Government position on Finucane inquiry ‘remains unchanged’

Minister Charlie Flanagan says British commitments on independent inquiry ‘should be honoured’

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

 

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said the Government will closely study today’s judgment by the High Court in Belfast on the case of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane.

In a statement issued following Justice Stephens judgment on the legal challenge taken against the British government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the murder, Mr Flanagan said:

“I note this morning’s judgement in the judicial review and will be studying it closely.

“The Irish Government’s position remains unchanged. We continue to believe that an independent public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, in line with the political commitments made by the British and Irish Governments at Weston Park in 2001, should be honoured.

Mr Stephens ruled this morning that British prime minister David Cameron did not act unlawfully when he refused a public inquiry into the murder by loyalists of Mr Finucane.

Delivering his reserved judgment, Mr Justice Stephens said: “I uphold that the decision was lawful and accordingly I dismiss that part of the challenge.”

In his statement, Mr Flanagan said the Government has “consistently” raised the matter with the British government.

“I raised it most recently with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers on 19 May”. Taoiseach Enda Kenny discussed the case with Mr Cameron when they met in London last week, Mr Flanagan added.

“My thoughts at this time are with Geraldine Finucane and all the Finucane family, who have campaigned so tirelessly for more than a quarter of a century in pursuit of the full truth in the case of Pat Finucane, including the role of collusion in his murder.”