Pat Finucane murdered to silence other rights lawyers says son

Posted By: February 11, 2019


Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus

“The political assassination of Pat Finucane was and is a metaphor for England’s state terrorism and collusion.The terrible execution was meant to silence lawyers who would dare to defend the rights of Catholics/Nationalists/Republicans.It is important not to forget that England, when it suited,  also colluded in the murder of Protestants, as in the case of Raymond McCord, Junior.”—Fr. Sean McManus

Michael McHugh. Irish News. Belfast. Monday, February 11, 2019

The 30th anniversary of Mr Finucane’s murder occurs tomorrow.

The 39-year-old was shot 14 times by loyalists in collusion with British security forces while enjoying Sunday lunch at home with his family.

His son John was a schoolboy when his father died in front of him.

Speaking at St Mary’s University College in west Belfast yesterday, John recalled: “Our lives changed forever.”

His father’s best years professionally were ahead of him, his son said.

He added: “It was a deliberate decision to kill him, to silence other lawyers and prevent them from doing that type of work.

“What we see now is a generation coming through with lawyers, people wanting their human rights.

“I think that is very much a legacy of Pat Finucane and what he stands for and represents.

“That gives me enormous pride. While they did silence him they could not have made a bigger mess of it if they tried.

“The name reverberates around the world and an enormous amount of credit for that is to due to my mother.”

Former British prime minister David Cameron acknowledged the “shocking” level of state collusion in the 1989 UDA killing after receiving a report on the evidence.

Sir Desmond de Silva’s review confirmed agents of the state were involved and it should have been prevented – but ruled out an “overarching state conspiracy”.

The Finucane family have engaged in years of litigation over what they say is the British government’s failure to grant an independent public inquiry and strongly opposed the decision to order the de Silva review.

A Supreme Court judgment on legal action connected to the case is pending.

As a defence solicitor Mr Finucane, from west Belfast, represented clients who included convicted IRA members and families involved in shoot-to-kill allegations against the RUC.

During the republican hunger strikes in the 1980s he represented Bobby Sands.

John Finucane said his father represented all sides, while others at a special event in Belfast said he spoke up for the voiceless.

Mr Finucane recalled the early years of his family’s campaign for justice.

“We were attacked very deliberately and cruelly as nothing more than republican propagandists, that we were an IRA man’s children who did not deserve truth and justice,” he said.

He praised his mother Geraldine’s hard work, strength and resilience.

Pat Finucane’s daughter Katherine said he would be proud of his family’s fight for justice.

She said losing their father in such a brutal way added another dimension to their grief.

That hurt was not resolved because the search for the truth continued, she said.

“We did not have him for long in our lives and although we have our memories we were robbed of so many more,” she said.

“We keep my dad alive because we carry him in us. We not only fight for justice for him but for a future fit for our children and one that he would be proud of.”

Former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said the murder has “haunted” the corridors of power to this day.

He said the Finucane family are using their influence to raise their voices for those who have none.

Mr Adams added: “As a human rights lawyer it didn’t matter to Pat whether you were a republican, a unionist, a loyalist, or none of these.

“If you were arrested you have rights and Pat’s responsibility – his vocation, his mission in life – was to vindicate and defend those rights.”