THE Belfast law firm of Madden and Finucane has responded to comments made about one of its employees by a magistrate in Philadelphia. Magistrate Jacob Hart, who was involved in a court hearing concerning the alleged posting of guns to Ireland from the US, suggested that Sean Rooney, of Madden and Finucane, had posed as a lawyer. In a statement, Madden and Finucane said: “In the context of media reports concerning the alleged posting of guns to Ireland from the US, it had been suggested that Sean Rooney posed as a lawyer in an attempt to meet one of the accused in prison. “Mr Rooney, who is a law clerk with Madden and Finucane, was at the time, on a Congressional internship in Washington. He is not in the US as a representative of Madden and Finucane. “Mr Rooney was contacted by a family member of one of the accused, who asked Mr Rooney to obtain legal representation for that accused. “In an effort to be of assistance, Mr Rooney made arrangements to see the accused at prison. In doing so, he did not pose as a lawyer. He did nothing improper. In fact, he succeeded in arranging legal representation for the accused,’ said the statement. l A news agency report in the Irish News of August 6 1999, may have given the impression that the law firm of Madden and Finucane had acted improperly. The Irish News would like to make it clear that Madden and Finucane is a firm of the highest professional standing. We regret any distress which may have been caused by our report.