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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

Gerry Adams urges Taoiseach: put pressure on for full Pat Finucane inquiry

The Sinn Féin leader said the Irish government ‘needs to shift into a higher gear in support of the Finucane family, who want a public inquiry into the death of Pat finucane.

Gerry Adams speaking outside Leinster House earlier this week
Gerry Adams speaking outside Leinster House earlier this week
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has urged the Taoiseach to dig up any documents the Irish government may hold which could help strengthen the case for a public inquiry into the death of lawyer Pat Finucane.

Adams said that the Irish government “needs to shift into a higher gear in support of the [Finucane] family, who called this week’s report into the killing a ‘whitewash’.

The 500 page report this week by Lord Desmond de Silva looked at all existing documents surrounding the 1989 murder and found ‘shocking’ levels of state collusion.

The Taoiseach said  that the government strongly disagrees with the decision by the British government not to conduct a full inquiry.

Gerry Adams today asked the Taoiseach to initiate an “intensive examination of all documents in the Department of the Taoiseach, Foreign Affairs and Justice relating to [Northern Ireland] and identify those which could assist the family in refuting the British government’s effort to frustrate [their] demand for a public inquiry”.

The Sinn Féin leader specifically cited a conversation between then-Taoiseach Charles Haughey and  Belfast lawyer PJ McGrory shortly after Pat Finucane was killed and after McGrory was told that there was a threat to his life from the UDA and RUC as an example of documentary evidence which could help strengthen the case for an inquiry.

Serious threat

Speaking to Morning Ireland yesterday, Adams said that McGrory, who was his own solicitor up until his death, and fellow lawyer Oliver Kelly knew Pat Finucane very well.

Adams said that McGrory told him that there was a serious threat to the three lawyers’ lives and that “they had raised this with the Department of the Taoiseach”. He said that McGrory was regularly told by clients that they were informed while being interrogated that it was “no use getting Finucane as he won’t be around for long”.

Adams said there “would have had to have been a level of political knowledge” in the months before Finucane was killed about the issue.

The de Silva report found that police officers did not warn Pat Finucane that his life was in danger despite repeated threats from loyalist paramilitaries. The report also said that politicians in Wesminister and Dublin did not know about the threats to his life.

Finucane, a Catholic lawyer who represented suspected IRA members during the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland, was shot dead in front of his wife and three children at their Belfast home in February 1989.

Read: Government ‘strongly disagrees’ with decision not to conduct public Finucane inquiry >

Read: Report on Pat Finucane murder uncovers ‘shocking levels’ of state collusion >

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