Relatives of the murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane yesterday urged
the Irish government to consider mounting an international legal challenge
against the British government for failing to establish a
“Cory-compliant” inquiry into the 1989 killing.
first meeting with Irish foreign affairs minister Dermot Ahern, Mr
Finucane’s widow Geraldine and other family members highlighted a range
of serious concerns about the British government’s approach to the case.
was a prominent and highly respected defence solicitor. He was shot dead
in his north Belfast home in front of his family by an Ulster Defence
Association death squad.
It has since
emerged that five men directly associated with the murder were all working
as agents for various branches of the British security services, including
RUC Special Branch and military intelligence.
the Weston Park multiparty talks in 2001, the British and Irish
governments agreed to implement any recommendations made by the Canadian
judge Peter Cory after he had reviewed the Finucane case, along with five
other controversial incidents involving alleged state collusion.
recommended a full, independent public inquiry into Pat Finucane’s
murder on the basis of prima facie collusion between state forces and the
rather than establish such an inquiry, the British government announced
its intention to examine Mr Finucane’s murder within the strictures of
the controversial new Inquiries Act of 2005.
after yesterday’s meeting, Mr Finucane’s former business partner and
family solicitor Peter Madden told Daily Ireland that the Irish government
had been urged to consider taking legal action against the British
Mr Madden said there appeared to be two options available to the British
government. The first was to establish an inquiry under the Inquiries Act.
The second was to announce that a proper inquiry could not now take place
without the involvement of the Finucane family.
it very clear to the minister that the family are not going to take part
in any inquiry established under the new act,” said Mr Madden.
act removes control away from a panel of judges and places it into the
hands of a minister in the government which stands accused in this case.
“The family have asked the Irish government to continue supporting them
in whatever stand they take in the time ahead.
minister made it clear that the British had violated the Weston Park
agreement in relation to Pat’s case and in relation to not following
Judge Cory’s recommendations.
pledged the Irish government’s continued support for the family.”
Mr Madden said the Irish government had not ruled out mounting an
international legal challenge against its British counterpart.
support for the Finucane family, north Belfast assembly member and Sinn Féin
policing spokesman Gerry Kelly attacked the British government for
reneging on its commitment to establish a full independent public inquiry.
public commitment after Weston Park to establish an inquiry into this
killing, the British government have subsequently brought forward
legislation which, in the view of the Finucane family, would ensure that
any inquiry held within these parameters would not deliver the truth,”
Mr Kelly said.
British state has, from the outset, sought to frustrate the Finucane
family in their pursuit of justice and truth.
sought to cover up the role of their own agents in this and other
killings. It seems that this policy is continuing.
will continue to support the Finucane family in their campaign for the
also important that the Irish government do likewise,” he said.
Mr Kelly recalled the British government’s failure to assist Irish
government inquiries into the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings or the Co
Louth killing of Séamus Ludlow.
The Sinn Féin
representative criticised “the concealment and evasion which has been
the mark of the British government approach to all these cases up until