Moving the goalposts…

JUSTICE Peter Cory tells Chris Thornton why he’s upset with the handling of Pat Finucane’s murder inquiry – and how a secret agent’s drugs hunting past ended up delaying the probe into Rosemary Nelson’s deatBut it’s not just republicans who should be concerned about the powers of official cover-up invested in the recent Inquiries Act – the legislation is to be used in the Billy Wright case (thus actually implying that the State has something to hide).

It is also highly likely to be invoked if unionist justice campaigner Raymond McCord ever succeeds in getting a public inquiry into the murder of up to 30 people – including his son – by the UVF since its ceasefire.

Suspected UVF killers – such as Mark Haddock, as named in the Dail – are believed to also be police agents. McCord has often fought a lonely battle, but at last seems to be getting support from reticent unionist politicians, apparently flummoxed by the fact that ‘their’ security force agents have been murdering their (Catholic and Protestant) constituents with impunity for years.

The forthcoming report by the Police Ombudsman could prove revealing – but will it lead to an open and fair inquiry? I doubt it.

Amnesty International yesterday warned that the Inquiries Act 2005 amounts to “an attack against the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary” by giving control of investigations to ministers. The Amnesty report added: “Given that the Act does not provide the foundation for effective, independent, impartial or thorough public judicial inquiries into allegations of serious human rights violations, Amnesty International has opposed the government’s stated intention to hold an inquiry into the murder in Northern Ireland of Patrick Finucane.”

Perhaps it will also offer its support to Mr McCord after the Ombudsman’s report is published.

  • heck

    This is what we are getting from the British labour party. This could be construed as being and accessory, after the fact, to murder.

    This is a party that has launched an illegal war, is covering up “rendition” and torture, has locked people up indefinitely, taken away freedom of speech, and is sending people to unimaginable horrors while they lecture Syria and Zimbabwe about human rights.

    If any labour party members read this site then all I can say is that you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • All these bloody enquiries are a waste of time and money.

    Everyone knows what happened with Finucane, Bloody Sunday, Billy Wright and the rest. It is a matter of record in books such as The Committee, Into The Dark and others.

    Why spend a fortune of taxpayers money just to state something that everybody already knows? Make those books available in copious quantities at public libraries, and spend the rest of the money on education and healthcare.

  • Jill Robinson

    heck, you left out Jack Straw letting mass murderer and career torturer Pinochet return to Chile to retire in style.

    cheap calls, if folks did not try to silence inquiry in the first place then the British taxpayer wouldn’t be asked to pick up an increasingly bigger tab. Get your MP to ask why this was. And education also involves letting your kids know that dad’s government was less than pearly white and honest. When they grow up they might want to elect folks who will be do a better job.

  • FK

    The woman from AI said, “For the international Amnesty movement Britain has always been reliable.”

    Wow, really?! That’s news to me.

  • Jill, of course they will want to elect folks who will do a better job – but there are millions of pounds being wasted so that we can tell these kids what we already know.

    Only three things are certain in this life: death, taxes, and human imperfection. All governments always have been corrupt, and always will be – that is the nature of the beast.

    Any human beings who seek to exert control or power over others invariably do so not for the greater good, but for their own ends.

  • Jill Robinson

    cheap calls, you old cynic you! But of course you are 100% right. No person in his/her right mind would want to be a politician, which is why we have the world over such godawful folks representing us (or rather themselves, as you so correctly say).

    That said, we HAVE to keep tabs on these people. If they allow their own citizens to be gunned down by their own military, like Bloody Sunday, we have to launch inquiries and have them explain why. If not, it will happen again. And again. Keep in mind that a massacre called Bloody Sunday happened TWICE in the island of Ireland. I can’t recall much of an inquiry held into the first one.

  • heck

    This issue about the cost of inquiries is simply a red herring. If Honest Tony wanted the information about the Pat Finucane killing all he has to do is call Brigadier General Kerr
    (who was head of the FRU at the time), along with the head of the PSNI and the head of MI5, into his office, and ask what happened. If he doesn’t get a straight story then he should fire them all. Then he can call their subordinates in and ask again. If they won’t tell then fire them. (these are public servants—they have no right to withhold information from their boss.) He will eventually get the information and save tax payers money at the same time.

    Once he knows he can make a statement in parliament.

    What is happening is that Honest Tony and Peter Hain are covering up murder. The reason for an inquiry is to force them to face facts. any costs for this are the fault of the downing street liar.

    Unless they recognize what they are responsible for they will continue to find some third world country will a less that perfect human rights record and stroke each other with their righteous indignation.

  • Bunter

    Jill what was the other? curious as to what was Derry 2. As far as this inquirey rubbish, the folks of Derry know what happened. So to do the rest of the world. A bunch of cowboy kiddy soldiers wet their pants and started blasting all around them. Will spending 200 Million pounds make it any better? I doubt it very much. It’s time for the utter waste of tax payers money to stop and spend this money on decent housing and education.

    All inquiries should be stopped and this money put to a much better use. The people of Norn Iron know who’s to blame! we all know why this happened. Educating our young will help even more than any inquiries to make sure this is never allowed to happen again

    At the end of the day what happened 10, 20 even 30 years ago cannot be changed. Hopefully through integrated schooling/education we can leave it all behind were it belongs.

  • Jill Robinson

    heck, I think you mean Downing Street liars, plural no?

  • Jill Robinson

    Bunter, it was not Derry 2. Derry was in fact “Dublin 2.”

    This is from Wikipedia: Bloody Sunday of 1920 is a term used to describe a day of violence in Dublin on November 21st 1920, during the Irish War of Independence (1919-21), which led to the deaths of around 30 people. The day started with the assassination of 14 British agents or their informants by the Irish Republican Army. British forces retaliated with the massacre of players and spectators attending a Gaelic football match in Croke Park in north Dublin.

    British agents, informants, IRA, massacres by British Army. Plus ca change, no?

  • The posts to this important story completely miss the point through unsubstantiated claims, complaints about minor costs when billions have already been spent on The Troubles, and the usual red-herrings, etc.

    The simple fact is that we know far too little about the key killings of Pat Finucane, Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright, Rosemary Nelson et al., and proper inquiries could reveal far more than Brigadier Kerr, the FRU, other operators, touts within the IRA and UDA et al. know.

    Why would London go to such lengths to infuriate the international community of jurists about the inquiries’ conduct if they didn’t risk revealing devastating tales which could make Britain look like a most conspiratorial banana republic?