Britain urged to investigate murder of Irish human rights champion
By Adelaide Mena
Rep Chris Smith listens during an October 4 Helsinki Commission hearing.
Rep Chris Smith listens during an October 4 Helsinki Commission hearing.

.- Witnesses and congressmen at a U.S. hearing renewed a call to the British government to launch a public inquiry into the 1989 murder of Northern Irish human rights leader Patrick Finucane.

“The deliberate decision not to proceed with a public inquiry is a glaring, public breach of faith,” said Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.).

“It is the source of enormous frustration to Patrick Finucane’s family and friends,” he continued. “It resonates throughout Northern Ireland, calling into question the British government’s commitment to peace and reconciliation.”

The hearing on recent developments in Finucane’s death was held May 15 before the Congressional Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Human Rights and International Organizations.

Finucane, a Catholic Northern Irish lawyer, challenged the British government through several high-profile human rights cases in the late 1980s. He was murdered in his home in 1989, and while the British government initially promised a public inquest into the case, it was never carried out.

Following investigations and pressure from outside sources, British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted in 2012 that elements of the state had conspired in the murder plot and issued an apology. However, according to Smith, by failing to fully investigate the murder, the government “continues to protect those responsible for the murder of Pat Finucane.”

Michael Finucane, the son of the deceased lawyer, who was present at his father’s assassination, testified at the hearing, saying that since his father’s death, “suspicions abounded that the State might have had a hand in his murder.”

“In the 24 years since the murder, my family and I have campaigned relentlessly for a public judicial inquiry into the circumstances,” he said, adding that their efforts were initially met with “denial and refusal,” although further investigation showed them to be true.

“On behalf of my family, I ask for the support of this Committee, the support of the House and Congress to persuade the British Government to honour its long standing promise to establish a public judicial inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane,” he stated.

Jim Cullen, retired Brigadier General of the U.S. Army Judge Advocates General’s Corps also testified at the hearing, suggesting that indications of prior knowledge of the murder among British special forces and intelligence units “make clear the extent of the governmental collusion in Pat Finucane’s murder.”

“The refusal by the British government to convene a credible independent inquiry into Pat Finucane’s murder ensures there will be no accountability for those who orchestrated and sanctioned the murder of Pat Finucane,” Cullen added.

Rep. Smith joined the Finucane family in urging members of Congress to sign a letter to “urging him to conduct the promised inquiry.”

Tags: Human rights, Violence, Ireland

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: