1-2021 Latest Issue

30 November 2020

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Cruel and shameful denial of Finucane inquiry once again exposes British 'justice'

Murdered human rights lawyer, Pat Finucane.

"They have again shown that they have no intention of admitting their role in the conflict here. Colluding with killers did not just result in my husband's murder, but many others. The extent and depth of this political policy is what the British government fear being exposed." - Geraldine Finucane

The British government has once again cruelly and shamefully denied the family of murdered human rights solicitor, Pat Finucane, a public inquiry into his killing.

Today at Westminster, after speaking to the Finucane family, the British secretary of state Brandon Lewis announced that the long-awaited public inquiry into the murder of the solicitor would not take place.

Pat Finucane was murdered by the UDA working in collusion with British state agencies in his north Belfast home in February 1989 as he sat eating dinner with his wife and children.

The refusal to announce an inquiry flies in the face of a British government commitment to do so made in 2001 and the comments of then British Prime Minister, David Cameron in 2012 when he apologised to the family and acknowledged the "shocking levels of collusion" in the killing.

Despite this, the British government is still intent in attempting to cover the role of the British state, its agents, agencies and proxies in the murder.

Refusing to listen to the long campaign of the Finucane family for a public inquiry, which has involved legal challenges to the highest courts, the British government today once again reneged on its commitments.

Instead it proposed to leave the case in the hands of the PSNI and Police Ombudsman.

The Finucane family at the Supreme Court.

Speaking after the announcement Geraldine Finucane, widow of Pat, said it was a further insult to her family.

"This proposal falls so far short of what is required in this case that it beggars belief," she said.

"It makes a mockery of the decision of the UK Supreme Court and the forthright comments of the Belfast High Court. It is yet another insult added to a deep and lasting injury," she added. 

Mrs Finucane also described the suggestion from Brandon Lewis that the family now engage with the police complaints bureau on a matter of British state collusion as "farcical”.

"The issue before the British government - as Mr Lewis and his colleagues in government know only too well - is the involvement of a multitude of British state agencies in the murder of Pat Finucane.

"There is only one reason to ask the local police to investigate a case that involves the British army, the security services and former members of government; that reason is to ensure they will be untouchable," she said.

The Finucane family also said the British government has set itself against the rule of law and has made it clear that it cannot be relied upon to investigate Britain's role in the conflict.

"They have clearly set themselves against the rule of law in ignoring the highest court of their own jurisdiction. They remain in breach of their international legal obligations, a shameful and inexcusable position for a sovereign government to take.

"They have again shown that they have no intention of admitting their role in the conflict here. Colluding with killers did not just result in my husband's murder, but many others. The extent and depth of this political policy is what the British government fear being exposed," Geraldine Finucane said.

Michelle O'Neill and Pat Finucane.

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill said the decision places Britain among a long list of rogue states prepared to act beyond the law.

“This decision is about protecting state agencies and those involved in RUC Special Branch from due process. It is a bad day for justice when those involved in state murder are further placed beyond the reach of the law," she said.

“This is further evidence that the British government are intent on protecting those in the upper echelons in Whitehall who were involved in collusion and state murder in Ireland.”

The Joint Head of Government in the north also praised the commitment of the Finucane family and vowed to continue to support them.

“The British government has again shown that they have no regard or respect for the families of those killed by state collusion.  Their cynical and calculated decision to resist accountability simply facilitates impunity for those involved in state-sponsored killings.

“The decision not to hold a public inquiry has wider implications for legacy matters and the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.

“I want to pay tribute to the courage, bravery and resilience of Geraldine Finucane and her family.  They have spoken truth to power.

“I, and Sinn Féin, will continue to support them in the campaign for a full public inquiry.”

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