Irish Republican News · December 12, 2012
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Cameron admits collusion, denies conspiracy in Finucane murder


The British Prime Minister has admitted the assassination of Pat Finucane was “an appalling crime” which involved three state agents, the RUC police and the British Army, but he has stopped short of ordering a public inquiry.

In a statement to the Westminster parliament this afternoon Mr Cameron said there had been “shocking” levels of state collusion but no “over-arching state conspiracy”. He was speaking following the release of an official report by British barrister Desmond de Silva on the 1989 murder of the Belfast defence lawyer.

His comments went further than any previous statement by a British Prime Minister, but appeared to draw a veil over the potential involvement by the Tory government of the day in the atrocity.

The de Silva report confirms that the British Army suggested Finucane as a target and were heavily involved in the murder and subsequent cover-up. But the report does not succeed in identifying those politically responsible for the assassination plan, or make any link to the comment by Minister Douglas Hogg in the government of Margaret Thatcher, just weeks before the murder, that “some solicitors were unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA”.

The review finds that actions by employees of the state “actively facilitated” the killing, and that 85% of the intelligence obtained by the UDA came from the British Crown. In an 18-month period, there were 270 separate incidents of what were described as “leaks” from the Crown forces to UDA.

Cameron told MPs today that the British Army and Special Branch had advance notice of a series of planned UDA assassinations, but “nothing was done”. Employees of the state and stage agents played “key roles” in the Finucane murder, and he admitted: “It cannot be argued that these were rogue agents.”

The Finucane family had suffered “the most grievous wrongs” but Cameron continued to disagree about the need for a public inquiry, claiming the de Silva report provides “the fullest possible account of the murder of Pat Finucane and the extent of state collusion”.

He said the degree of collusion exposed was “unacceptable” and said in a message to the family: “I am deeply sorry.”

John Finucane was eight when the death squad of British agents and UDA loyalists burst into the family home and gunned down his father while they were eating Sunday dinner.

Speaking before today’s statement, he said: “No matter what the circumstances, it’s not easy for anyone to lose their father at a very young age, never mind in such a violent fashion.

“In the case of my father we see that those [state] agencies not just failed to protect him but instigated the murder and then covered the matter up.. That’s quite shocking and remains so for me and my family.”

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© 2012 Irish Republican News