Finucane: no alternative to a full and proper inquiry

Emer Brennan argues in Daily Ireland that there is no alternative for the British government but to accept the pain of holding a public enquiry into the murders of Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson:

The Finucane and Nelson murders were also world news; the fact that they were both lawyers crystallized minds, for if legal representatives cannot operate without threat what chance have the rest of us?

Tony Blair’s government wants to see the killers of Robert Mc Cartney brought to justice quickly. They should practice what they preach and help the Finucane family and many other families find some kind of closure too. In some cases it may be difficult, if not impossible, but that is no reason not to try.

Yes, inquiries are expensive, long winded and can often be ultimately disappointing and inconclusive, but what cost is too great for truth, for justice and ultimately for peace?

  • Davros

    I don’t think she makes a case that there is no alternative. She merely says she wants one.

    And it’s ironic that she bleats about the McCartneys possibly having to wait 16 years – No mention of the hundreds of families who have been waiting a LOT longer than the Finucanes…. and who have had less justice than the Finucanes.

    Oddly enough she doesn’t mention that Barrett was jailed. Who has been jailed for the Murder of Jean McConville ? Or the Claudy murders ? Or the Murder of a boy with learning difficulties abducted from school ( This is to balance the pathos of her details of Mr F being murdered at dinner ) with his twin brother ?

    It’s this sort of rubbish that ensures that the VB
    tag will stick.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster


  • Davros

    The Volkischer Beobachter beano 🙂

  • Circles

    Below the DI belt there Davros. The NewsLetter was never any better.

  • Davros

    Please post a link to anything I have written praising the Newsletter Circles. That it is dross is irrelevent. The thread is about the DI …and the Brennan article is truely pathetic.

  • IJP

    what cost is too great for truth, for justice and ultimately for peace?

    That’s an interesting question, in fact. The answer would appear to be ‘codes of honour’.

    But I know of few members of victims’ families (myself included) who demand to know precisely who killed whom where why what and when.

    What they do want is an end to self-righteous indignation by people who support the maintenance of the organizations responsible.

    If an inquiry would reveal the truth about collusion and enable us to ensure such does not happen again, I’d be all in favour. But judging by the precedents, it wouldn’t. Too many people, not just in Government but in fact mostly in Ms Brennan’s paper’s own constituency, have too much to lose.

  • Circles

    OK Guv – its a fair cop, the NL remark was irrelevant.
    However I do find comparisons with the Nazi daily not only completely inapparopriate (and plain unfunny), but also an insult to the people who suffered under the Nationalsozialisten. Its a cheap throw away quip that should be used with a greater amount of consideration.

  • mucher

    Relax Davros

    She’s a F.F. activist living in Provo country (Monaghan)and has to chase S.F. votes. Its all about getting you name in print and hoping they spell your name right!

  • DerryTerry

    Whatabout, whatabout, whatabout?

    The fact of the matter is that the British Government, who have publicly and repeatedly supported the efforts of the McCartney family are at the exact same time actively frustrating the efforts of the Finucane family.

    To me that stinks of hypocrisy and is worthy of comment.

    All those who have been so strong and so vocal in support of the McCartneys stand guilty of the same accusation if they are unable to bring themselves to support the efforts of the Finucane family.

    Or, as they have accused others, does truth and justice depend on the political nature of your loss.

  • Davros

    “OK Guv – its a fair cop, the NL remark was irrelevant.”

    Cheers 🙂

  • IJP

    But that’s just it DTSF moans only about instances where the nature of the loss was specific. I believe in equality of justice applying across the board.

    The question in Finucane’s case is this: will an inquiry bring out the truth? If anyone can show a precedent that indicates it will, I’ll gladly support the case. But if people start trying to draw sick parallels between ‘Finucane’ and ‘McCartney’, I’ll call it what it is – self-righteous regressive MOPEry.

    But the real truth is this: if we keep moaning on about ‘the other side’s’ responsibilities and forgetting about our own, we’ll not get very far. And it it also that there are far more instances where the ‘republican movement’ is the block to justice than any other party to this process.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    One thing the Finucane and McCartney families have in common is that they have BOTH been let down by Sinn Fein AND the British Government.

    As for the inquiry, there’s no chance of the truth coming out – particularly if the Government proceeds with the Cover-up – sorry, Inquiries – Bill.

    Never mind the whys and wherefores, the Government made a promise – and now it’s reneging.

  • IJP

    It’s fallen to Gonzo to make my point better than I was making it!

    Excellent post.

  • Jimmy Sands

    What Gonzo said.

    Those who attempt to deflect these concerns by comparing this murder to those committed by the IRA should bear in mind the corallary of their argument is to put terrorists and the security forces on an equal footing. It’s not a line of argument any democrat should seek to pursue.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    So Jimmy explain to us what the difference is between ‘terrorists’ and soldiers who carry out ‘acts of terrorism’?

  • Jimmy Sands

    I would say that the obvious distinction is that the soldiers exist for a legitimate purpose, the terrorists do not. A terrorist who commits murder merely exercises his function. a member of the security forces who commits murder compounds his crime by betraying his.

  • IJP


    Of course there is a difference between the legitimate security structures of the state and a terrorist organization.

    However, there can be no distinction in justice. If you have had a loved one murdered, whether it was by terrorists, security forces or whatever, you have a right to know what happened and who was responsible. Which is why the above question is interesting.