Government has failed in responsibilities on Finucane case, says Farry

It is difficult to see how the UK Government’s decision to not hold a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane is consistent with last year’s Supreme Court ruling, Alliance MP Stephen Farry has said.

North Down MP Dr Farry was speaking after Secretary of State Brandon Lewis announced no inquiry would take place at this time due to ongoing PSNI and Police Ombudsman investigations. Dr Farry said there would be anger and frustration at the decision.

“This is a very poor decision by the Secretary of State. It falls short of the requirement of the Supreme Court for an effective, Article 2 compliant investigation, so it is difficult to see how today’s announcement is consistent with that,” he said.

“A public inquiry is warranted in this case due to the serious public interest issues at stake, including the role of the state. There will be understandable anger and frustration at this announcement. This is unlikely to be the end of this matter, and the family will no doubt continue their dignified campaign.

“The UK Government has already accepted collusion occurred in this case and the constant foot-dragging around an Article 2 compliant investigation suggests an institutional resistance to the full discovery of the facts. Complete disclosure of the context around this murder is critical for accountability and the integrity of the rule of law. It is hard to see how the approach announced today will be fully Article 2 compliant, with the ability to compel witnesses and documents.

“This announcement is compounded by a lack of action by the UK Government on implementation of the Stormont House Agreement in order to create a comprehensive process to deal with the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland. There are thousands of victims from the Troubles who continue to seek truth and justice for their cases, and the UK Government must honour its commitments, while stepping back from its dangerous statement earlier this year. This should be the means through which most legacy issues can be addressed.”