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Pat Finucane assassinated thirty years ago

Pat Finucane


By Irish Echo Staff

Attorney Pat Finucane was assassinated in his Belfast home thirty years ago today.

Yesterday, Geraldine Finucane and members of her family were scheduled to meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin.

What’s not on any schedule is a court hearing for hidden figures behind the murder of Mr. Finucane in front of his then young family.

Finucane, 39, was shot fourteen times by a loyalist death squad on February 12, 1989.

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The death squad acted in collusion with members of the British security services.

"The political assassination of Pat Finucane was, and is, a metaphor for England’s state terrorism and collusion,” said Fr. Sean McManus, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Irish National Caucus, in a statement coinciding with the 30th anniversary.

“The terrible execution was meant to silence lawyers who would dare to defend the rights of Catholics/Nationalists/Republicans. It is important not to forget that England, when it suited, also colluded in the murder of Protestants, as in the case of Raymond McCord, Junior,” the Fermangh-born priest said.

“It was a deliberate decision to kill him, to silence other lawyers and prevent them from doing that type of work,” said John Finucane at an anniversary event in Belfast.

“What we see now is a generation coming through with lawyers, people wanting their human rights. I think that is very much a legacy of Pat Finucane and what he stands for and represents.

“That gives me enormous pride. While they did silence him they could not have made a bigger mess of it if they tried. The name reverberates around the world and an enormous amount of credit for that is due to my mother,” added the son of the slain attorney.

The Irish News in Belfast, in a report coinciding with the anniversary, noted that former British prime minister, David Cameron, had acknowledged the “shocking” level of state collusion in the 1989 UDA killing of finucane after receiving a report on the evidence.

Stated the report: “The Finucane family have engaged in years of litigation over what they say is the British government’s failure to grant an independent public inquiry. A Supreme Court judgment on legal action connected to the case is pending.

John Finucane, added the report, said his father represented all sides, while others at the special event in Belfast said Pat Finucane spoke up for the voiceless.