Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Finucane allegations – put up or shut up

Sat 15 December 2012, 2:42pm

 

Ruth Dudley Edwards, quoted approvingly in the News Letter, has exposed the posthumous indictment of Pat Finucane in the Daily Telegraph that deeply offends the family and repels more than supporters of a public inquiry.  It’s important to say that the Prime Minister accepted the findings of the de Silva report following Stevens, that he was not a member of the IRA. I post her article because it is a valid part of public discourse however unpalatable to many and to ask: what is it designed to achieve? Ruth herself doesn’t use weasel words to justify the murder.” It turns my stomach that this man was murdered, that members of the security forces colluded with it and that the murder was carried out in front of his family.”

But what is the purpose of claiming as fact a long standing story about Finucane from Sean O’Callaghan, which she cannot vouch for herself?   I don’t see how it increases the pressures in favour of IRA confessions and revelations. The article is an ill-judged salvo in a new propaganda  battle opened by Ken Maginnis in the Lords on the day of publication of the de Silva report which gained virtually no publicity except in the Bel Tel and here. The O’Callaghan version emerged after the publication of the first Stevens report in 2003. If it was ever going to gain traction it would have done so by now. As so often happens with ill –judged unionist counter blasts, Ruth’s article is unlikely to achieve its desired result and only serves to complicate further the search for elusive and probably unreachable truth. As an often discerning but critical friend of unionism, Ruth Dudley Edwards should realise that more than most.   If any further inquiry into Pat Finucane  is to proceed, let evidence that he was a  conduit between remand prisoners and the IRA be produced. If it exists it will be if  the files somewhere. It might supply motive for his murder. Isn’t it strange that de Silva didn’t see it?

 The IRA informer, Sean O’Callaghan, first met Finucane in 1980 at a high-level IRA finance meeting just south of the border. Finucane arrived with Gerry Adams, who introduced him to O’Callaghan as a member of the Belfast Brigade staff. He next met him 1988 in Crumlin Road Jail where he was on remand, after giving himself up for earlier terrorist offences. Finucane wanted to become O’Callaghan’s official lawyer, but O’Callaghan didn’t sign the necessary forms. Finucane nonetheless visited him a few times trying to find out what the police had been told and whether O’Callaghan would be giving evidence against accomplices. That was part of his IRA work. He was also an invaluable conduit for messages between prisoners and the IRA leadership.

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Comments (59)

  1. pauluk (profile) says:

    Finucane was part and parcel of the SF/IRA war against the British. While his comrades shot people in the back and planted bombs on buses and in hotels killing hundreds, he served the cause in a three piece. He became a casualty of the Republican Movement’s self-declared war. Don’t know what all the fuss is about.

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  2. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    It’s good that Ruth Dudley Edwards does what she does. She’s a bit like that other lady who claims that tricolours are burnt at every republican parade. They give us light entertainment when the going’s tough.

    But you see, the problem for me, and for many nationalist and republican people, is that yet again the opinion of a state agent is being used as ‘evidence’.

    It’s like Ingram, who even the RUC and PSNI describe as a fantastic. It can’t stand up to the test.

    Gearldine Finucane is right when she says, that the British government have a cheek asking people to believe them: give them the benefit of the doubt. The De Silva whitewash gives those ultimately responsible for Finucane’s murder – the British government an easy escape. And for Dudley Edwards to carry on giving the benefit of the doubt, she uses a slime ball like O’Callaghan to back up her claims. I think her fiction writing and her background in Irish history sometimes collide.

    Dudley Edwards claims that ‘He was an IRA lawyer who worked for terrorists against the interests of justice’. Jim Allister represented unionist terrorist Clifford McKeown after he murdered an innocent man. Michael McGoldrick was murdered in 1996 as a birthday present to unionist terrorist leader Billy Wright. I wonder would Dudley Edwards also describe Jim Allister as ‘an LVF lawyer who worked for terrorists against the interests of justice’?

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  3. Submariner (profile) says:

    Brian You are talking about the same Ruth Dudley Edwards who wrote a fawning propaganda piece “The Faithful Tribe” that Goebbles himself would have been proud of. Now she is taking the word of a self confessed terrorist to back up her own hatred as gospel instead of relying on the views of senior RUC officers and the findings of the Stevens report that he was not.

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  4. Desmond Trellace (profile) says:

    It is only human that people (especially those who like to preach and trumpet on about the “rule of law”) will lash out angrily, go into denial, go on the defensive, indulge in whataboutery etc. when “their own crowd” get caught out in such a manner.

