Belfast Telegraph

Call for Finucane murder inquiry

The Government should open an inquiry into the 1989 murder of Catholic solicitor Pat Finucane, Labour has said.

Loyalist paramilitaries shot Mr Finucane 14 times at his Belfast home and there were later claims British security forces colluded with the lawyer's killers.

Tony Blair promised the victim's family the allegations would be investigated, but no inquiry was set up.

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward said: "Why are the Finucane family still waiting?"

He urged Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson to launch a probe, 22 years after the killing.

Speaking to the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, Mr Woodward said: "This time last year I asked the Secretary of State to honour the commitment by a former prime minister, Tony Blair, that there would be an inquiry into the death of Pat Finucane. He promised the decision would be soon. Twelve months later, no decision."

Mr Woodward feared the coalition planned to renege on the commitment, saying: "Commitments matter and the Secretary of State should beware of breaking promises. We made the promise in good faith and it helped establish trust."

He warned abandoning Mr Blair's pledge would be "a huge gamble" which would have consequences. Mr Woodward told delegates: "Northern Ireland can only be released from the grip of its past by dealing with the past."

Mr Paterson later criticised Labour for failing to address the issue during its time in power.

He said: "Labour had 13 years to deal with this issue and failed to resolve it. The Government has said that we will set out our position shortly and that is what we fully intend to do."

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