By Anthony Neeson
Belfast --- The widow of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has described the British government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into her husband’s 1989 murder as a “mockery” of a UK Supreme Court decision.
Mr. Finucane was murdered by loyalists gunmen working in collusion with the British state. In 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons that there were “shocking levels of collusion” in the human rights lawyer’s murder, which took place in his North Belfast home on February 12 1989 in front of his wife and three young children.
Last month, four leaders of the North’s political parties, Sinn Féin, SDLP, Alliance and the Greens, wrote to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, calling for a public inquiry into Mr. Finucane’s murder.
Last week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone and urged upon him the necessity for a public inquiry. A similar call for a public inquiry was also made last week by 24 members of the United States Congress.
The Supreme Court in London ruled last year that there had never been an adequate investigation into Mr. Finucane’s murder. Last month, lawyers acting for Mr. Lewis gave a High Court Judge in Belfast a commitment that a decision on a public inquiry would be announced by November 30, Monday.
While Brandon Lewis said one of the reasons for not holding a public inquiry at this time was because the PSNI intends to conduct a review into the murder, soon after PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne said there were “currently no new lines of inquiry."
Pat Finucane’s son, John Finucane, who was last year elected as the Sinn Féin MP for North Belfast, said the family was angered by the decision.
“I thought it was exceptionally arrogant and cruel of the Secretary of State on behalf of his government,” he said.
“The British government, at every opportunity, will continue to make the wrong decision, and will put all of their efforts into ensuring that the truth as to what happened with the murder of my father – the full truth – will not see the light of day.”
John's mother Geraldine, who was herself shot when her husband was murdered, said, the campaign for truth was not going away.
“It makes a mockery of the decision by the UK Supreme Court and the forthright comments of Belfast High Court. It is yet another insult added to a deep and lasting injury,” she said.
“In failing to establish a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, the British Government have not only set themselves against my family but also the Irish government, local, national and international political parties, political institutions, legal and human rights groups domestically and internationally.
“The murder of Pat Finucane has been described as not just an attack on one lawyer but an attack on the rule of law itself. The Secretary of State has shown us today that the attack is continuing. They have clearly set themselves against the rule of law in ignoring the highest court of their own jurisdiction. They remain in breach of their international legal obligations, a shameful and inexcusable position for a sovereign government to take.
“They have again shown that they have no intention in admitting their role in the conflict here. Colluding with killers did not just result in my husband’s murder, but many others. The extent and depth of this political policy is what the British government fear being exposed. The outcome of our meeting today confirms that once again.
“We are grateful for the enormous support we have received. We will continue to campaign for a full public inquiry. The questions that demand answers around Pat’s murder are not going away and neither is our campaign for truth and justice.”