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‘Time to put an end to victim hierarchy’ says McCausland at Pat Finucane lecture

Pat Finucane's son John at the launch of a new mural on in west Belfast  to mark the 25th anniversary of the murder of the Belfast solicitor.

Pat Finucane's son John at the launch of a new mural on in west Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of the murder of the Belfast solicitor.

As a lecture was being held in Belfast to mark the 25th anniversary of solicitor Pat Finucane’s murder, Nelson McCausland said there should be no hierarchy of victims.

Titled ‘Pat Finucane: Legacy or Continuum?’, last night’s address at Queen’s University was given by leading judge Mr Justice Seamus Treacy with an introductory talk by Mr Finucane’s youngest son John.

North Belfast MLA Mr McCausland said it was unfortunate some organisations wanted to “perpetuate a hierarchy of victims” in Northern Ireland.

The DUP representative said: “The Finucane family were offered an inquiry but refused to accept it because of the terms under which it was to be carried out.

“Meanwhile, hundreds of other victims have not received any justice or any offer of an inquiry at all.

“There should be no hierarchy of victims and no preferential treatment for anyone.”

Mr McCausland added: “There have been no inquiries into Kingsmills, La Mon or Bloody Friday, or any of the many other atrocities perpetrated by the Provisional IRA.

“All murders, past or present, are wrong and it is time to put an end to preferential treatment.”

The event – held in the university’s Larmor lecture theatre – was jointly hosted by the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) and Queen’s law school.

CAJ director Brian Gormally said the failure to hold an inquiry was a “cover-up” by the Government.

He said: “State collusion in the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane has been admitted.

“The fact that a leading judge will give the lecture to mark the anniversary of the killing shows how far we have come in the last 25 years; the fact that the UK Government has failed to hold the promised inquiry into Pat’s death shows how far we have to go.”

The failure to hold an inquiry into the 1989 murder of solicitor Pat Finucane has been branded as “cruel” by Amnesty International.

Mr Finucane was shot 14 times in front of his wife and family by two UDA gunmen who burst into his north Belfast home.

On the 25th anniversary of the killing, Amnesty NI director Patrick Corrigan said: “The continued refusal to air this case in public and get at the truth of allegations is not only cruel, but

positively sinister.

“By anyone’s definition, this was a murder with collusion written all over it.”

Mr Corrigan added: “It is vital for public confidence that this anniversary prompts a rethink over denying the Finucane family an independent public inquiry.”

Loyalist Ken Barrett was convicted of the murder in 2004, and sentenced to a minimum of 22 years in prison.

He qualified for early release and was freed in May 2006, having served less

than three years.

Mr Finucane’s son, John, who is also a lawyer, said: “It is 25 years since the murder of my father, Patrick Finucane.

“In that time – our family’s campaign, tirelessly assisted by Amnesty International and many other human rights groups – has shown that he was murdered as a result of the British state colluding with loyalist paramilitaries.

“This fact was accepted as such by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in December 2012.”

 

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