    What puzzles me most, however, is the lack of concern amongst commentators in England as to state of health of the rule of law within their jurisdiction. Systematic state murder nestled in impunty (except for some of the fall guys at the end of the line) is hardly compatible with the rule of law.

    Kevin Myers writes today: “Finucane Inquiry calls are futile: the British won’t reveal dirty tricks.” This is no doubt true. The question that the English public will have to face up to someday is whether they can have their cake and eat it.

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  5. latcheeco (profile) says:

    What puzzles me most, however, is the lack of concern amongst commentators in England as to state of health of the rule of law within their jurisdiction. Systematic state murder nestled in impunty (except for some of the fall guys at the end of the line) is hardly compatible with the rule of law.

    Good luck with that one Desmond having an extrajudicial license to kill Johnny Foreigner is as British as fish and chips-remember those olympic parachutes

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  6. qwerty12345 (profile) says:

    RDE sings to the choir, shes a cheerleader. This is appearing in the Telegraph lets not forget. As for the Newsletter, seriously, is that rag even a newspaper?

    Loved this line: “Although Northern Irish, at the expense of the British taxpayer, he studied law at Trinity College, Dublin”

    Since when was journalism barely concealed contempt, oh well I guess the same is what this predictable little outburst warrants.

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  7. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    One thing that Ruth Dudley Edwards does prove though, is that Peter Robinson has at least on Unicorn to rely on!

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  8. Reader (profile) says:

    galloglaigh: is that yet again the opinion of a state agent is being used as ‘evidence’.
    ‘testimony’ rather than ‘opinion’ – he claims to have been present at specific meetings. You may mistrust the evidence from state agents, but then there’s not much left of the de Silva report if you do that. How have you decided which agents you believe and which you don’t?

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  9. Lionel Hutz (profile) says:

    It was amazing that the idea of studying at Trinity could make you a fellow traveller. Not even UCD or NUI, but Trinity is enough. Jesus wept

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  10. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    Unfounded testimony is opinion Reader. My Protestant mate down the pub was at a meeting with Peter Robinson last night, where he said he wants Nasa to put a Union flag on the Moon. But until my mate backs his testimony with fact, it’s only his opinion.

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  11. One analysis of the years 1969-1998 is that it was all a matter of Law and Order.
    Another analysis is that it was a Civil War.
    The revelation that 85% of the Intelligence held by one of the terrorist organisations is sourced to the British tends to confirm the Civil War analysis.
    Those that are qualified in their condemnation of this murder and other murders again give credence to the Civil War theory. Nobody can have it both ways.

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  12. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    “is that yet again the opinion of a state agent is being used as ‘evidence’”.

    Nationalists need to pause a moment and think about that. All the evidence for state collusion comes from ‘state agents’. Too often nationalists use the “opinion” of state agents or employees to back their case when it suits them (eg the RUC stating that Pat Finucane was not a member of the IRA or Brian Nelson claiming this or that FRU or SB man said one thing or the other).

    Yet when agents say uncomfortable things they are to be disbelieved.

    This of course goes to the heart of the challenges facing law enforcement bodies the world over. People who know stuff about bad guys are usually not too savoury themselves. They lie, cheat and look to the main chance. Few, if any, have altruistic motives.

    That’s what makes handling a CHIS (covert human intelligence source) such a high wire occupation. Big Boys’ games if you will.

    The dogs in the street may ‘know’ stuff. But it’s the rats in the sewer that can provide the evidence.

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  13. Lionel Hutz (profile) says:

    Its correct that when these findings are produced, it is Unionists who give credence to the idea that this was a Civil War.

    However, it wasn’t a civil war no matter how much people want to hide behind that to explain away the actions of one side or the other.

    It was a dirty conflict. That’s all.

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  14. GavBelfast (profile) says:

    Again, people are forced / directed to extremes.

    I hope I am not alone in deploring his murder and any gratuitous pre-murder or post-murder slurring going on, while at the same time refusing to go along with canonisation or the utterly subjective and seemingly misplaced “human-rights” lawyer tag.

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  15. Clanky (profile) says:

    He was an IRA lawyer who worked for terrorists against the interests of justice.

    Does Ms. Dudley Edwards then believe that justice would somehow have been better served had the terrorists had no legal representation. Even if you accept that they were guilty of crimes and deserving of punishment, then surely in a supposedly civilised society then they need to stand trial and be adequately represented for that punishment to be legitimised?

