Home > Uncategorized > IRISH GOVERNMENT AND SINN FÉIN MUST FORCE BRITAIN TO HONOUR THE WESTON PARK AGREEMENT AND SET UP AN INQUIRY INTO THE MURDER OF SOLICITOR PAT FINUCANE!

IRISH GOVERNMENT AND SINN FÉIN MUST FORCE BRITAIN TO HONOUR THE WESTON PARK AGREEMENT AND SET UP AN INQUIRY INTO THE MURDER OF SOLICITOR PAT FINUCANE!

Justine McCarthy: Finucane family deserve justice, not more lies

Britain must honour its word and set up inquiry into murder of solicitor

 – Justine McCarthy, ‘Sunday Times’, December 6: 

“The Irish government is too diplomatic to spell it out but what the uncontested narrative tells us is that, first, state agents colluded in his murder and ever since they have colluded in covering it up. A limited inquiry by Canadian judge Peter Cory found, after MI5 raided his office and erased evidence, that there was security forces collusion in Finucane’s murder. 

Tory NI Secretary Brandon Lewis’s excuses for not establishing a full inquiry are pathetic. He claims that the PSNI needs to continue investigating it, but the PSNI has said there is no investigation. He has said the ombudsman needs to review it, but the ombudsman said there was no review in the pipeline. Besides, according to former ombudsman Nuala O’Loan, the office lacks the power to probe security force collaboration. 

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www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/ireland/justine-mccarthy-finucane-family-deserve-justice-not-more-lies-6pr968w6l 

Britain must honour its word and set up inquiry into murder of solicitor

 

If the British government were a second-hand car salesman, would you be inclined even to discuss the price of his dangling, furry dice? Chances are, once you got them home, you’d find spots on only five sides of each cube and, on the sixth, the legend: “sucker”. 

Boris Johnson leads a government that has no scruples. Less than a year after signing the Brexit withdrawal agreement, Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, shamelessly told the House of Commons that the UK Internal Market Bill contravened international law underpinning the deal. This week, Johnson’s government intends forging ahead with separate taxation legislation designed to break that very same law, the aim of which was to protect the Good Friday agreement and peace in Northern Ireland. 

If the Conservative Party leader’s ambition is to regain Britannia’s colonial spirit — whether to big up himself or his country — he certainly has his finger on its perfidy pulse. Perhaps there is something in the water in No 10 that infects its occupants with a genetic sense of their personal immunity to the rules governing everyone else. 

Downing Street’s bare-faced mendacity appears to have come as a surprise, and not just to those watching from beyond Britain’s shores. Former British prime ministers and Tory leaders also condemned the UK Internal Market Bill, including Theresa May, John Major, Tony Blair and Michael Howard. 

One person unlikely to have been shocked by London’s double-dealing is Geraldine Finucane. She has been waiting nearly 20 years for the British government to honour a commitment it made under the Weston Park agreement to establish an independent public inquiry into her husband’s murder in 1989 and how it was facilitated by people working on behalf of the British state. Her mission to find out who ordered the murder of Pat Finucane is a Troubles-era mirror of the successful crusade by Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington for a public inquiry into the 1916 murder of her husband, Francis, and its cover-up by state agents. 

When I interviewed Geraldine Finucane 14 years ago in her north Belfast home, the same house where Pat died still holding his dinner fork, she declined to talk about the night of February 12, 1989. “It’s very personal,” she said. “People have very good imaginations.” 

The couple and their three children — then aged 17, 12 and 8 — were eating at the kitchen table when two masked UDA men in military-style camouflage jackets burst into the house and shot the 39-year-old solicitor three times through the closed kitchen door. They then entered the kitchen and fired 11 more bullets into his prostrate body. Geraldine suffered a flesh wound on her ankle from a ricochet. 

The couple met while students at Trinity College in Dublin, an unsurprising venue for Geraldine as the daughter of middle-class northern Protestant parents. For Finucane, the son of Belfast nationalists whose brothers John, Seamus and Dermot were destined to join the IRA, Trinity was less familiar territory. I asked Geraldine what it was about him that had made her fall in love with him. She said there was no one thing: “I just loved him.” But, from the way she spoke, it was evident one of the things she loved was his commitment to the law. 

Finucane gained prominence as a solicitor
at a young age. He pioneered the use of compensation claims after a successful challenge brought by Ireland to the European Court of Human Rights against the British government’s mistreatment of prisoners in Northern Ireland. He brought the 1982 murder of IRA man Gervaise McKerr by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to that same European court, intensifying conjecture about a British shoot-to-kill policy operating in the north. 

About three months before he was murdered, Finucane had his client Patrick McGeown acquitted of charges relating to the murders of two corporals during a funeral in Belfast’s Andersonstown. In a 1992 interview with American lawyers, McGeown recounted that he was later stopped by a police officer who was angry at his acquittal. According to McGeown, the policeman had said: “We intend to make sure that you won’t be about too long. And your mate, Pat, we’ll fix him too.” 

Three weeks before Finucane died, Douglas Hogg, the UK’s junior Home Office minister, engaged in nothing short of felon-setting during a debate in the House of Commons. “I have to state as a fact but with great regret,” he said, “that there are in Northern Ireland a number of solicitors who are unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA.” 

Ireland’s quid pro quo undertaking in the Weston Park agreement was to set up an inquiry into possible garda collusion in the 1989 murders of two senior RUC officers, Harry Breen and Robert Buchanan. That inquiry, chaired by Peter Smithwick, was established in 2005 and submitted its final report seven years ago. 

And still Geraldine Finucane waits. Every time there is a fresh flurry of publicity about her husband’s murder, her petite image flashes up on our television screens. You can see the toll that Downing Street’s double-crossing has taken on her high-boned beauty.

This is not about Brit-bashing. As with any country, the state is a different species from its people. Numerous British lawyers, human rights advocates, politicians, journalists and individual civil servants have agitated for their state to honour its word and set up a proper inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane. To those who loved him, his death was a tragedy. For all of us, it is a horror story. 

The Irish government is too diplomatic to spell it out but what the uncontested narrative tells us is that, first, state agents colluded in his murder and ever since they have colluded in covering it up. A limited inquiry by Canadian judge Peter Cory found, after MI5 raided his office and erased evidence, that there was security forces collusion in Finucane’s murder. 

Lewis’s excuses for not establishing a full inquiry are pathetic. He claims that the PSNI needs to continue investigating it, but the PSNI has said there is no investigation. He has said the ombudsman needs to review it, but the ombudsman said there was no review in the pipeline. Besides, according to former ombudsman Nuala O’Loan, the office lacks the power to probe security force collaboration. 

Why, you have to wonder, is the Westminster government still determined to stop the truth coming out? It is nearly 32 years since Finucane was murdered. Key figures, including the British Army spy Brian Nelson and then prime minister Margaret Thatcher, are dead. Why is the person who gave the order still being protected? 

Geraldine Finucane has vowed to fight with the last breath in her body to find out who that person was. Even if it were Thatcher, commanding the so-called dirty war from her armchair in Downing Street, is her reputation more important than the law? The contempt that Johnson’s government has shown for the rule of law suggests there are still some in Downing Street who would answer yes. 

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 7, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Socialist Fight and commented:
    This is an excellent post.

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