“There are sometimes occasions when frank disagreements arise between states…”

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After meeting with the Finucane family to discuss the UK government’s decision “to conduct an independent review to produce a full public account of any state involvement in the murder”, rather than open an inquiry under the 2005 Inquiries Act, UTV reports Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore’s comments

Speaking after a meeting with the Finucane family on Monday afternoon he said: “There are sometimes occasions when frank disagreements arise between states.

“This is one on this occasion.”

……

Mr Gilmore said an agreement exists over the investigation of certain murders involving alleged State collusion during the Troubles, with which Mr Cameron’s government had to comply.

He said: “It is our view that what has been proposed by the British government falls short of that.”

The BBC report adds an interesting point

Mrs Finucane said she was disappointed Taoiseach Enda Kenny could not make the meeting but said it was clear anything Mr Gilmore was pledging had the full backing of the Taoiseach.

A “formal” Irish Government response is expected in the days ahead.

But it’s worth noting that the delay since negotiations at Weston Park in 2001, which “focused on policing and the decommissioning of terrorist weapons”, involves the Finucane family’s refusal to accept an inquiry under the 2005 Inquiries Act.  

That’s why the previous Labour government, even with the assistance of the Sinn Fein leadership’s close friend, and Blair’s ‘Siamese twin’, failed to act on the issue.

And with other interested parties now revising, and denying, the past it should be no surprise that the “dark hole in which old monsters squirm and grow”, the “price of velvet”, that to stride away from those “poisonous foundation” still requires “a sense of historical catharsis”

On balance, I remain convinced that the sooner you can do it the better. “It” should mean a rapid, scrupulous, individually appealable lustration of those in genuinely important positions in public life and, even more vital, some form of public reckoning with the larger issues of the difficult past. The necessary complement to a velvet revolution is something along the lines of a truth commission, which also gives people a sense of historical catharsis – otherwise often lacking in peaceful, negotiated transitions – and draws a clear line between dark past and better future. [added emphasis]

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  • Cynic2

    What ‘velvet revolution’? Nonsense.

    PIRA fought a terrorist war. It lost but was persuaded by the British into democratic politics. If we had a Velvet Revolution it should be the expose of the misdeeds of some senior republicans who now lie ridiculously about what they did

  • Alias

    “…I indicated quite clearly [to Cameron] that if Geraldine was not happy with what was on offer then clearly we would not be happy either.” – Enda Kenny

    I think it is a mistake for the Irish government to give Ms Finucane a veto over government policy on this matter. It is undemocratic since she has no mandate to decide government policy; and the government has a duty to decide these matters in the public interest. It is also foolish to allow one individual to effectively determine the state of relations between two sovereign states. This is simply silly and immature politics.

    Sir Desmond de Silva seems to be a person of integrity and the terms of reference given to him are comprehensive so it is not a bad offer from the prime minister in the circumstances. Is a public inquiry really needed when Lord Stevens has already gathered all of the evidence? I doubt it.

    All that is really needed is an impartial (i.e. a non-stooge) panel of perhaps three or five people of de Silva’s calibre to examine the evidence and draw some conclusions from it.

    In regard to lustration: that is the diametric opposite of British government policy, which was to integrate the murder gangs into the political institutions of the state and use them as agents of influence to promote British national interests, not to exclude them from thse institutions.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I agree hat the family should not have a veto over the procedure, but I think that it must at an absolute minimum be a public process.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    “There are sometimes occasions when frank disagreements arise between states”

    Here’s a link for you, Pete – it may also be an example of collusion between the Irish government and the PRM. It’s fairly clear from the briefing that the then RUC Chief Constable carried the can for two decisions taken by London, firstly at the behest of Dublin and secondly producing an angry reaction from the same quarter.

    You quite rightly strike out the price of velvet; it was a ‘rights in one hand and an armalite in the other’ revolution. Sean Garland outlined the intent to sweep away the institutions in Belfast and Dublin but Dublin looked after its own at the expense of victims in NI.

    Dublin can’t speak too strongly in this matter as its strategic use of double-agents contributed to the failure to protect the people of Omagh in 1998.

    Is it possible that the selection of a Papal knight to head the review was a sop to Dublin? Will London and Dublin get to edit the review prior to publication, to correct ‘errors of fact’? This sort of thing took place when Paul Priestly was given the opportunity to make alterations to an NIAO report into an investigation that, er, involved officials from his department.

    Look out for the discrete use of ‘independent’ and don’t rule out the possible application of a coat of white-wash.

