The Finucane family met the British Prime Minister David Cameron and NI Secretary Owen Paterson at 10 Downing Street today to hear the Government’s decision on an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane in Belfast in 1989. The family was asked to come to Downing Street by the Prime Minister following a re-appraisal of the case in order to assess whether holding an inquiry remained in the public interest.
Speaking after the meeting, Geraldine Finucane said:
“My family and I were invited to Downing Street by the Prime Minister to hear the decision of the Government about holding a public inquiry into the murder of my husband, Pat Finucane. I have been to meetings in 10 Downing Street before but this is the first time I have been invited by a Prime Minster. I was hopeful and optimistic about today’s meeting. I thought David Cameron intended to show courage and leadership on this issue. I thought he would confirm that his Government would establish a public inquiry. I dared to believe we might finally get the inquiry recommended by Judge Peter Cory in 2004.
I now know that courage and leadership on the issue of Pat’s murder remains absent. The Prime Minister said he did not intend to hold a public inquiry. Instead, he proposed a review of the case by a senior QC selected by the British Government.
After 23 years of campaigning, 23 years of questions, 23 years of travelling the world gathering support for a public inquiry into Pat’s murder, the offer of a ‘review of the papers’ is nothing less than an insult. My family and I were lured to Downing Street under false pretences. We thought we were going to be given the inquiry that was promised. Instead, the Government intends to do even less in Pat’s case than in the other cases that were part of the Cory process.
My family will not be allowed to participate in this review. We will not be permitted to question witnesses. We will not be given copies of documents. In short, we are being asked to accept the result of a process from which we are completely excluded. We are being asked to trust the British Government. We were told that we should accept Mr. Cameron’s assurance that this ‘review of the papers’ will get to the truth.
After 23 years, my family and I are beyond taking any British Prime Minister’s word for anything. We have no hesitation in rejecting this sham proposal and will not be participating in it under any circumstances. It is a shoddy, half-hearted alternative to a proper public inquiry. It is not what we have sought for the last 23 years. It represents yet another broken promise by the British Government who still fear a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and cannot bring themselves to uncover or confront the truth.”