    This is quite simply another bitter rant aimed at deflecting guilt from the British government and making there actions more palatable to the sort of people who love to believe that being British somehow brings with it an inherent sense of justice and fair play, this garbage would be better suited to the Daily Mail than the Telegraph.

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  16. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    Indeed SOS both Westminster and Whitehall are big enough sewers to start with. Loyal Sluggerites will deeply regret the notion of “big boys’ games” in future threads. Many UDR and RUC men played big boys’ games, yet very few have seen the inside of a prison cell. That’s good old British justice for you. And that’s also why the flag these people died for is no longer flying over Belfast City Hall.

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  17. son of sam (profile) says:

    One of the things that comes out of this is the need for a clearer definition of what “a human rights lawyer”is.At the moment it seems to be any lawyer that defends a republican !

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  18. Alias (profile) says:

    All criminal organisations, large or small, rely on the support of the professional classes. However, there is a large gap between the state suspecting some of them of involvement in organised crime and prosecuting them for it. The head the Scottish Crime & Drug Enforcement Agency, Gordon Meldrum, said he had a list of 241 lawyers and accountants who his Agency knew to be involved in facilitating criminal organisations. So far, however, the number of prosecutions, never mind convictions, stands at an impressive zero.

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  19. Granni Trixie (profile) says:

    RDE ought to stick to writing crime novels (friends who are into that genre tell me she’s good at that). A friend of mine who mixes in unionist circles told me years ago that Mr Finucan was in the IRA and when I queried it he too said that Sean OC had seen him at an IRA meeting. Other than SOC testimony there does not seem to be any other evidence. it struck me as strange that an ex IRA man was believed by Trimble et al.

    I do not put This death above that of other victims of the troubles but I certainly think he and his loved ones deserve our sympathy and respect. The de silva report like its predecessors have uncovered evidence of state wrongdoing which the PM has accepted, so it makes me sick when (as with Bloody Sunday) some will not accept the truth staring them in the face. I do not think we have the resources for a public enquiry to tell us something we already know about collusion. Respectfully, I wish the family, particularly Mrs Finucane, could be persuaded to now put their energy into healing themselves.

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  20. David Crookes (profile) says:

    I mean to offend no one by repeating what many ordinary people like myself are thinking.

    There was a dirty conflict. Wicked crimes were committed by all sides.

    It may well be that Mr Pat Finucane was murdered either at the behest or with the assistance of the ‘state’ side.

    But to focus particularly on a small number of the crimes that were committed during years of conflict will comfort only those victims who have articulate activists on their side, and distress those victims who have not. The recent focus on one Stormont adviser was to a large degree unseemly.

    A concentration on the crimes of the ‘state’ side bespeaks such a degree of ethical sophistication as an armed struggle never permits when it is actually going on.

    Such a concentration will certainly raise partisan tensions at a time when most working people, who know little about the Troubles, are trying to get on with their economically difficult lives.

    It will be ruthlessly milked for all it is worth by newspapers whose principal purpose is to sell newspapers. (Journalists will bleat piously about ‘the need for closure.’)

    It will be ruthlessly milked for all it is worth by lawyers whose principal purpose is to make themselves even wealthier than they already are. If these lawyers make as much money as they hope to make, either we shall all have to pay a little more in taxes, or we shall all be asked to employ fewer nurses in our hospitals. The net result will be that our upside-down world, in which lawyers may have yachts but nurses may not, will become even more impoverished and absurd.

    Resentments will throb away, on both sides of the fence.

    Young men will feel encouraged to engage in terrorism, and no one will be any better off.

    ‘Truth commissions’ are a lot of nonsense. Was Mr Gerry Adams a member of the IRA, or was he not? If we can’t get a truthful answer to that question, let us not waste our time in framing any other questions.

    The truth is that there is no such thing as ‘closure’ for any bereaved person. ‘Closure’ is a fancy modern word. Many honest persons are surprised to find, when they have jumped through all the obligatory psychological hoops, that their grief is still alive, undiminished and invincible. Let me add my own voice to the voices of those who have expressed their respect for Mrs Finucane and her family.

    I don’t see the notion of ‘moving on’ as morally flawed. The disciples of the Lord Jesus included Simon the Zealot, who had fought against the Romans, and Matthew the tax-collector, who had worked for the Romans. Those two men ‘moved on’, and worked together.

