Widow of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane calls for public inquiry into his murder

The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane have called for his killing to be “properly and publicly investigated in a public inquiry” after the UK’s highest court ruled that an effective investigation into his death has not been carried out.

Mr Finucane was shot dead in front of his family in February 1989 by loyalists in an attack found to have involved collusion with the state.

The 39-year-old was shot 14 times while enjoying Sunday lunch at home with his family.

Supreme Court Finucane ruling
Geraldine Finucane, the widow of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, accompanied by her sons John (right) and Michael (left) speaks with reporters outside the Supreme Court

His widow Geraldine claimed the Government had unlawfully “reneged” on a promise to hold a public inquiry into the killing – one of the most notorious of the Troubles – when former prime minister David Cameron instead ordered an independent review.

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

But the court also found that, while Mrs Finucane had been given “an unequivocal undertaking” that there would be a public inquiry into the murder, the Government was justified in later deciding against holding one.

Speaking after the ruling, Mrs Finucane said: “This is a historic moment. I stand before you today outside the United Kingdom Supreme Court with one simple message: we won.”

Supreme Court Finucane ruling
Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane

She added: “The British Government now knows that it cannot conceal the truth any longer. They have now 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.”

Mr Finucane’s son John said: “Today is a very significant victory along the road of our campaign for truth and justice.”

His brother Michael added: “This is no longer just a campaign of moral force. This is now a campaign that has the force of law.

“It is not an option for the Government to ignore our call for a public inquiry anymore. It should never have been an option, but it is one that they chose to push to its absolute limit.

“We have reached the limit.”

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