Political parties and human rights groups call for Finucane inquiry

Political parties and human rights organisations have called for a public inquiry into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane.

The Supreme Court in London ruled on Wednesday that there had been no “effective investigation” into Mr Finucane’s murder, and previous inquiries had not complied with the Finucane family’s human rights.

On Twitter, Mr Finucane’s son John wrote: “We have won! The British Govt. now knows that it cannot conceal the truth any longer. Today they have been told this by the highest court in the land.

“It is time for the murder of Pat Finucane to be properly and publicly investigated in a public inquiry. Nothing less will suffice.”

Human rights organisation Amnesty International welcomed the ruling that an effective investigation into the 1989 murder has not yet been conducted by UK authorities.

The group said the Supreme Court decision should bring an end to the “30 years of shameful failure” by the Government to deliver the full truth about state involvement in Mr Finucane’s murder, and called for a public inquiry to be established without further delay.

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is welcome news for everyone who cares about the truth,” said Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland programme director.

“It is shameful that Patrick Finucane’s widow Geraldine has had to fight for 30 years, and all the way to the Supreme Court, to ensure the truth will be brought to light about the murder of her husband.

“The murder of a lawyer in the UK, with the state actively colluding in that murder, is one of the darkest chapters of our recent history.

“Today’s decision should bring to an end 30 years of shameful failure by the UK Government to deliver the public inquiry which they promised long ago.

“It is vital for public confidence in the rule of law that the Government now moves swiftly to establish an independent public inquiry following the ruling of the Supreme Court.”

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) joined calls for a full inquiry to vindicate the family’s rights to truth and justice.

“The collusion of state actors in the assassination of a lawyer is a serious threat to justice and the entire democratic system, and remains so as long as a proper investigation remains pending,” ICCL director Liam Herrick said.

“Pat Finucane’s family have the right to have a full and detailed investigation into his murder, and to know the extent of state collusion and what individual security officers were involved in that murder.”

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald called the judgment a watershed moment in the campaign for truth and justice.

“The withholding of information on the part of the British Government and the disregard shown to victims in the courts is a feature of many other cases also – this must stop,” she said.

“The British Government should now immediately fulfil its obligation to hold a public inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane.”

Ms McDonald’s statement came after Irish premier Leo Varadkar told the government chamber during Leader’s Questions that he and his deputy Simon Coveney would be urging Theresa May to do the “honourable thing” and hold an inquiry.

Mr Coveney, who is also Minister for Foreign Affairs, wrote on social media that the Irish government position remains “that an independent public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane should be established, in line with commitments made by British and Irish governments at Weston Park, 2001”.

“We have made this position clear to the British Govt and will continue to do so.”