Fresh demand for Pat Finucane files at MI5 base protest
Published 21/12/2010 | 17:00
Campaigners have demanded that confidential security force files about one of the most notorious killings of the Troubles be handed over.
The family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane made the demand during a protest yesterday outside MI5 headquarters in Holywood following recent revelations by WikiLeaks about the case.
According to US embassy cables, published by WikiLeaks earlier this month, the British security service MI5 was prepared in 2005 to hand over files on Mr Finucane. The high-profile civil rights and defence lawyer was murdered in front of his wife and three young children in February 1989.
The 39-year-old was shot 14 times in his north Belfast home by loyalist paramilitaries but there have been persistent allegations of involvement by security services. The family has been calling for a fully independent inquiry, similar to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, into the killing.
According to the Finucane family, until the WikiLeaks revelations MI5 had denied they had information on the case or refused to comment on whether it had.
A dozen protesters stood outside Palace Barracks in Holywood yesterday morning to demand the security services hand over the files related to the case.
Many of the protestors were from An Fhirinne (The Truth) — a campaign group highlighting collusion by the British Government in the murders of nationalists and republicans killed during the Troubles.
Robert McClenaghan, from An Fhirinne, has called for the British Government to release these files to the Finucane family.
“Their sole motivation is to find out the truth of what happened to Pat,” he said.
Mr McClenaghan added that it was significant the MI5 meeting referred to in the US cables was in June 2005 — the same month the new Inquiries Act was passed.
He said: “The Finucane family are deeply troubled by the new Inquiries Act which means that a British Government minister will chair an inquiry instead of an independent chair.”