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  21. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    Well, Gerry Adams was never in the IRA. And Martin McGuinness resigned from it in 1974

    So I ‘d put Pat Finucane in the same category.

    The state employs people like Gordon Kerr and Frank Kitson for a good reason. To protect decent people by upholding the law. Now sometimes the law needs to be upheld by circumventing the actual words utilised in statute, and employing de facto nudges of such statutes.

    I’m more than happy for the security services to ‘nudge’ accordingly -for the greater good.

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  22. Submariner (profile) says:

    My name is Bluesjazz and I support murder.

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  23. Republic of Connaught (profile) says:

    Alias:

    “The head the Scottish Crime & Drug Enforcement Agency, Gordon Meldrum, said he had a list of 241 lawyers and accountants who his Agency knew to be involved in facilitating criminal organisations. So far, however, the number of prosecutions, never mind convictions, stands at an impressive zero.”

    Indeed, Alias. Though perhaps those lawyers etc.. will be checking for bombs under their cars from now on because they, like everyone else in the civilised world, can see that the UK state have form when it comes to sanctioning murder of solicitors who represent people they don’t like.

    I wonder if the lawyers who represent rapists will be next on the hit lists? Bump them off if you don’t like who they represent. British democracy at its best. Perhaps which undesirabe lawyers are to be bumped off will be put to a referendum.

    It might even make an interesting TV show, allowing the righteous to vote on which lawyers live or die.

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  24. Mark (profile) says:

    You’re more than happy to taunt his widow as well Bluejazz …

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  25. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    I find it deeply shocking that there are people who are blaisé to say the least about a defence lawyer being murdered because of who his clients were.

    If Finucane is a legitimate target, I can think of a number of other legitimate targets who took money defending people who were senior, well-known paramilitary figures and whom they must have suspected were guilty. At least one of those is currently a unionist MLA.

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  26. SK (profile) says:

    Bluesjazz would most likely claim to be taking satisfaction at his death because he was alleged to be an ‘active republican’.

    The fact that he wrote a similar diatribe against Michaela McAreavey when she was murdered (and got away with it, I might add) would suggest that he simply enjoys it when themmuns kick the bucket.

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  27. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    galloglaigh
    “It’s good that Ruth Dudley Edwards does what she does. She’s a bit like that other lady who claims that tricolours are burnt at every republican parade. They give us light entertainment when the going’s tough.”
    I have no idea of the truth or otherwise of the allegations about Pat Finucane, but it seems to me that you are just attacking Dudley Edwards herself rather than making any pertinent argument.

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  28. Reader (profile) says:

    galloglaigh: But until my mate backs his testimony with fact, it’s only his opinion.
    ‘opinion’ – You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
    Anyway, does that mean that if you were on a jury, you would ignore all testimony from witnesses? How about expert witnesses – would you accept what they say?

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  29. Alias (profile) says:

    “British democracy at its best.”

    Irish democracy isn’t much better. The head of PIRA’s Southern Command, Sean O’Callaghan, was an agent for the Irish security services, C2. John Corcoran, a Shinner living in Cork, was selected by PIRA’s ISU to be murdered as the fall-guy for information given to C2 by Sean O’Callaghan.

    PIRA’s ISU was controlled by British agents appointed by Gerry Adams. They were appointed to perform important functions such as they performed in the case of Sean O’Callaghan: protect high-ranking Shinner touts by blaming the wrong people for the actions of the high-ranking Shinner touts.

    O’Callaghan’s handlers knew he was to be protected by the British (indeed they later gave operational control of their agent to the British) so there is the Irish state colluding in the murder of its own citizens.

    But why do you think folks object to murderers holding political office? They voted for Gerry Adams to be a member of the Irish parliament.

    Without Mr Adams appointing British agents to run PIRA’s ISU and keeping them in place, those British agents would not have been able to murder Corkman John Corcoran in order to protect British agents higher up the Shinner chain of command.

    That control of the murder gangs (by both states) is, of course, also what led to the murder of Mr Finucane. The head of the UDA’s intelligence department (another British agent) was also there to protect British agents higher up the Shinner chain of command (not that he would have been aware that was one of his functions). After all, the state can’t allow its agents in one murder gang to murder the agents in its other murder gang when those agents are still useful, can it?

