Denis Donaldson's expulsion from Sinn Fein on Friday could signal either that his recruitment was another magnificent coup by the intelligence services against the orcs of Gerry Adams, or else is a rather crass attempt by republicans to stir the political pot to their advantage.
Donaldson was quoted as saying that he had been recruited "in the 1980s after compromising myself during a vulnerable time in my life". This means that he was either hitting the booze (how Irish a vice!), dabbling in pederasty (the historic province of the clergy in that part of the world) or else was homosexual - which would make him the most notorious Irish republican homosexual since Sir Roger Casement.
However, what Donaldson is saying just doesn't ring true. Ulster devolution was suspended in 2002 because he and two others were accused of spying for Sinn Fein/IRA; and it says much for our vulpine Prime Minister's commitment to democracy that he seems more committed to installing it in Basra than restoring it in Belfast.
Perhaps Donaldson was a British agent, and should dispel his shame with the thought that he was merely being loyal to his country. There is also the possibility that he was a double agent, recruited by the Brits and then turned by the Shinners; although the fact that he is still breathing and seems to have retained all his limbs diminishes the likelihood of this scenario. Irish republicans have a way of dealing with those they suspect of spying which in some respects is admirably direct, although most certainly not according to Hoyle.
Most likely, Donaldson's revelations are a smokescreen, an attempt by Sinn Fein/IRA to keep itself relevant in a political structure it has done everything it can to undermine in its efforts to turn the island of Ireland into the Emerald Cuba. To dispel all doubt on the matter, hopefully Denis Donaldson will soon receive a visit from the good men and women of the Inland Revenue; and if he is telling the truth, I hope he kept the receipts.