Irish Republican News · January 14, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Finucanes win support

The opposition leader in the 26 Counties has led calls for a full public inquiry into the 1989 murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane.

Mr Finucane’s widow Geraldine and family members have met with political parties in Dublin in their long-running campaign to get answers from the British government on the brutal crime.

Family members, including Mr Finucane’s son Michael and brother Martin, met Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Tanaiste and Progressive Democrats leader Mary Harney and Green Party leader Trevor Sargent.

The Finucanes repeated their call to all the political leaders to call on the British government to reveal the full truth about Pat Finucane’s death.

The family is concerned that any inquiry under Britain’s Inquiries Act 2005 will gag witnesses and restrict information.

“We don’t believe the truth will come out at all with the Inquiries Act,” Geraldine Finucane said.

Enda Kenny, leader of the largest opposition party in the Dublin parliament, said afterwards: “It is fundamental that the facts and circumstances surrounding this case are put before the public.

“That is why I am calling for a full public inquiry in line with the recommendations made by Judge Peter Cory, supporting the campaign by the family on the murder of Pat Finucane.”

After his meeting with the Finucane delegation at Leinster House, Green Party leader Trevor Sargent said: “We fully support the Finucane family in their call for a public and independent inquiry.

“I will be writing directly to British PM Tony Blair on this matter and raising it in the Dail with the Taoiseach at the earliest possible opportunity.

“I will also be meeting with public representatives from both unionist and nationalist traditions in Belfast to ensure the widest possible consensus for a truly independent inquiry.

“Following the Weston Park agreement, the British government had agreed to the type of independent public inquiry which is needed.

“I believe they are now honour bound not to row back on that position, which in fact they are threatening to do by introducing a political dimension to the inquiry.

“This political dimension is that a British minister rather than a judge will have the last word on the evidence allowed.

“It is clearly not appropriate for a British minster to be determining what evidence is admitted.

“Ultimately, it is unlikely that any judge would agree to oversee such an inquiry when its independence has been so severely compromised,” concluded the Green Party leader.

Mrs Finucane said she was also happy with the meeting with the Progressive Democrats.

Mrs Finucane said: “They believe that we have every right to seek the truth and to have an inquiry that is independent and meaningful and are prepared to come together and give us cross-party support.

“She [PD leader, Mary Harney] did not say anything specific but she said that she thought that it would put added pressure on the British government if all the parties came together.

“She said that this was one of the rare occasions when the Dail is united on a issue. And she felt that it would happen in this particular case because this particular case deserved it.”

Mrs Finucane said she hoped the party leaders could lobby Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to put pressure on the British government to reveal full details her late husband’s murder.

Mrs Finucane and other relatives last month met Ulster Unionist Party leader Reg Empey and Church of Ireland archbishop Robin Eames as part of a series of meetings with political and church leaders both inside and outside the North.

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© 2006 Irish Republican News