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  30. Granni Trixie (profile) says:

    Gallon laity

    How can one fail to criticise someone who on the basis of a murdered mans siblings who were in the IRA and the sole evidence of her “close friend” Sean OCallaghan,makes assumptions about him and his family who witnessed the murder. She also seems to imply that there are indeed ‘legitimate targets’ .

    During the troubles I campaigned against so called ‘legitimate’ targets such as policemen. I even wore a Tshirt with “Am I a legitimate target” on it which perhaps explains why I resent the case which RDE appears to be making namely that whilst she regrets the murder in effect the man asked for it because of his work as a solicitor.

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  31. Granni Trixie (profile) says:

    Oops sorry to misspell the name …it was my iPad wot done it.

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  32. Mark (profile) says:

    I’d say RDE is a little embarrassed at all the attention her association with SOC has brought . Trimble , the UUP , RDE ..anyone really who’ve stated their reputation on his information tends to look foolish whenever the Finucane case is brought up . After all , it’s his information and only his information that has many prominent people forming an opinion as to whether PF was a member of the IRA .

    According to Stevens and RUC PF wasn’t a member . O Callaghan cannot be trusted . He claimed to have executed Garda Infromant John Corcoran only to retract his confession . He was part of that UTV programme that used video gaming footage to try and trick viewers into thinking it was a real IRA operation . IMO he cuts a very sad figure and after the burgalry / bondage ? episode a few years ago , people who backed him then probably just feel sorry for him now ..

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  33. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Inconceivable!

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  34. claudius (profile) says:

    I’ve always thought that the state, no matter which one, should be the last bastion of the individuals protection. Therefore I always think, what if it happened to me. What if that was my mother, father. son, daughter etc. What if I was a Finucane or a McCord or countless others ‘sorted’ by the Haddocks or Scapatecis (did I spell that correctly?) of this world. To quote John Donne ‘Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.’

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  35. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    The USA killed Bin Laden ‘extra-judicially’. He was never convicted of any crime.
    Here in the UK people like Billy Wright, Seamus McIwaine, Pat Finucane, Lenny Murphy, etc were killed with the possible connivance of the state.
    *for the greater good*

    Anyone ever watched ‘Dirty Harry’?

    Big Boys rules.

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  36. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Granni Trixie
    “whilst she regrets the murder in effect the man asked for it because of his work as a solicitor.”
    Ruth Dudley Edwards played no part in the murder of Pat Finucane so she would have no cause to express regret.
    What she does do is condemn it several times in the linked article as wrong and gruesome.
    I do think she is wrong to highlight the fact he represented IRA suspects as though in some way they did not deserve legal representation.
    However I don’t read that as condoning his murder.

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  37. Granni Trixie (profile) says:

    I don’t really believe that you do not know what I meant.

    But for the record,
    yes,she played no part in the murder,yes she claims his murder was wrong. But then she also uses facts in such a way as to convey she believes he was doing the work of the IRA. Infact her words reminds me of Ken McGuiness words this past week in referring the Finucanes as “an IRA family” which to me implies lack of respect to these victims of the troubles.
    I personally thnk it is despicable for anyone to blacken someone’s name in this way.

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  38. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Granni Trixie
    Yes I knew you what you meant, sorry if that was a bit snarky. I suppose ‘regret’ is so often used in the context of responsibility, I was making a point about the particular use of words.
    Anyway, on your other point she seems to be saying that rather than being a disinterested legal representative,he sought to represent republicans and to such an extent that he was clearly sympathetic to the cause.
    That is the argument to be refuted, rather than simply attacking her character or writing skills.
    Mick is always banging on about ‘playing the man’ .I’m sure it applies to playing the woman too.

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  39. Framer (profile) says:

    O’Callaghan was giving witness as to what he saw and heard. That is evidence whether we like it or not.
    The chance of any other witness saying Finucane was not present at this or that meeting or said something different is nil so we are left with unrefuted evidence.
    We all know the IRA had a political wing, so the notion of a division of labour is hardly remarkable.
    Gerry Adams as we know was not in the IRA but nobody denies he was in Sinn Fein which had a symbiotic relationship with the IRA.
    Same difference, except in terms of law enforcement.

