By Irish Echo Staff
Sinn Féin's leader in the North, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, has accused the British government of adding insult to injury by denying the family of murdered human rights solicitor Pat Finucane a public inquiry that they committed to almost two decades ago.
"The family of murdered human rights lawyer Pat Finucane has been shamefully denied a public inquiry and the justice and truth they deserve," O'Neill said in a statement.
And she continued: “In 2001 the British government committed to holding a public inquiry into the British state-sponsored killing of Patrick Finucane. A former British prime minister previously acknowledged ‘shocking levels of collusion in the killing’ of Pat Finucane.
“Yet today, the decision by British Secretary of State Brandon Lewis to once again deny the family of Pat Finucane a public inquiry places the British government on a long list of rogue states who are comfortable acting beyond the remit of the law.
“The British government and the political establishment in Downing Street have again closed ranks to prevent a public inquiry into the murder of Patrick Finucane. It is clear that the British government has no intention of holding a public inquiry.
“This is a cynical, duplicitous and shambolic political maneuver to deny accountability and facilitate impunity for state actors, particularly when the evidence speaks to an overarching state conspiracy in the murder of Pat Finucane. This decision is about protecting state agencies and those involved in RUC Special Branch from due process.
“It is a bad day for justice when those involved in state murder are further placed beyond the reach of the law. This is further evidence that the British government are intent on protecting those in the upper echelons in Whitehall who were involved in collusion and state murder in Ireland.
“The British government has again shown that they have no regard or respect for the families of those killed by state collusion. Their cynical and calculated decision to resist accountability simply facilitates impunity for those involved in state-sponsored killings.
“The decision not to hold a public inquiry has wider implications for legacy matters and the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.
“I want to pay tribute to the courage, bravery and resilience of Geraldine Finucane and her family. They have spoken truth to power. I, and Sinn Féin, will continue to support them in the campaign for a full public inquiry.”