08 April 2006

Funeral service for murdered spy


Family and friends have gathered in Belfast for the funeral of murdered British agent Denis Donaldson.

Requiem Mass was held at his former family home in Aitnamona Crescent in west Belfast.

Ex-Sinn Fein official Donaldson, 56, was found shot dead in a remote cottage in County Donegal on Tuesday.

He is being buried later in Belfast City Cemetery. On Friday, his family said they did not believe the IRA was responsible for his murder.

He had been expelled from the party in 2005 after admitting he was a paid British agent.

Mr Donaldson's family said they did not know who killed him but blamed the "activities of British intelligence" for their "difficult situation".

Head of administration

Irish police have been carrying out searches in the vicinity of the remote cottage near the village of Glenties where Mr Donaldson's body was found.

Post mortem examination results have indicated he died from a shotgun wound to the chest.

It said there were other injuries to his body consistent with shotgun blasts, including a severe injury to his right hand.

Police removed a car at the scene on Thursday.

Mr Donaldson had been Sinn Fein's head of administration at Stormont before his 2002 arrest over alleged spying led to its collapse.

He and two others were acquitted of charges last December "in the public interest".

One week later he admitted being recruited in the 1980s as a paid British agent.

He said there had not been a republican spy ring at Stormont.

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