Belfast Telegraph

Finucanes’ furious attack on ‘scampering’ David Cameron

By Lesley-Anne Henry

Relatives of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane said they were “lured” to Downing Street “under false pretences” after the Government backtracked on a pledge to hold a public inquiry into the 1989 shooting.

In a scathing attack the Finucane family, who dramatically walked out of a meeting with the Prime Minister earlier this week, accused David Cameron of misleading them, reneging on a promise and then “scampering off”.

“It was clear within minutes that we had been lured to Downing Street under false pretences by a disreputable Government led by a dishonourable man,” widow Geraldine Finucane said. “My family and I have been humiliated publicly and misled privately.”

Mrs Finucane, who expressed disappointment, dismay and disgust at the Government’s proposal for leading QC Desmond De Silva to “review” their case, said the family would have “no confidence” in anything other than a full, independent public inquiry.

“At no time were we advised that an alternative to an inquiry was also under consideration,” she added.

“When we learned that the Prime Minister wished to meet with us in Downing Street, we assumed, as did many others, that the Government was going to confirm its commitment. Between a senior NIO official and our lawyer Peter Madden, we were told the Prime Minister was confident we would be happy with what was on offer.

“We could not bring ourselves to believe that we were being invited as guests to the Prime Minister’s home just to be refused the public inquiry promised many years ago.

“The fact that David Cameron did so and in such a public fashion ranks as one of the most cruel and devastating experiences of my life.”

Yesterday, in a bid to back up their allegations of being misled, the Finucane family published details of private discussions with senior officials from the Northern Ireland Office and Whitehall.

The documents show submissions made by their legal representatives over the past 12 months specifically outlining one request — for an inquiry similar to that for Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa.

There is no mention of a review of the papers.

After Tuesday’s disastrous meeting Mr Cameron released a statement acknowledging there had been collusion and apologised to the Finucanes.

Mr Madden also slammed the treatment of the family as “outrageous and disgraceful”.

“They (David Cameron and Secretary of State Owen Paterson) scampered out and left us sitting there,” he said.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. It was bizarre.”

PAT Finucane was murdered in February 1989. There have been long-standing allegations of collusion in the incident and in 1999, Sir John Stevens was appointed to carry out an investigation. However calls for a public inquiry continued. In 2004, the Finucanes objected to an inquiry under the new Inquiries Act fearing the Act would enable the Government to interfere with any inquiry’s independence.

Belfast Telegraph


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