We refer to the statement of Owen Paterson made today in relation to the extension of time to continue discussions:

The Finucane family have campaigned for 21 years for a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the murder of Pat. The essence of a proper inquiry is independence. The family’s legal team led by Peter Madden of Madden & Finucane, met with the NIO legal team in London in April last year and the discussions then were worthwhile. However, due to the pending general election at that time, a further meeting was postponed.

The M&F legal team met the Secretary of State’s advisors last Thursday 6 January and again the discussions were constructive.

Peter Madden said “Although these were constructive and useful meetings, the fact remains that the independence of a tribunal is fundamental. It is hoped that the family’s concerns will be addressed and that a mechanism will be established which would result in a public judicial inquiry fully independent, which will have the support of the Finucane family, and all those who have supported the family in their long campaign.”