Finucane widow says report is 'a sham'

Published Wednesday, 12 December 2012
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The widow of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane has told UTV she remains determined to get a full public inquiry into the killing after dismissing the de Silva report as a "whitewash" and a "sham".

Finucane widow says report is 'a sham'
Geraldine Finucane and her children, Michael, Katherine and John, in Westminster (© PA)

Mr Finucane was shot dead by UDA/UFF gunmen at his north Belfast home in 1989. Allegations of collusion between security forces and loyalists surrounded the murder of the 38-year-old.

His widow, Geraldine Finucane, who was injured in the attack, has campaigned for an independent inquiry for more than two decades.

On Wednesday, she told a London press conference: "This report is not the truth".

The 500-page report, headed up by Sir Desmond de Silva QC, was ordered by Prime Minister David Cameron in October last year.

It found no overarching state conspiracy in the murder of Mr Finucane, but uncovered "shocking" levels of state collusion.

Reacting, Mrs Finucane said that the British Government had suppressed the truth and attempted to throw all blame on dead individuals and disbanded organisations while exonerating ministers, serving officers and existing security agencies.

She said: "Yet another British Government has engineered a suppression of the truth behind the murder of my husband, Pat Finucane.

"At every turn, dead witnesses have been blamed and defunct agencies found wanting. Serving personnel and active state departments appear to have been excused.

"The dirt has been swept under the carpet without any serious attempt to lift the lid on what really happened to Pat and so many others.

"This report is a sham, this report is a whitewash, this report is a confidence trick dressed up as independent scrutiny and given invisible clothes of reliability. But most of all, most hurtful and insulting of all, this report is not the truth."

At every turn it is clear that this report has done exactly what was required - to give the benefit of the doubt to the state, its Cabinet and ministers, to the Army, to the intelligence services and to itself.

Geraldine Finucane

Mrs Finucane said her family had been "misled and humiliated in a cruel and unnecessary fashion" when they were invited to Downing Street last year, only to be told that there would be no public inquiry and that instead Mr Cameron was ordering a behind-closed-doors review of documents.

"I left Downing Street that day so angry I could hardly speak," she said.

She insisted that the family came to London on Wednesday prepared to judge the report with "an open mind" and with "a faint hope" that their misgivings would be proved wrong.

But she added: "I regret to say that once again we have been proved right."

Mrs Finucane said the review had been "compiled by a lawyer with strong links to the Conservative Party who was appointed by the Conservative Government without consultation".

And she added: "The report is the result of a process into which we have had no input - we have seen no documents, nor heard any witnesses.

"In short, we have had no chance to assess the evidence for ourselves at first hand. We are expected to take the word of the man appointed by the British Government."

Mrs Finucane said she accepted the renewed apology given by David Cameron in the House of Commons on Wednesday, but suggested he had little choice but to offer one.

"I will give him the benefit of the doubt and accept the apology but it doesn't go far enough because I don't really know what he is apologising for."

The report "doesn't tell me much more" than previous inquiries, she said.

The current government has said they don't want to have a public inquiry, but the opposition have made it quite clear that their policy is that a public inquiry will be established.

Michael Finucane

Mrs Finucane said the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has always been very supportive of the family's fight and said she would not be surprised if the government in Dublin now upped the ante.

Michael Finucane, Pat Finucane's son, said it wasn't possible to accept the conclusions of the report.

"We have not been involved in the process that led to the reaching of this conclusion and there has been no public scrutiny. The PM made much of this process, much of this report, he tried to highlight the positives in the report, saying that it was the most expansive analysis of the case and most extensive uncovery of the truth to date.

"He said that he opened every door in Whitehall, but what he moves across and covers over very quickly, is the fact that he didn't let anybody else look inside those doors."

He said the family will spend the next few weeks to consider the report's contents carefully and will be seeking meetings with the government in the New Year.

"I believe Ed Milliband will keep his word," he said of the leader of the opposition.

"There's been a lot of interest expressed around the world, including in the EU and in particularly in the United States about the contents of this report and whether it takes the issue forward- we don't believe it does."

EXTERNAL LINKS / CONTACTS
On Wednesday David Cameron said he believed a public inquiry would not produce a fuller picture of what happened.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
20 Comments
man in moon wrote (713 days ago):
all he was guily of was being good at his jod the state tryed 2 cut coners and convict people with little or no proff and he should it 2 be a mickey mouse court thats why he had 2 go
Mark in NI wrote (714 days ago):
@Martin in Belfast - that's not what I said at all. Finucane was a high profile lawyer who made his living defending suspected IRA terrorists, but this also made him a target in the eyes of loyalist paramilitaries, a fact I am sure he was well aware of. If you re-read my post I state that his murder was wrong, and any RUC officer who may have colluded with the UDA/UFF brought shame upon the force. However his killer was eventually caught and jailed. Now we have the de Silva report published into the circumstances of his death and the Finucane family brand it "a sham and lies" and still want a public enquiry, yet they have had more justice than many of the victims of the IRA killers Pat Finucane defended in court. I hope THOSE families get justice someday.
ruc widow in limavady wrote (714 days ago):
Ann Toronto. you see to believe because Pat Finicane was a Catholic solicitor he was killed. There were many solicitors who were Catholic they never suffered that fate.We had also Catholic Judges.I would greatly apprecate the many investigations the Finucane family has had into this death We first had John Stevens. then Peter Corry and now Judge Desmond De Silva all were involved and still that family is pushing for a more inquiries. While myself and other RUC widows can only look on in dismay.There has been a conviction in this case which is more than we ever got. The persons who murdered our loved ones are out on the street and we see persons in government who now set to rule us .they know who these none convicted persons are.We who live beside the border lived with terrorist able to escape justice by living on the run in the south.
martin in belfast wrote (714 days ago):
@ mark in NI Are you suggesting that just because a lawyer defends a terrorist, that he is as bad as a terrorist? Everyone has a right to legal representation. I'm amazed that UTV posted your comment
Anne in Toronto wrote (715 days ago):
Everyone is in entitled to their day in court, and NO ONE is above the law, especially those in a trust position of government, at least in a democractic civilized society, to take the law into their own hands and murder anyone. Lawyers are officers of the court and have a duty to represent (even the quilty). This was an innocent man murdered by the state of Northern Ireland and Great Britain. No more and no less valued than the other 3000+ innocent victims of the troubles. If I recall correctly, when I lived there at that time, there was another young (catholic) lawyer who was murdered a week after he was called to the Bar, on the day of his brothers wedding, he never got a chance to represent anyone in a court of law. This was bigger than just one Lawyer, one Catholic, one whomever. Think about it Mark.
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