Legacy issues, inquests and the Pat Finucane case discussed today at the Council of Europe

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD, has announced that today, 7 December, the Council of Europe in Strasbourg discussed a number of legacy cases, including the case of Pat Finucane.

“Turning to the case of the late Pat Finucane, Ireland continues to support the reopening of individual measures in the Finucane case and therefore the request made by the applicant. It is our belief that had the Committee of Ministers been aware in 2009 of the existence of the new and significant information relating to the murder which came to light following the de Silva review ordered by the British Government, it may not have agreed to the closure of individual measures. This belief is reinforced by the Declaration last year of the Belfast High Court that as of March 2009, the date of the Committee’s Interim Decision, there had been no effective investigation in compliance with Article 2.

“This is a critical moment in the Pat Finucane case; a judgment in the domestic litigation is pending and expected soon. In this context, Ireland is therefore prepared to agree to the proposed decision, on the basis that the Committee of Ministers will fulfil its obligation under Article 46(2) to supervise judgments of the Court by resuming consideration of reopening the individual measures once this judgment has been delivered. We consider this the only logical and satisfactory action for the Committee to pursue.

“Moreover, I wish to reiterate to the Committee of Ministers that it is the firm view of the Irish Government that a satisfactory outcome to this case will be best achieved through a full public inquiry, and we again call upon the British Government to fulfil the commitments it made in this regard at Weston Park fifteen years ago.”

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade