12 May 2006

Denis Donaldson death 'inevitable' - says former Derry spy

Derry Journal

12 May 2006

WILLIE CARLIN admits a "shiver ran down his spine" when news broke of the murder of high-ranking Sinn Fein official Denis Donaldson.
Speaking to the 'Journal' this week, the 58-year-old - who claims to have infiltrated the republican movement in Derry in the 1970s and 80s - says Mr. Donaldon's death was, in his opinion, "inevitable".
Carlin, who worked as a community worker in the Gobnascale area of the city, says that, while his "heart goes out to" Mr. Donaldson's grieving family, he believes the Belfast man was "very foolish" to ever believe he wasn't in danger.
Denis Donaldson, insists Carlin, "signed his own death warrant" as soon as he admitted working for RUC Special Branch.
He is also in no doubt that republicans were responsible for his death.
"As far as I'm concerned, it was definitely a member(s) of the republican movement that murdered Denis Donaldson," he said.
"Whether or not it was officially sanctioned by the leadership is an entirely different question altogether and one that is less easy to answer.
"However, I think it is fairly true to say that Denis Donaldson's death - terrible as it was - played into the hands of many people."
The IRA insists it had "no involvement whatsoever" in Mr. Donaldson's death.
Carlin, a former British Army soldier, claims to have advanced through the ranks of Sinn Fein to become the party's "Treasurer" in Derry city in the early 1980s.
He also says he was informed his reports to his "handlers" in British intelligence "went straight up to Cabinet level and that Mrs. Thatcher checked my information."
Carlin was eventually forced to flee the city in March 1985 when his "cover" was blown to the IRA.
This week, he told the 'Journal' that Denis Donaldson's murder was unavoidable.
Denis Donaldson - who was shot dead in Co. Donegal last month - was expelled from Sinn Fein last December after admitting he was a paid British spy for 20 years.
In a statement to the press in December 2005, Mr. Donaldson - Sinn Fein's head of administration at Stormont before his 2002 arrest over alleged spying led to its collapse - confirmed that he had been a British agent at the time of the raid and he apologised to his "former comrades" and family.
"I was recruited in the 1980s after compromising myself during a vulnerable time in my life," he said. "Since then, I have worked for British intelligence and the (Police] Special Branch," he told the press conference.
It was this admission of working for Special Branch, says Willie Carlin, that sealed Denis Donaldson's fate.
"The moment he said that he had worked for Special Branch, that was it," says Carlin.
"From that minute on he was in the firing line and by not getting out but, instead, living openly in Donegal, he was setting himself up for what eventually happened."
Mr. Carlin claims Mr. Donaldson was "offered resettlement" but turned it down because of "assurances he was given".
He said: "Most people know what an assurance from the IRA entails - a bullet in the head.
"Given his admission of working for Special Branch - who, let's remember are despised with a passion among republicans - no-one, no matter how senior they may be in the movement - would have been able to guarantee Denis his safety.
"As someone with such historic ties with republicanism - and no doubt fully aware of what it was capable of - I still can't get my head around the fact that Denis Donaldson decided to live so openly in Donegal.
"It was dreadful what happened to him but he was, in my opinion, very foolish to think that he could get on with his life given what he admitted to."

I sat beside Willie Carlin in class for a number of years in The Longtower Boys'.We played football and Galic Football for the school.I was in the Airforce and also worked for The Evil Empire Bae Systems security & Defence in The Middle East for for quite a few years. I think Willie had issues with his father and always wanted to be heard and recognized. I would have refused to be involved with anything that would have hurt or endangerewd my people and Ireland. I know that as I always stood up for my country and was punished for it. NOD.
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