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  40. michael-mcivor (profile) black spot says:

    BluesJazz-

    ” Lenny Murphy,etc were killed with the possible connivance of the state ”

    Lenny Murphy was shot dead by the Provos in 1982- eleven brit army were killed in london in 1982 by the Provos or maybe you think the brit state killed them also-

    ” Anyone ever watched Dirty Harry ”

    It was the last film watched by Lenny Murphy-

    babyface finlayson-

    ” Ruth Dudley Edwards played no part in the murder of Pat Finucane “-

    How do you know this-if you know all of the names that did play some part perhaps you could name them all-

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  41. Granni Trixie (profile) says:

    Believe it or not, I did consider before posting if I was man/woman playing,concluding that it was not because to challenge her assertions and assumptions one had no option but to write about ones interpretation of what she wrote.

    What I tried to point to is that there is a group of unionists who interact with each other and who agree the murdered man was in the IRA based solely on the account of SOC.

    I know enough about life to know that no two people’s interpretation of an event is likely to be exactly the same. I woud have expected that with the passing of time other accounts or evidence would have emerged to confirm or refute SOC assertion. This has not happened and I for one woud not accept an ex IRA mans sole testimony as these others including RDE are prepared to do.

    In any event,the focus ought to be on murder and now on state collusion with murder.

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  42. Framer (profile) says:

    Granni – you take the evidence you have first before you start discounting it. Then one asks, as you do, why is there no contradicting evidence and if none is forthcoming, it is reasonable to judge – in the real not the republican lawyering world – that O’Callaghan’s evidence is compelling, especially as it remains unchallenged.
    Getting real, one must also ask, as with Gerry Adams, how would Finucane with four brothers in the IRA and a history of heavy political support for Republicanism not be in a state of collusion himself?

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  43. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    babyface finlayson

    rather than making any pertinent argument

    My argument, is that Dudley Edwards’ argument is solely based on the ‘testimony’, or the opinion of a proven liar. Sean O’Callaghan’s MO here is to make him and the actions of his handlers less murderous and heinous.

    So, what’s your argument? It seems to me that you are just attacking myself, rather than making any pertinent argument.

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  44. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    Framer

    The words you are looking for is uncorroborated yet unrefuted evidence. It wouldn’t stand up in court, because as you say, no one else would accept or deny his claims. Therefore, it’s all in his head until he can definitively prove otherwise!

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  45. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    One problem with the story is not just that it’s uncorroborated but that it comes from someone with form for what might generously be called embellishment. This is, let us remember, the man who brought the tabloids the scoop about how the RA were going to shoot the Princess of Wales. Edwards repeats his claim not as such but as fact, which is shoddy to say the least. Another difficulty of course, which RDE and her acolytes ignore, is that the claim has been unequivocally denied by the police. If they have a motive for lying about this then I admit it’s gone right over my head.

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  46. Alias (profile) says:

    I’d guess it’s more of an emotion than a motive. It seems to bug her in the article that Finucane is elevated by a particular ilk to the iconic status of a “Human Rights Lawyer” when, in reality, he was merely an unremarkable solicitor with a small local practice.

    Why the ‘sexing-up’ of Finucane’s status? If she was to explore that aspect then she’d probably have written an article worth reading.

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  47. Ulidian (profile) says:

    Alias

    Your point about “human rights lawyers” is good – it really is an obnoxious label in the case of Finucane & invoked far too readily in general.

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  48. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    galloglaigh
    I did say that I do not know if the allegations about Pat Finucane are true or not, so I am making no argument as far as that goes.
    RDE calls him a servant of the IRA. Instead of offering any evidence to the contrary, you suggest she is writing fiction, you call her a unicorn, you call her writing light entertainment.
    All you have is personal attack, and bringing Jim Allister into it seems like pure whataboutery.

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  49. Dec (profile) says:

    ‘RDE calls him a servant of the IRA. Instead of offering any evidence to the contrary,’

    How does one prove an individual wasn’t in a secret paramilitary organisation to your satisfaction? Seriously, I’m curious. (I’ll avoid mentioning the findings of the 500 page da Silva report as counter- evidence as you’ve clearly read and discounted that already).

    Seriously though, people who continue to imply, 23 years after his death, that Pat Finuncane was a senior member of the IRA based solely on an anecdote from a self -confessed liar, really need to have a long look at themselves.

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  50. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Dec
    I suppose people believe what they want to believe. I have said a couple of times that I don’t know if the allegations are true or not
    I’ve only tried to say that attacking Ruth Dudley Edwards doesn’t get us very far.
    Have you formed an opinion yourself?

