Belfast Telegraph

Finucane family walks out of meeting with PM

The family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane yesterday walked out of a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron because they felt ‘angry’ and ‘insulted’ by his proposal for a leading QC to review the case, rather than conduct a full inquiry.

Geraldine Finucane, Pat Finucane's widow, told reporters outside Downing Street she felt so angry she could hardly speak.

It was expected that they would be informed that an eminent QC would be appointed to lead the investigation. They had asked for a full and transparent inquiry into his death.

The family called a halt to yesterday’s meeting and have said they will continue their campaign for an independent public inquiry and would not participate in the government review.

The government has asked QC Desmond DeSilva to review the papers in the murder case.

The dead man’s son John said prior to the meeting: “If the inquiry is independent we do not expect every decision to go our way but we do expect the government to have some degree of integrity in the way in which it approaches the inquiry.

“The inquiry should be as transparent as possible.”

He added: “The meeting is the climax of a year’s engagement. We haven’t been given any firm promise, but I’m hopeful we will be offered something the family can engage in.

“We don't want a never-ending inquiry, we want one that is |efficient and that gets to the truth quickly without too much cost, but it is worth remembering that cost and delay, if it does arise, will usually be because the government is trying to frustrate the process, so the government must enter into this inquiry with the firm commitment to get to the truth.”

In 2002, the children of Pat Finucane challenged the then prime minister Tony Blair to set up an|inquiry into the murder but no inquiry was forthcoming.

Paul O’Connor, of the Pat Finucane Centre, said: “I think the key test is to explore and uncover the role of FRU (the Army’s Force Research Unit) and Special Branch in all the issues surrounding the murder of Pat Finucane. We have to understand who was aware of this from the perspective of command responsibility.”

“Who was aware of the role of the Army agent Brian Nelson at the level of civil servants in Whitehall and their political masters?” he added.

Mr Finucane was shot as he sat eating a Sunday meal at his Fortwilliam home in 1989. His wife was wounded in the process.

The family believes there was collusion between security forces and the loyalist killers of Mr Finucane — a solicitor who defended IRA hunger strikers, including Bobby Sands and Pat McGeown.

McGeown was charged in connection with the 1988 murders of two British Army corporals who were killed by the IRA.

Security forces are alleged to have collaborated with loyalist paramilitaries to the extent they could have stopped the killing. Loyalist informer Ken Barrett (41) was sentenced to life for his part in Mr Finucane's murder.

Belfast Telegraph


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