Trade Unions condemn refusal of Secretary of State to open public inquiry into murder of Pat Finucane.

3 Dec 2020

Speaking at the monthly meeting of NI’s trade union leadership, ICTU Assistant General Secretary Owen Reidy deplored the “unnecessary further delay by the NI Secretary of State in providing the family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane with a public inquiry which may, after 31 years, provide answers to the many questions of real public interest flowing from that killing.

“Congress has consistently supported victims of the conflict to both truth and dignity, and this snub by Brandon Lewis offends both, causing more damage than to the feelings of the Finucane family. His subsequent attempt to conscript the excellent victims’ advocates at WAVE by misinterpreting their views display a pattern of insensitivity, to put it mildly.”

“We have hosted Geraldine Finucane at events, including at our Biennial Delegate Conference in L’Derry in 2012, when she spoke on the necessity of dealing with the past alongside WAVE founder Alan McBride and the late Inez McCormick, as well as NIC member Patricia McKeown.

“In 2018, in response to an NIO legacy consultation, NIC-ICTU noted that it is quite evident that many believe that there are two views of how to deal with the issue; one is best described as drawing a line in the sand and moving on.  It is our considered opinion that this is not a sustainable strategy towards building the peace process in Northern Ireland. As we wrote then: 

‘It is obvious from a review of past bodies established, both judicial and non-judicial, that the legacy of the past incorporating four major principles, e.g., truth, justice, accountability and redress, are still outstanding and inhibit an acceptance of building a just and peaceful Northern Ireland. We are of the opinion that the NIHRC indicate a way ahead in their conclusion of their document Dealing with Northern Ireland’s Past - Towards a Transitional Justice Approach and the Independent CAJ Recommendations to the Multi Party Group on Dealing with the Past – Investigating Troubles-Related Deaths.’

Mr Reidy concluded: “The Finucane family have sought justice for too long. Further delay in honouring past commitments from UK governments and even honouring a ruling from the UK Supreme Court risks undermining the rule of law in the minds of the general public.

“It is time for this matter to be concluded, and any just conclusion can only be reached after the fresh light and honest public examination of a Public Inquiry.”