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8 May 2008 Edition

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The Mary Nelis Column

Mary Nelis

Mary Nelis

Smelling a rat

The DUP’s Sammy Wilson has castigated the Finucane family, telling them they have “a cheek” to continue to pursue their demand for a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane. Geraldine Finucane, the widow of the murdered solicitor, found out some weeks ago that the British Government has been obstructing even the preparations for a public inquiry.
It’s Sammy Wilson who has a cheek. Instead of rebuking a widow who has a right to know why her husband was murdered and who carried out that murder, he should be concerned that the death of Pat Finucane was the prelude to a series of murders, attempted murders, perversions of justice, perjury, tampering of evidence, destruction of evidence, blackmail and threats to journalists, all leading to allegations of monumental state collusion in this entire matter.
That the British Government, through former Secretary of State Peter Hain, has interfered again to prevent the truth of its dirty war that led to the murder of the solicitor in his home in front of his wife and children has clearly unnerved Sammy Wilson, who wants to know what makes the murder of Pat Finucane “more tragic or important than those of RUC or UDR members”.
Well, for starters, Sammy, unless the public and the Finucane family are told the truth, the persistent allegations that members of the RUC and UDR have colluded with loyalist killers in this and many other murders are not going to go away. That’s what makes the murder of Pat Finucane important and that’s why it ruffles your feathers. The notion that the state and those the DUP fondly refer to as ‘law-abiding’ citizens may not be so law-abiding after all could even be what Sammy usually refers to as ‘terrorists’ is clearly unpalatable to Sammy.
It is becoming clear that, despite the best efforts of the state to cover up the chain of events that started with the murder of Pat Finucane, the truth will eventually out.
There’s the matter of the late William Stobie, a self-confessed UDA member and RUC informer who admitted knowing the identity of the gang who carried out the shooting and who claimed to have informed his RUC Special Branch handlers twice of the imminent attack.
Stobie, who was initially charged and acquitted of the murder of Pat Finucane, was himself shot dead in 2001.
The Dublin Government at the time expressed concern that the Stobie murder “may have been an attempt to stifle the search for truth”, a slight under-statement in the light of revelations made to journalists by Stobie prior to his death.
There’s the matter of the Stevens Inquiry whose report has been seen by the Eames/Bradley team and which eventually must be included in any future independent truth commission.
The public and indeed the Finucane family suspect that the £40 million spent to date by the state is a delaying tactic to prevent the public inquiry that will tell the world that the foot soldiers who murdered Pat Finucane  were, in the words of the  ex-CID officer Jonty Brown, “using a rat to kill a rat”. Does Sammy smell a rat?

An Phoblacht Magazine


  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
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