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

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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