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  51. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Finucane allegations – put up or shut up”

    Brian, you could also have quoted this from RDE in that linked article:

    But journalists and commentators should not carelessly adopt the language of propagandists. Finucane was a lawyer who was a faithful servant of a terrorist group that carried out in his lifetime many hundreds of vicious murders that he himself condoned.

    What’s your argument against RDE’s final sentence?

    “If it exists it will be if the files”

    Why would communications between Pat and folks on remand or details of the alleged Donegal meeting be on UK files?

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  52. Submariner (profile) says:

    ” Finucane was a lawyer who was a faithful servant of a terrorist group that carried out in his lifetime many hundreds of vicious murders that he himself condoned.”

    Nevin exactly what evidence has RDE produced to back up her claim that Finucane condoned any murder

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  53. joe ssh (profile) says:

    Isn’t it ironic that Edwards warns that” journalists and commentators should not carelessly adopt the language of propagandists.”
    Edward’s only source for the besmirching allegations she makes is the highly dubious and agenda driven Sean O Callaghan.
    Retired RUC Superintendent Alan Simpson who was Senior Investigating officer on the Finucane case,and who was one of the first on the scene stated at Finucane’s Inquest in 1990 that :
    “”Finucane was just another law abiding citizen going about his business”. This was my own view of the man and nothing from the investigation I had conducted 18 months previously suggested otherwise. I knew from low-grade intelligence and criminal convictions that members of Patrick Finucane’s family had Republican connections but nothing I had seen indicated that these extended to the victim myself.”

    In his book Simpson states that he was taken aside by an assistant chief constable and told not to try too hard to find the killers.

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  54. Dec (profile) says:

    ‘What’s your argument against RDE’s final sentence?’

    Nevin

    It’s called the criminal justice system and the inference that if you, as a defence solicitor, represent clients that you share their guilt is odius.

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  55. Old Mortality (profile) says:

    “He next met him 1988 in Crumlin Road Jail where he was on remand, after giving himself up for earlier terrorist offences. Finucane wanted to become O’Callaghan’s official lawyer, but O’Callaghan didn’t sign the necessary forms. Finucane nonetheless visited him a few times trying to find out what the police had been told and whether O’Callaghan would be giving evidence against accomplices.”

    If Finucane did indeed make unsolicited visits to O’C in custody, there must be some possibility of corroboration, if not from official records then perhaps from the recollection of prison officers at the time. I’m surprised nobody has investigated it already.
    This is O’C’s potentially most damning allegation against Finucane, since verification of his presence at an IRA meeting is pretty much impossible.

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  56. Granni Trixie (profile) says:

    As I tried to convey earlier,even without specific enquiries,with all the publicity of this case surely somebody would have come up with info to support SOCs story…if it happened.

    Look,I do think that it looks like SOC believes what he says for some reason. But he seems to have become a pet of the unionist establishment who seem all to willing to accept his version not challenge it as a true friend would. It’s not rocket science..he is saying what they want to believe.

    Personally, from what we know about him, I am not prepared to accept his version especially as there is so much evidence (as mentioned above) that Mr Finucane was just a solicitor doing his job.
    I’m pretty disgusted actually at the ease with which some people say otherwise about him.

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  57. David Crookes (profile) says:

    You can’t believe everything that a former agent says in his book. Peter Wright claimed in ‘Spycatcher’ that the late Cecil King was an officer in the same intelligence service as himself, but later said no he wasn’t, I was wrong to say that, when he was interviewed about the matter on television. A single piece of any such confusion brings the whole testimony of the confused agent into question.

    On a general note, it should not surprise us if persons who live a life of deception are constitutionally unable to tell ‘nothing but the truth’ in their autobiographies. It is often prudent to cover certain things up, and it is often tempting to settle scores.

    The testimony of former prison officers will indeed be very important if SOC’s allegations are going to be validated. If there is anything to be known, more than one former prison officer must know it.

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  58. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    O’Callaghan does indeed seem like the perfect Provo. He was apparently deep inside the organization but he always seemed to stay out of trouble. Funny that.

    I’d repeat that Finucane was not the only lawyer in NI to make a living defending people accused of paramilitary-related crimes. One other such lawyer is now a unionist MLA in the assembly. I don’t hear anyone questioning his allegiances, and quite correctly too because if anyone did they would be sued.

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  59. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    CS

    While I haven’t questioned Jim’s allegiance, I have on a few occasions pointed out the contradiction with him and Finucane. It is hard to defend one and convict the other: Neither has a case to answer, even in light of unfounded allegations.

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