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Wife of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane launches legal action for inquiry into death

Mr Finucane was shot dead in front of his wife and children in 1989

The late solicitor Patrick Finucane

Jamie McDowell

A legal action launched by the widow of murdered Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane aimed at introducing a fresh public inquiry into the killing is to go ahead in June.

Today a judge announced a hearing in the High Court in Belfast will be heard during the summer over a period of three days.

The 39-year-old lawyer was shot dead at his home in north Belfast by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989.

The UDA burst into his home and shot him dead in front of his wife and children.

Previous investigations into the murder were ruled not to have met appropriate human rights standards in February 2019 by the Supreme Court, and in 2020 then Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis apologised after an action launched by Geraldine Finucane, aimed at forcing the government in a judicial review to launch a public inquiry following the alleged failure of the authorities to properly investigate, was delayed.

The secretary was then forced to pay damages of £7,500 to Mrs Finucane for the delay.

As yet, the position of the government is to await reports on the outcomes of reviews by the PSNI’s Legacy Investigations Branch and the Police Ombudsman before addressing the legal bid.

Legal representatives of Mrs Finucane have previously accused the authorities of trying to “run down the clock” in terms of the action.

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