Gilmore hits out at Finucane inquiry decision

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore criticised British Prime Minister David Cameron over his refusal to order a public inquiry into the controversial murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Mr Gilmore accused London of falling short of a deal struck at the Weston Park peace talks in 2001.

Mr Gilmore said Dublin had already conveyed its dissatisfaction and disappointment and would be preparing a formal response in the coming days.

“There are sometimes occasions when frank disagreements arise between states,” he said.

“This is one on this occasion.”

The Finucane family walked out on a meeting with Mr Cameron at Downing Street last Tuesday when he told them he would ask a senior barrister, Desmond de Silva QC, to review the files into the killing rather than set up a full inquiry.

Mr Gilmore said Taoiseach Enda Kenny was only told about the decision during a telephone call from Mr Cameron shortly before the meeting.

Both Mr Kenny and Mr Gilmore have expressed their dissatisfaction personally with Mr Cameron and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

The Finucane family’s legal team will work with Government officials in the coming days on their contacts with the British government in recent months ahead of a formal response from Dublin. Top level meetings are expected to follow.

Mr Gilmore said Ireland had an agreement with Britain over the investigation of certain murders involving alleged State collusion during the Troubles with which Mr Cameron’s government had to comply.

“It is our view that what has been proposed by the British government falls short of that,” he said.

Speaking after a meeting with Mr Gilmore in Dublin, Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine said he had described last Tuesday’s decision as a dark day for her family, the country and the rule of law.

“I do believe the Government are as upset about what happened on Tuesday as the family are,” she said.

Mrs Finucane said she was disappointed Taoiseach Enda Kenny could not make the meeting but said it was clear anything Mr Gilmore was pledging had the full backing of the Taoiseach.

Michael Finucane, son of Pat Finucane, described the fallout as a significant diplomatic incident.

Mr Finucane said the British government had reneged on a bi-lateral political agreement and he understood the Irish government was seeking the legal advice of the Attorney General.

On the possibility of taking their case to an international court, he said: “Such a step would require detailed consideration and legal advice, but I would imagine it is one option.”

Mr Finucane said the British government had misled his family, the media and the Irish government.

“At the very least their actions are disingenuous in the extreme,” he added.

A masked gang from the loyalist Ulster Defence Association (UDA) shot Pat Finucane in front of his wife and three children as they ate dinner in their north Belfast home in 1989.

The British government has admitted there was state collusion in the murder.

Irish government critical of British stance on Pat Finucane murder review

 
 

Murderer Northern Ireland civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane

Murderer Northern Ireland civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane

A rift is growing between the Irish and British governments over the refusal to mount a public inquiry into the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane by loyalist paramilitaries.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore has met with the Finucane family and offered them the full support of his government and their legal team in their battle for justice.

Labor Party leader Gilmore also admitted to the media after his meeting with the family that the Irish government is none too please with British PM David Caeron’s refusal to hold a public inquiry into the murder.

Gilmore revealed there have been ‘frank disagreements’ on the subject between the two governments. He also acknowledged that the Dublin cabinet is ‘disappointed’ with Cameron’s decision to hold a review of the case.

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A meeting between the Finucane family and British PM Cameroon ended abruptly last week when he announced the review rather than the public inquiry the family is demanding. Speaking after the Dublin talks with the family, Gilmore said: “What I asked the family to do was to have their legal representatives meet with officials of my department to put together the detail of the contacts that have taken place over the past number of months which led to last Tuesday’s meeting.

“That will form the basis of the formal response which the Irish Government will give to the British government.

“There are sometimes occasions when frank disagreements arise between states. This is one, on this occasion.

“The Government is disappointed at what happened last Tuesday, we have already communicated that to our counterparts in the British government, and we will do so now on a more formal basis.”

Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine welcomed the meeting with the Irish deputy Prime Minister. She said: “We had a very positive meeting with the Tánaiste (deputy PM) and, in fact, he started off by saying it was a dark day for the family, a dark day for the country and a dark day for the rule of law.

“He has pledged continuing support from the Irish Government and I do believe that the Government are as upset about what happened on Tuesday as the family are.”

Her son Michael Finucane, himself a solicitor, said: “It was made clear that the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) made immediate contact with their counterparts in the British government after our meeting with David Cameron and both were unequivocal in their concern and expressing it to the British government.

“They are deeply unhappy about what has happened, not only because of what it has done to the family but also because of the significant diplomatic incident that it creates between the Irish and British governments.”

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Irish-government-critical-of-British-stance-on-Pat-Finucane-murder-review-132043163.html#ixzz1b9StcRmL

By and on behalf of :

CATHAL DERVAN,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Pat Finucane’s family ‘to set record straight’

Pat Finucane
Pat Finucane was shot dead by loyalists in front of his family in 1989
 

The family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane have said they want to “set the record straight”.

They plan to speak out on Friday about the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the murder.

Instead, Prime Minister David Cameron said a review of the papers relating to the killing would be carried out by a leading QC.

Mr Finucane was shot in 1989 by loyalist paramilitaries at his north Belfast home.

The Finucanes travelled to Downing Street on Tuesday to be told that an independent public inquiry would not be held.

The family cut short the meeting.

Speaking afterwards outside Downing Street, Mr Finucane’s widow, Geraldine, said she felt so angry she could hardly speak. The Finucanes said they felt insulted, upset and disappointed at being offered a review of the case.

They said they would continue their campaign for an independent public inquiry and would not participate in the review.

When he was prime minister, Tony Blair agreed to set up an inquiry, but a fresh investigation was never established.

Before the meeting on Tuesday, the government said they hoped the Finucane family would be satisfied with their response.

The family will set out their position in more detail in Belfast on Friday.

 

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