Lack of enthusiasm for truth…

TOM Luby has some interesting speculation about why a full public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane is not on the cards – it’s not really in the interests of either Sinn Fein or the British Government. It’s another good reason to be honest and see the utter futility of a Truth Commission, since it’s pretty clear no-one has any intention of going anywhere near the truth. They have mixed success anywhere, and who could have confidence in it? Would it just be better to forget?

  • levee

    There is no positive benefit to public inquiries – they are a complete waste of time and money, and likely to become subsubed into the political process to score points for one or other party.

    It’s time to draw a line in the sand with regard to violence in Northern Ireland and spend our time bringing our communities together instead of searching for truths that may never come to light.

  • IJP

    Good point Gonzo.

    Since all 4 of NI’s largest parties are founded on a specific, biased view of history, none has any interest in the truth of what really happened. It won’t suit any of them.

  • maca

    I like the idea of a truth commission though I suspect it would be a total failure in NI. None of the main players have the decency or respect for others to own up to past wrongs.
    But that doesn’t mean something positive couldn’t come from it. It could be like getting a load off one’s chest, if people got to say their piece healing might come about that bit faster.

  • Henry94

    Speculation about the interests of political parties or indeed the political process, is irrelevant. The Finucane family are entitled to the truth.

  • TAFKABO

    Yes they are.

    But so are the family of Jean Mcconville entitled to know who gave the command for their mothers death.

    And on and on and on and on………

    The Finucanes are no more, or no less entitled than anyone else who has been bereaved

  • groucho

    But isn’t there a difference between terrorist murders and a murder carried out with the acquiesence of state forces? The atate and its armed services are not supposed to be acting in the same way as terrorist gangs.

  • Henry94

    TAFKABO

    The Finucanes are no more, or no less entitled than anyone else who has been bereaved

    The Finucane family can’t be held hostage to the failure to solve the McConville case.

    It is a point made not to vindicate the rights of the McConvilles but to deny the rights of the Finucanes.

    If you believe there is a case to be made for a further inquiry into the McConville murder then make it. Don’t just bring it up to block a case that has already been established on its own merits.

    What have you done about the McConville case since the last time you raised it as an excuse for not having an enquiry in the Finucane case?

  • groucho

    P.S I don’t think the truth commission idea is a runner but there should be some other way for all those lost lives to be remembered. The grief is the same whoever the victim is.

  • IJP

    groucho

    SF really hits the hypocritical heights here by arguing that there was a war, but also that you should differentiate between justice afforded to victims of one side, and that afforded to victims on the other. So much for an ‘Ireland of Equals’…

    I, on the other hand, argue there was no war, but rather a terrorist conflict, and therefore agree with you 100%. I would emphasize your second point, though, that basically there must be equality of justice for victims and their loved ones, no matter who was responsible in their specific case.

  • TAFKABO

    I’m not making excuses for anything.

    I’m arguing a general point in the context of calls for truth commissions.I’ve done about as much for the McConville case as I have for the Finucane, so I fail to see any inconsistency in my views.

  • Ringo

    Henry

    The Finucane family can’t be held hostage to the failure to solve the McConville case.

    Failure to solve? That’s pretty meally-mouthed Henry. It is impossible to read that and believe that you are willing to detach the deaths from your political views in order to see justice applied equally.

    I have no doubt that Pat Finnucane was the victim of collusion – as far as I’m concerned the case has been made. It doesn’t make it any more or less odious than hundreds of other killings. Either people collectively agree to let sleeping dogs lie or you go the route of going through every killing one by one and provide some sort of conclusion.

  • Henry94

    Ringo

    Either people collectively agree to let sleeping dogs lie or you go the route of going through every killing one by one and provide some sort of conclusion

    I don’t believe we are entitled to make a collective decision. I believe that those who have suffered a loss and a wrong should not be asked to abandon their search for the truth. That applies to the McConvills the McCartneys and the Finucannes alike.

  • Brian Boru

    To people here drawing parallels with Jean McConville’s murder, there is no parallel. We all know the PIRA killed her. The Finucane case differs because of the involvement of organs of the State in his killing.

    Surely people are entitled to expect better from a police force and army than this sort of thing?

  • IJP

    Henry

    That sounds very noble, but it simply isn’t going to happen. The search for ‘truth’ doesn’t bring anyone back, but rather simply digs up old hurts and stops us moving on (not least when people who talk about ‘truth’ themselves choose to hide from it).

    I’m happy to let the sleeping dogs lie (also the logical follow-on of your own party’s Chief Negotiator’s ‘code of honour’ stance, btw) on behalf of those I and my family knew, if the outcome is a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Northern Ireland. I think the creation of such would be a far better tribute to those who suffered than constant, divisive bickering over the past.

    Nice rhetoric is alright, but real peace requires tough, practical choices. This is one of them.

  • Ringo

    Henry

    I believe that those who have suffered a loss and a wrong should not be asked to abandon their search for the truth. That applies to the McConvills the McCartneys and the Finucannes alike.

    In singling out those three cases you have highlighted the paradox in the ‘family wishes’ approach.

    What sets these three killings apart is not that their families were any more or less aggrieved or bereaved than others. It is because they have become part of the political landscape, and are no longer simply family tragedies. Biased politicans and ‘justice for all’ are strange bedfellows.

    Do you think there are many victims families who are not interested in ‘the truth’? And if you accept that by and large they all are, then isn’t the only approach a systematic examination of each case one by one? As IJP suggests, is that the wisest approach?

  • Henry94

    IJP

    You may well be happy to let sleeping dogs lie but you can’t impose that attitude on anybody else.

    Ringo

    A lot of cases are already accounted for in that it is known who or at leat what organisation was responsible. So there is no need to go through every case but there is a need to uphold the rights of victims over and above the needs of the process.

    The process can handle the truth or else there is something wrong with the process.

  • Ringo

    A lot of cases are already accounted for in that it is known who or at least what organisation was responsible.

    To stretch the point you were making to IJP – who are you to decide that that this is adequate for all families? Sure, the Finnucane’s know what organisations were involved in killing Pat Finnucane, as do the McCartney’s, and it clearly isn’t adequate for either of them. They are looking for people to be made accountable. It would strike me that a lot of the families would be asking ‘why’ rather than ‘who’, and that is a lot harder to explain.

    The process can handle the truth or else there is something wrong with the process.

    It would want to be one hell of a process.

  • Henry94

    Ringo

    The Finucane family have made it clear that they are not looking for convictions. Just the truth.

    The McCartneys are of course in a different position and are entitled to look for trials and I hope convictions.

  • Ringo

    The Finucane family have made it clear that they are not looking for convictions. Just the truth.

    I don’t mean to be dismissive, but what exactly do you mean by the truth? In what forms do they expect the truth to manifest itself, that it hasn’t already?

    I would think that the Finnucane’s know the truth. Surely they didn’t embark on this campaign on a hunch. I assumed that they wanted the fact that there was collusion between security force personnel and loyalists in the killing to be recognised and accepted by the state with responsibility for the actions of those security forces. Wanting the truth to be known is a different thing from wanting to know the truth.

  • Brian Boru

    The activities of the FRU (Force Research Unit) need to be thoroughly investigated and steps taken to ensure that sort of carry-on doesn’t re-appear in future.

  • Henry94

    Ringo

    What you see as the truth is only known because of the campaign in the first place. Nobody denies the fact of collusion in this case anymore but they used to.

    What remains to be established is the extent of it and the degree to which it was a policy decision.

    The public interest in Britain as much as here demands that the truth emerges.

    If the state or its agents can have defence lawyers murdered then there can be no justice for anybody.