17/10/2011

Finucanes' Inquiry Campaign Moves To Dublin

The Finucane family has announced that they will continue their campaign to get an independent inquiry into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane, this time with Irish government support and despite the British government saying they could only offer a review.

Members of the family are now due to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny (pictured) in Dublin today (Monday).

Last Tuesday the Finucane family met with British Prime Minister, David Cameron but he said that he would only offer a QC-led review of the case - and the family halted the meeting after only 30 minutes.

Speaking at a later press conference in Belfast, Pat Finucane's widow, Geraldine, described her meeting with Mr Cameron as "one of the most cruel and devastating experiences" of her life.

She said the family had been "lured to Downing Street under false pretences by a disreputable government led by a dishonourable man".

Following what was disappointing news for the family Mr Kenny said: "If Geraldine Finucane was not happy with the outcome of her meeting with Mr Cameron, then the house would not be happy either."

Now, Mr Kenny along with the rest of the Irish government have pledged their support to the family.

The family said they were now reviewing their options, but were confident they would "get to where we want to be".

However Nigel Dodds, Deputy Leader of the DUP said: "It was vital that certain murders were not elevated to a higher status than others.

Mr Dodds added: "The murder of Mr Finucane was an atrocious crime and everyone involved in carrying out the murder, or who were complicit in it deserve to be brought to justice.

"However, the vast majority of people across Northern Ireland will recognise that the idea of further costly, open-ended inquiries into these types of crime is simply not reasonable."

The Background

Mr Finucane, a Catholic solicitor, was shot dead by loyalists while eating his Sunday dinner in 1989.

His killing was one of the most controversial during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
News Image
Finucane came to prominence due to successfully challenging the British Government over several important human rights cases in the 1980s.

Pat Finucane's best-known client was the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. He also represented other IRA and Irish National Liberation Army hunger strikers who died during the 1981 Maze prison protest, Brian Gillen and the widow of Gervaise McKerr, one of three men shot dead by the RUC in a so-called "shoot-to-kill" incident in 1982.

In 1988 he represented Pat McGeown who was charged in connection with the Corporals killings.

Mr Finucane was shot 14 times as he sat eating a meal at his Belfast home with his three children and wife, who was wounded in the attack.

His killing was widely suspected by human rights groups to have been perpetrated in collusion with officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and, in 2003, the British Government Steven's Report stated that the killing was indeed carried out with the collusion of police in Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Defence Association/Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UFF) claimed they killed the 39-year-old solicitor because he was a high-ranking officer in the IRA.

Police at his inquest said they had no evidence to support this claim. Finucane had represented republicans in many high profile cases, but he had also represented loyalists.

Several members of his family had republican links, but the family strongly denied Finucane was a member of the IRA

In September 2004 UDA member and security force informer, Ken Barrett, pleaded guilty to his murder. But he served only two years, released in May 2006, under the terms of The Good Friday Agreement.

Meanwhile a former judge was appointed to investigate the allegations of collusion surrounding Finucane's murder and other killings.

The retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory later suggested inquiries into Mr Finucane's death, as well as inquiries into the murders of Portadown Catholic Robert Hamill, solicitor Rosemary Nelson and Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright.

The three other inquiries have already been held.

(LB/BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 March 2020
Call For Police Support Over Comber Murder Bid
An Alliance MLA has issued a call for support for the police following a shooting in Comber. The gun attack on Sunday night, 15 March, is being treated as attempted murder. A man in his 50s had driven into a yard in the Ballycreely Road area of the town when a masked man armed with a suspected handgun emerged from a hedge.
23 February 2004
Finucane family press Stevens on murder inquiry progress
The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane have met with Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir John Stevens to discuss the progress of the investigation into his murder.
26 November 2001
Finucane accused case collapses
The case against the man charged with aiding and abetting in the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane 12 years ago has collapsed. Lord Chief Justice Sir Robert Carswell returned a verdict of not guilty in the absence of evidence against William Stobie at Belfast Crown Court on Monday November 26.
13 January 2004
Government to face legal action over Cory report delays
The Finucane family are to take legal action over the delays in the publishing of the British portions of the Cory report into alleged collusion in a number of killings in Northern Ireland.
02 July 2003
Finucane family welcomes European Court ruling
The family of murdered Catholic solicitor Pat Finucane has welcomed yesterday's judgement by the European Court of Human Rights that the investigation into his murder was "not effective".