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13 February 2017

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Irish Government Foreign Affairs Minister to deliver Pat Finucane lecture

Of the four main characters involved in the Finucane killing, three were paid RUC police agents – the fourth was a prized member of the British Army’s secretive Force Research Unit, working to British Military Intelligence

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Charlie Flanagan is to deliver the annual Pat Finucane Memorial Lecture in Belfast on Thursday 23 February, Mark Thompson, Director of the human rights group Relatives for Justice, has announced.

Thompson revealed the Irish Government speaker on Sunday 12 February at a vigil attended by Pat’s family in north Belfast marking the 28th anniversary of the civil rights solicitor’s assassination.

2017 Pat Finucane vigil

Speaking close to where Pat Finucane was gunned down in front of his wife Geraldine, who was wounded, and the couple’s three children, Fr Raymond Murray challenged the British Government to order an “independent, international inquiry” in Finucane’s killing and the collusion surrounding it.

Of the four main characters involved in the Finucane killing, three – Tommy Lytle, Ken Barrett and William Stobie – were paid RUC police agents of as well as members of the UDA. Brian Nelson, the UDA intelligence officer who organised the attack on Finucane, was a prized member of the British Army’s secretive Force Research Unit working to British Military Intelligence.

It is the role of British Intelligence and the suspicion that the evidence trail will lead to the British Cabinet of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that concerns most observers.

Douglas Hogg

The speech to the House of Commons by Douglas Hogg (pictured), one of Thatcher’s ministers who said that some solicitors in the North of Ireland were “unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA”, is considered by many as a seminal moment.

Within weeks, solicitor Pat Finucane was shot dead.

It later transpired that senior RUC Special Branch officers had briefed Hogg with John Stevens, who investigated allegations of collusion in the killing, saying Hogg was “compromised”.

The 2012 carried out by Sir Desmond de Silva on behalf of the David Cameron Government (not the public inquiry wanted by the Finucane family) admitted there was collusion between the British Army, the RUC and the UDA death squad.

The Finucane family dismissed the de Silva review overall as “a whitewash”. Geraldine Finucane called it “a sham and a confidence trick”.

She added:

“This report is not the truth.”

Pat Finucane mural

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