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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Finucane Cover-Up Continues

Human rights and defense lawyer Pat Finucane

In February of 1989 human rights Attorney Pat Finucane was shot and killed by British agents. Those involved included police agents and officers. In August 2001 the British Government agreed with the Irish Government to put in place a full public inquiry into the case. Since then they have refused.

This year they were ordered by the court to detail how they would proceed. Last week 24 Members of Rhe United States Congress, AOH/LAOH and Brehon Law society members called on the British Government to do the right thing.

Today the British government again refused to honor their agreement and instead asked the police service to look at the case again. Thirty-one years on the cover-up continues.

Here is the statement from Geraldine Finucane, Pat’s widow. Please share far and wide.

Statement on Behalf of the Finucane Family – Monday 30 November 2020 Today the British Government has declined to hold a public inquiry into the murder of my husband, Pat Finucane. Instead, the Secretary of State proposes to leave the case in the hands of the PSNI and the NI Police Ombudsman for further investigation. This 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 UK Supreme Court made it clear that none of the previous investigations, including police investigations, had uncovered the identity of British security force members who engaged in collusion or the precise nature of the assistance they gave to paramilitaries. The Court highlighted the absence of compulsive powers in the De Silva Review and its inability to test the truthfulness of witnesses. The Supreme Court made it clear that an effective investigation had not yet taken place.

"It's an insult" Geraldine Finucane on the British Governments decision to block a public inquiry.

In response to this, the current Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis, proposes that we should engage with the local police as a potential solution. He proposes that we should engage with the local police complaints bureau to address a case that involves proven collusion by the British State in the murder of a solicitor. This is a farcical proposal. The issue before the British Government – as Mr. Lewis and his colleagues in government know only too well – is the involvement of a multitude of British State agencies in the murder of Pat Finucane. There is only one reason to ask the local police to investigate a case that involves the British Army, the Security Services and former members of government: it means that it will be untouchable. It is this internalization of the issue to Northern Ireland that has allowed those responsible for the murder of Pat Finucane to do so with impunity.

In failing to establish a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, the British Government have not only set themselves against my family but also the Irish government, local, national and international political parties, political institutions, legal and human rights groups domestically and internationally.

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.

They have again shown that they have no intention in admitting their role in the conflict here. 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 fears being exposed. The outcome of our meeting today confirms that once again.

We are grateful for the enormous support we have received. We will continue to campaign for a full public inquiry. The questions that demand answers around Pat’s murder are not going away and neither is our campaign for truth and justice.”

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