Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Finucane review 'is going ahead'

MP Nigel Dodds wants to 'draw a line' under the Finucane affair

Tensions between Northern Ireland and the Republic could be heightened by a recent visit and action of the Irish prime minister, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has warned in the Commons.

Belfast North MP Nigel Dodds welcomed movements by the Northern Ireland Office to "draw a line under" the Finucane issue.

But, at Northern Ireland questions, he warned: "Do you agree the decision of the Irish prime minister Enda Kenny to come to Northern Ireland last week and seek to reopen this issue and launch an international campaign is deeply unhelpful to north-south relations and, in fact, invites comparisons to his attitude to neuter the Smithwick Inquiry investigations into the deaths of RUC officers?"

Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said: "The review into the Finucane case is going ahead. That is the decision of this Government and we believe it is the right decision. We inherited impasse from the previous government calling for an inquiry.

"We know there are strong feelings in Dublin on this issue and we have said privately and publicly we will recognise they will state those differences publicly, but I would assure you we will not let this issue damage in any way the excellent relations we have with the government in Dublin."

Belfast Catholic solicitor Pat Finucane was killed by loyalist paramilitaries on February 12 1989. Two public investigations concluded that there was British state collusion in the murder and Mr Paterson issued an official apology earlier this year.

It was announced last month that a planned public inquiry into the affair is to be replaced by a review instead.

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