It's been three weeks now since we heard of the demise of Denis Donaldson. I have left it till now to post my views in the interests of decency.

Denis DonaldsonMy initial reaction when I heard the news was, like most republicans, one of satisfaction. Let's be honest here, the man was a worthless tout. The first thing I thought of when he was first outed as a tout was Gibraltar. Then of course there was Loughall and countless other botched operations as a result of information being passed to Brits. I thought of all the countless republicans incarcerated because of this man's actions. So when I heard of his final undoing you can forgive me if I didn't shed a tear.

I once read Martin McGartland's book in which he tried to claim he was saving lives by grassing on his comrades. Let's just deal with this myth once and for all. The only thing he and his ilk have done is to help prolong the struggle and consequently, even more people have died. On top of that, Martin McGartland and his ilk were not saving innocent peoples lives. He was helping to save the lives of crown forces personnel. Republicans and innocent catholics have died directly as a result of his actions. If there were no informers then this struggle could have been won years ago and the final death toll would have been far less.

After having had time to reflect on things, I am a little more charitable to Mr Donaldson. I don't take any satisfaction from his death but I will not condemn his killers. At the end of the day he knew what he was doing and he paid the price. He wasn't tortured or mutilated as Ian Paisley crowed about when his death was announced. Paisley as yet has failed to apologise to the Donaldson family who must have been upset by his sickening droolings. It was the same with the McCartney murder. Politicians falling over themselves to shamelessly use a republican's death to score political points. Fucking disgusting behaviour. Luckily the people of Ireland are not stupid and can see right through it. Nice try gents but no cigar this time.

So who dunnit then? Before we ask who done it we should ask who didn't do it. The IRA are obvious suspects. What had they to gain from it? Well I suppose that it would send a message to any prospective touts that they will never be safe from final justice. On the other hand, we are no longer in a war situation and as Sinn Féin are now looking to work within the constitution, I very much doubt whether they are going to assassinate ex-touts. Besides, his family are still very much involved in the republican movement. Also they have far too much at stake to risk getting caught doing it. Even if they didn't do it they are still taking flak over it so no, we can count them out.

I've heard it said that the Brits may have been involved to deliberately scupper the peace process. Admittedly there are some with the Brit Intel community who want to see the peace process fail. I very much doubt it was anything to do with them though. They still no doubt have control of more touts and this whole thing will no doubt be making them very nervous. It doesn't do their chances of recruiting more informants any good. It would have been just as much an own goal as it would have been for Sinn Féin.

Loyalists have also been blamed and I suppose they could have done it. I just can't see it though. It would have been a very risky and dificult thing to get loyalist gunmen into Donegal and out again with out being noticed. I think we can eliminate them from our inquiries.

What about the RIRA or the CIRA? They certainly have a motive. Of the two I'd probably go for the RIRA. They were once comrades of Donaldson and some of them were comrades of those who were killed in Loughall and Gibraltar. They never split from the IRA until 1997 by which time Donaldson had done his worst. It certainly can't be discounted but I would still have my doubts about it being them.

So here's my theory. I reckon it was an independent republican(s) acting on their own initiative. Picture the scene… Some fella's are sitting in the pub and someone points out the Sunday World article (draw your own conclusions from that link) and says, "Hey what about that fecking tout staying up there in that wee house?"
Someone else replies, "Sure some fella should go up there and kill the bastard."
"My da's got a shotgun…"
"Right then so…"

It's not that hard to imagine. The republican movement and the RIRA and CIRA were well aware of his whereabouts before the Sunday World tracked him down and published his whereabouts. OK, they didn't give the exact location but you would only need a little local knowledge to work it out. That's why I think it was someone local who maybe didn't know where he was and probably had forgotten about him until they seen the Sunday World article.

I know there are a few ifs and buts involved there but it is probably the most likely theory out there. It's certainly more likely than any pointing the finger at SF, RSF, 32CSM or the Brits/Loyalists. I never talked about INLA because, frankly, they are the most unlikely.

With all that said, I should take this opportunity to express my sympathies with the Donaldson family who are as much victims as anyone. They have been betrayed as much, if not more than the rest of the wider movement. At the end of the day, it's some mother's son.