02/12/2020

Party's Slam Finucane Decision As An 'Insult'

Sinn Féin, Alliance, the SDLP and the Green Party have described the UK government's decision not to order a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane as an "insult" to the Belfast solicitors family.

In a joint letter to the Secretary of State Brandon Lewis, the party's wrote: "We last wrote on 22 November 'calling on you, and the British government, to act in the public interest and hold a Public Inquiry into the 1989 killing of Pat Finucane'. 31 years after the murder, and 20 years after the Weston Park commitments, your decision yesterday not to order a public inquiry - citing that other review processes needed to be completed - is neither a credible nor tenable position.

"It was an insult to the Finucane family.

"Your approach to this matter is now a matter of serious public concern.

"To avoid a public inquiry, you have clearly made a calculated decision to embark on a high-risk distraction strategy that now places both the Office of the Police Ombudsman and the PSNI in the midst of a historic murder investigation at a time when the intent is to taken legacy out of policing.
News Image
"Your suggested approach potentially risks wider confidence in the rule of law and the administration of justice.

"The responses from both organisations to your decision are instructive. The Office of the Police Ombudsman has said that: 'at this stage events connected to the murder of Pat Finucane are not central to any of our ongoing investigations', and alongside that the PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne has that there were 'currently no new lines of inquiry'.

"Both responses raise serious questions about your decision, your approach and why you have rejected a public inquiry. This is particularly at a time when you have also not made any progress towards the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement's legacy mechanism.

"We still hold that a public inquiry is the most effective option to get the truth about the scope and extent of state collusion into Pat's killing. You must in the public interest reconsider your response to the Supreme Court ruling.

"We therefore call on you again, and the British government, to reconsider your decision and hold a Public Inquiry into the 1989 killing of Pat Finucane."

The letter was signed by Michelle O'Neill MLA, Sinn Féin; Colum Eastwood MP, Social Democratic and Labour Party; Stephen Farry MP, Alliance Party; and Claire Bailey MLA, Green Party.

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

26 June 2015
Decision To Refuse Finucane Inquiry Upheld
The High Court in Belfast has upheld the Prime Minister's decision not to hold an independent inquiry into the death of Pat Finucane. Mr Finucane was shot dead by loyalists at his home in north Belfast in 1989.
11 January 2011
Further Delay In Finucane Probe Decision
The case of a Belfast solicitor murdered by loyalists over two decades ago is still making the news today as Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson revealed the latest development in the House of Commons.
11 November 2010
Decision Looms On Pat Finucane Inquiry
The NI Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, has said he will decide in the New Year whether there should be a public inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane. He was shot dead by loyalist terrorists at his home in 1989 and his family believe that his death was the result of collusion with elements of the State.
27 June 2007
Taoiseach ‘disappointed’ over Finucane decision
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has described the decision not to charge any security force members over the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane as a “disappointing development.
21 June 2002
Finucane children renew calls for public inquiry
The children of murdered Catholic solicitor Pat Finucane have called for an independent public inquiry into their father's death following a BBC documentary containing fresh accusations that security forces colluded in the murder.