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'left in the dark' Pat Finucane's widow Geraldine vows their fight will go on after public inquiry blow

Family slam Government snub over 1989 UDA murder of lawyer that involved collusion


Geraldine Finucane said colluding with killers result in many other murders (Liam McBurney/PA)

Geraldine Finucane said colluding with killers result in many other murders (Liam McBurney/PA)

Geraldine Finucane said colluding with killers result in many other murders (Liam McBurney/PA)

The family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane has accused the UK Government of adding “yet another insult to a deep and lasting injury” by refusing to hold a public inquiry into his killing.

With every breath in my body, I will fight them to the bitter end,” Geraldine Finucane, Pat’s wife pledged as she rejected PSNI and Police Ombudsman investigations as totally inadequate.

“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 — that reason is to ensure they will remain untouchable,” the solicitor’s widow said.

Nationalist parties blasted the decision announced by Secretary of State Brandon Lewis in the House of Commons on Monday evening, but it was welcomed by unionist parties.

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No public inquiry into Pat Finucaneâs murder during the Troubles

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The 39-year-old lawyer was shot dead at his north Belfast home in February 1989 by the UDA. But former Prime Minister David Cameron admitted there were “shocking levels of collusion” in the killing.

Ms Finucane saw her husband be killed and was also shot and injured the same night.

Speaking about the effect this has had on her to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said: “It is very, very difficult to maintain it for such a long time, all I can say is I do not wish it on anyone.

“Everyone deserves to know the truth about what happened to their loved ones.

“For the British government to keep avoiding the issue is despicable and not only does it take a toll on me but it takes a toll on every single person who is suffering and who is left in the dark about what went on.”

Most of those involved in the murder were either British Army or RUC agents.

Mr Lewis said he was not “taking the possibility of a public inquiry off the table” but it was important to let the PSNI and Police Ombudsman processes run their course.

However, Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “It is our view that there are currently no new lines of inquiry. We now need to decide if a further review is merited given all the previous investigations into this case.”

Mr Lewis was forced to make an announcement following a Supreme Court finding that there had never been an adequate investigation. But the ruling stopped short of directing a public inquiry, saying it was a matter for the Government.

Sinn Fein MP John Finucane, who was eight when his father was murdered, said Mr Lewis’s decision beggars belief.

“The British Government at every opportunity will continue to make the wrong decision and put all their efforts into ensuring that the truth of what happened to my father will not see the light of day and they are intent on suppressing that.”

Mrs Finucane told UTV that the Government was continuously delaying in the hope that she would die and demands for a public inquiry disappear.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood accused Mr Lewis of “failing miserably” to do right by the Finucane family and said he should be ashamed of his actions.

“The decision to renege on the decades-old commitment to hold a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane is a disgraceful attempt by this Government to bury the truth,” he said.

The Foyle MP said that the Government had an opportunity to prove that its approach to legacy wasn’t focused on serving the British Establishment.

“Instead, they have confirmed that the needs of victims and survivors, those who have lost the most in Northern Ireland, will always be a secondary consideration. That is a vile statement of priorities,” he added.

But DUP MP Sammy Wilson told the House of Commons that “hundreds of millions of pounds had already been spent on investigations into Pat Finucane”.

He said that one brother had died and two were captured while engaged in “terrorist activity”.

Mr Wilson later tweeted: “It is a great pity that the Government have not unequivocally ruled out a future public inquiry into the murder of the IRA’s solicitor of choice.

”Derisory sums have been spent investigating the murders of hundreds at the hands of the IRA. That imbalance needs to change.”

UUP MLA Doug Beattie condemned the Finucane murder but welcomed the decision not to hold a public inquiry.

“Thousands of lives were lost in the Troubles,” he said.

“Every single family is mourning the loss of their loved ones with many still seeking truth and justice, and they are all entitled to an Article 2-compliant investigation.

“On this occasion the Government has made the right decision. There cannot be a hierarchy of victims.”

TUV leader Jim Allister MLA also praised Mr Lewis’s decision.

“My thoughts are with the countless victims who don’t have hours of broadcast media time and acres of newsprint devoted to their loved ones,” he said.

“The relatives of those burned alive in La Mon, blown to pieces on Bloody Friday or smothered under the rubble of Enniskillen will look at the attention paid to this case and conclude that some victims are more equal than others.”

Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry MP described the decision not to hold a public inquiry as “poor”.

Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said the decision placed the Government “on a long list of rogue states who are comfortable acting beyond the remit of the law”.

She said: “The British Government has no intention of holding a public inquiry.

“This is a cynical, duplicitous and shambolic political manoeuvre to deny accountability and facilitate impunity for state actors, particularly when the evidence speaks to an overarching state conspiracy in the murder of Pat Finucane.

“This decision is about protecting state agencies and those involved in RUC Special Branch from due process.”

Ms Finucane said she will not stop fighting for the truth and that her family have some very powerful supporters, including US President-elect Joe Biden and US Congressman Richard Neale.

She told RTÉ: “We have Richie Neale, Congressman Neale and many other congressmen and senators (supporting us). In fact when President-elect Joe Biden was a senator he put his name to support our cause.

“So, we have very powerful supporters and they will stand by us as they have done for a number of years and we shall see where we go from there."

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Online Editors