  • http://nalil.blogspot.com Nevin

    [contd]The exchanges between states are in secret; they are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny; there is no accountability.

  • Dec

    ‘But it’s worth noting that the delay since negotiations at Weston Park in 2001, which “focused on policing and the decommissioning of terrorist weapons”, involves the Finucane family’s refusal to accept an inquiry under the 2005 Inquiries Act. ‘

    The Act which permits the government to withhold evidence. Why you keep omitting that little gem is anyone’s guess.

  • PaulT

    HMG accepted a report which claimed state collusion in the murder. Is it fair to say this means there are (or were) people guilty of the murder employed by the state.

    Sounds a bit similar to sluggers huff over a certain SpAd, except we don’t know how many murderers are or were unelected yet paid by the taxpayer.

    Any chance Sammy to draw some guidelines to prevent this happening in the future,

    Or are we talking about good murderers here? so its not necessary

  • galloglaigh

    The British government accepted, and apologised for the collusion between the state and the UFF, in the murder of Pat Finucane. How far did that collusion go? Who allowed it to happen? Why were there not checks in balance to stop the state’s collusion in the murder of an unarmed civilian? Where there any other cases where the state allowed for collusion, and did they directly order the killing of civilians, or did they direct loyalist or republican volunteers to a target? These are the questions that an inquiry should answer. An inquiry is needed, to unravel the dirty war, propagated and prolonged by the British government.

    Collusion is not an illusion, and the statement by David Cameron, is the first page of a book, that will be written, with or without the help of the British government.

  • Granni Trixie

    I am sure I am not alone in thinking that Gilmore’s sentiments were part of a ritual of going through the motions. First the Irish will have a short faux cold spell with the British then it will be business as usual.
    We’ve seen it all before.

  • separatesix

    If the Dublin government is so desperate for there to be a Finucane inquiry why don’t they provide the funds for it rather than the long-suffering British tax-payer.

  • Neil

    If the Dublin government is so desperate for there to be a Finucane inquiry why don’t they provide the funds for it rather than the long-suffering British tax-payer.

    Because the murders were carried out in the name of the British taxpayer. Compare and contrast:

    The British shouldn’t pay Irish victims for murders committed by the British the Irish should pick up the tab.

    Libya shouldn’t pay anything to British victims for murders committed by Libya, the British should picj up the tab.

    Ridiculous. If the Brits don’t want ot pay for inquiries they should stop murdering civilians. However they won’t do that, and they will continue to pay for inquiries as the price of murdering innnocent civilians, as they have ever done and continue to do to this day.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Ermmm,not in finucanes case,they won’t !!! ;-)

  • Neil

    Ermmm,not in finucanes case,they won’t !!!

    I would posit that never is a very long time for a Tory party such as this. They resisted enquiries generally in the past but thankfully the Tories will eventually be seen for the evil they are and the Great British public (the real ones that live over there) will boot them out and replace them with Labour. Who have said that they would hold an inquiry. It’s only a matter of time HG before a British Government honours it’s prior commitments. It’ll be a British government with a little bit of honour. So not the Tories then.

  • HeinzGuderian

    neil

    You’ll be telling me next a ui will be here by 2016 ??? :-)

    It’s the way you them them boy ;-)

  • Neil

    neil

    You’ll be telling me next a ui will be here by 2016 ???

    Maybe 2026 dude. It’s a long game now.

  • Alias

    Would that would be the same Labour party that introduced the Inquiries Act 2005 and failed to hold a public inquiry into the Finucane case for the entire duration of their terms of government from 1997 and 2010?

  • Neil

    That would be the same Labour party who have committed and reiterated their commitment to hold an inquiry.

  • HeinzGuderian

    2026 maybe dude ?

    It’s a long game now,huh ?

    What with masks slipping,dates slipping,and public enquiries slipping,tis turning out to be a fine day after all in the The Kingdom. :-)

  • Reader

    Neil: That would be the same Labour party who have committed and reiterated their commitment to hold an inquiry.
    Was it the government or the party that made the commitment? You may be waiting some time for another labour government.
    And it’s not as though the rest of us round here have a great deal of faith in new-labour, anyway.

  • Cynic2

    That would be the same Labour party who have committed and reiterated their commitment to hold an inquiry. ….but never set one up

  • Cynic2

    ” the murders were carried out in the name of the British taxpayer ”

    Where’s the evidence for that? Whom do you alleged commissioned the murder of Pat Finucane?