -- inside his isolated home near Glenties, County Donegal, in northwest Ireland.
"His right forearm is almost severed," McDowell said. "He was shot in the head and mutilation was done to his body. It's a murder we're dealing with."
The IRA quickly denied responsibility. "The IRA had no involvement whatsoever in the death of Denis Donaldson," the outlawed group's one-line statement read.
Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA-linked Sinn Fein party, said he did not know who was responsible, but suggested it might have been the work of IRA dissidents opposed to Sinn Fein's diplomatic efforts.
"It is likely that his death at this time is intended to undermine current efforts to make political progress," Adams said. "Those who carried out this murder are clearly opposed to the peace process."
But Ian Paisley, whose Democratic Unionist Party represents most of Northern Ireland's British Protestant majority and refuses to cooperate with Sinn Fein, said someone within IRA ranks was the most likely culprit. "There is a finger pointing tonight at IRA-Sinn Fein," he said.
The killing comes at a pivotal moment in Northern Ireland's 13-year-old peace process.
On Thursday, the prime ministers of Britain and Ireland, Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern, are to reveal a new blueprint for reviving a Protestant-Catholic administration that would be jointly led by the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein. The plan would call for Northern Ireland's legislature to reconvene in mid-May and face a November 24 deadline to elect an administration.
Donaldson's killing appeared certain to harden Protestant opinion against Sinn Fein, but officials in both governments said Thursday's announcement would go ahead anyway.
In a statement from his Downing Street office, Blair said he "strongly condemned" the killing and noted that Sinn Fein had disassociated "pro-peace process" republicans from the crime.
Northern Ireland's previous power-sharing coalition fell apart in October 2002 because of an IRA spying scandal involving Donaldson.
Donaldson and two others were charged with pilfering documents that identified potential targets of the IRA. Protestants accused the IRA of plotting a potential resumption of its violent campaign to oust Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom.
But British prosecutors mysteriously dropped all charges in early December. Adams initially defended Donaldson as an innocent man, then announced that Donaldson had confessed to being a paid British spy. Within hours, Donaldson admitted this in a television interview.
The IRA last year declared it was renouncing violence for political purposes and backed the pledge by handing over its weapons stockpiles -- moves supposed to spur a revival of power-sharing involving Sinn Fein.
But Paisley has refused to cooperate with Sinn Fein, citing IRA refusal to disband and its alleged involvement in criminal activities.
During its 27-year campaign, the IRA's internal security unit tortured scores of IRA members suspected of passing information to British intelligence. Typical IRA methods included applying electric shocks, and administering cigarette burns. Those who admitted informing had their confessions audiotaped before being shot in the head; their bodies were usually dumped -- naked and with hands tied behind their backs -- on rural roadsides.