Government ruling out Finucane inquiry ‘is another insult added to deep injury’


The UK Government has sought to suppress the truth over Pat Finucane’s murder, his family said.

Ministers have not categorically ruled out holding a public inquiry but want to await the outcome of other proceedings before taking their next step.

Mr Finucane’s son John said he was angered, adding: “What the British Government proposed to us today was nothing short of insulting.”

He said the Northern Ireland Secretary’s response was a disgrace, adding the family had waited 31 years for an effective investigation into the murder by loyalist paramilitaries.

“The British Government at every opportunity will continue to make the wrong decision and put all their efforts into ensuring that the truth of what happened to my father will not see the light of day and they are intent on suppressing that.”

The family said the Government’s proposal falls so far short of what is required in this case that it beggars belief.

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

The Finucanes have been campaigning for a public inquiry for decades and took their legal battle to the UK’s highest court.

Pat Finucane death
Pat Finucane death

John Finucane said the Government’s decision was arrogant and cruel.

“The British Government at every opportunity will continue to make the wrong decision, and will put all of their efforts into ensuring that the truth as to what happened with the murder of my father – the full truth – will not see the light of day.”

The Supreme Court acknowledged Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine had been given an “unequivocal undertaking” by the Government following the 2001 Weston Park agreement with the Irish Government that there would be a public inquiry into the murder.

The judges found that the Government had been justified in later deciding against holding one.

The court said it was up to the Government to decide what form of investigation was now required, if one was feasible.

Pat Finucane death
Pat Finucane death

Mrs Finucane said: “The murder of Pat Finucane has been described as not just an attack on one lawyer but an attack on the rule of law itself.

“The Secretary of State has shown us today that the attack is continuing.

“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.”

She said ministers had again shown that they have no intention in admitting their role in the conflict.

“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.”

From Our Partners