DEFAMATION: Gerry Adams to sue BBC

Sinn Féin leader and Irish MP Gerry Adams is to sue the BBC for defamation in the High Court in Dublin. Adams is bringing the claim in relation to an edition of the BBC’s Spotlight programme, broadcast in September last year. In it, an unidentified man claimed that Adams approved the murder of Denis Donaldson. Donaldson was a former IRA member and Sinn Féin administrator who was shot dead at his cottage in Donegal in 2006 after it emerged that he had been an MI5 agent.

In 2009 the Real IRA claimed responsibility for the murder, but no one has ever been charged in relation to it. The unnamed man who made the allegations said that he was an informer who had been in both the IRA and Sinn Féin.

The BBC said that they disguised his identity for his safety. Adams has strongly denied the allegations. Adams has been leader of Sinn Féin since 1983, but has always denied that he was ever a member of the IRA. zoom-in will report further as the case proceeds.