The family of self-confessed IRA informant Denis Donaldson have said they do not believe he was murdered by the Provisional IRA or that Gerry Adams had authorised his killing.
Mr Donaldson, a Sinn Fein official, was murdered in a remote cottage in Co Donegal in 2006, months after stating that he had been an MI5 agent for 20 years. The Real IRA later claimed responsibility for his killing.
Allegations that the Provisional IRA were responsible for the murder and that it was authorised by Gerry Adams were made in a BBC Spotlight programme on Tuesday.
However, a lawyer for the Donaldson family, Ciaran Shiels, spoke to the BBC after a meeting with Gardai that the family do not believe the Provisional IRA killed him, or that his shooting was authorised by Mr Adams.
“The one theme that has come out of today’s meeting is that the theory that was being advanced by BBC Spotlight earlier this week, that this was in some way carried out by the Provisional IRA or authorised by Gerry Adams, I think it’s absolute nonsense,” Mr Shiels said.
TUV MLA Jim Allister, however, said: “It remains a reality that the Provos operated an unbending rule of death to informers, as frequently justified by both Adams and McGuinness. So, patently, as it was the Provos Donaldson betrayed, they had the motive to execute him and the track record of doing so in dozens of other cases.
“It will take more than self-serving Sinn Fein/IRA propaganda to exonerate the Provo killing machine.”
Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly insisted the Spotlight claims were “nonsense” and that some people had seized upon “these ludicrous and unsupported claims in an effort to make political gains”.
He added: “The reality is that anti-peace process republicans claimed responsibility for the killing of Denis Donaldson in the full glare of the media. That has been the line of investigation pursued by A Garda Siochana for the last ten years.”
In a statement, BBC Spotlight said: “The Spotlight programme dealt with matters of great public interest and the BBC stands by its journalism.”