On 17th May 2006 in Washington, DC, the United States House of Representatives voted in favour of House Resolution 740, which calls on the British Government to establish immediately a full, independent, public judicial inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, as recommended by international Judge Peter Cory as part of the Weston Park agreement. The Resolution also demands that the British Government reverse its plans to hold such an inquiry under the heavily criticised Inquiries Act 2005.
Speaking on behalf of the Finucane family, Michael Finucane said:
“The significance of the Resolution passed by Congress of the United States should not be underestimated. In passing this motion, the democratically elected chamber of the most powerful nation in the world has affirmed the pressing need for a credibly independent inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and rejected the British assertion that the Inquiries Act is capable of providing such an inquiry. Britain cannot maintain its fiction any longer. The Inquiries Act is a device to permit Ministerial control of a devastating issue: British collusion with paramilitary assassins. The time has come to review its position and establish the inquiry agreed with the Irish Government at Weston Park in 2001.
“This Resolution from the House of Representatives follows hard on the heels of the motion passed by Dáil Eireann in February this year. It echoes the criticism levelled at the Inquiries Act by the Irish Government, Lord Saville, Lord Woolf, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, British Irish Rights Watch, CAJ and even Judge Peter Cory himself. Now the legislature of the United States can be added to the ever increasing list of those who reject the British fiction, that an inquiry can be controlled by the state and yet somehow remain independent. The two notions are simply not compatible.
“The case of Pat Finucane was a case where justice needs to be done and seen to be done. If this is to happen, a Cory-compliant inquiry must be established without further delay. If Tony Blair cares at all about the search for lasting peace in Ireland or even the reputation of his government in the eyes of the world, he must act now to establish a proper public inquiry that is clearly independent and not subject to Ministerial control.”