Newton Emerson: Unionists will not get desired balance from public inquiries

The Troubles will be seen through landmark cases such as Pat Finucane and the La Mon

The burnt-out La Mon House hotel near Belfast following an IRA bombing in 1978. Photograph: Pacemaker

The burnt-out La Mon House hotel near Belfast following an IRA bombing in 1978. Photograph: Pacemaker

Every unionist party has welcomed the decision not to hold a full public inquiry into the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

The reason they have given, causing widespread nationalist offence, is that the Finucane case has received more money and attention than most other Troubles deaths. However trite that argument, it matters because it is probably the view of most unionist voters, which has in turn helped the UK government put the same view out in slightly more polished form. Northern secretary Brandon Lewis passed the buck to the PSNI’s general Troubles legacy process, in effect saying the Finucane family should stand in the same stalled queue as everyone else.

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