Gilmore says State seeking full Finucane inquiry

 

The Government will continue to seek a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said.

He said occasions arose when the Irish and British governments disagreed, and the De Silva report was one such occasion. “While we study the report carefully we will continue to set out why we believe that agreements matter and that public confidence is best served by a public inquiry.”

Mr Gilmore said confidence was fundamental to the North’s peace process. Significant challenges had yet to be tackled, as was seen in recent days.

He said close partnership between the British and Irish governments throughout the process had been critical to sustaining confidence and supporting progress. “That visible and collaborative partnership is needed today perhaps more than at any time in the recent past.”

Mr Gilmore said it should be acknowledged that British prime minister David Cameron had shown commendable determination to get to the truth of what happened in the past and, in doing so, held the state to the highest account and judged its officers by the highest standards.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the report and Mr Cameron’s statement opened up a dark chapter in Ireland’s history. “The report, however, does not meet the fair, objective criteria of a full investigation into the murder.”

He disagreed with Mr Cameron’s refusal to hold an independent review. “Contrary to his statement today, I believe that it would reveal a fuller picture of what happened in those dark days, and I call on the Government to reiterate its support for a full independent inquiry and relay same back to the British government.”

In essence, he said, there had been a breach of an agreement between Ireland and Britain.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the report revealed some of the collusion that existed but it did not diminish the need for a public inquiry.

“On the contrary, it makes such an inquiry more necessary than ever. Collusion was a matter of institutional and administrative practice by successive British governments.”

He called on the Government to launch a diplomatic offensive in the US and Europe and at the UN to highlight British obstruction and seek international support for a public inquiry. He found it remarkable to listen to the Tánaiste say Mr Cameron had shown a remarkable determination to get to the truth. He had done no such thing, tearing up an agreement made with the Irish Government in Weston Park.