Wednesday 22 November 2017

Kenny steps up pressure on Cameron for public inquiry into Finucane murder

Donal O'Donovan and Fionnan Sheahan Brussels

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny piled further pressure on the British government to take action after the report into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane identified state collusion in the killing.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is refusing to set up an independent inquiry, despite a report into the 1989 murder of the Belfast solicitor by loyalist gunmen saying British agents had colluded in the murder.

Aside from pursuing the inquiry, the Government is also pressing for more action to be taken following the report.

Mr Kenny said if the report into the murder of Mr Finucane had been handed to the Irish government, a file would be "sent directly to the gardai and the Director of Public Prosecutions".

While that is not automatically the case in Britain, it was still open to Mr Cameron to follow up on the report by law crime expert Desmond de Silva, the Taoiseach said.

The Government is willing and happy to help with any such inquiry, he said.

The comments come as the refusal by the British prime minister to launch a full public inquiry into the murder case has created a rift between the two leaders.

The Taoiseach said he has spoken to Mr Cameron and reiterated calls from the Finucane family for a full public inquiry.


Mr Kenny made the comments in Brussels, at a meeting of the centre-right European People's Party, which took place ahead of the two-day summit of European heads of government.

The rift between the Irish and British governments over the cover-up of Mr Finucane's death widened dramatically after a report found there was collusion in the killing. Senior government figures say the demand for a full independent inquiry is "one of the most significant issues" damaging relations between the two countries.

"There is a very clear difference of opinion between the two governments on this issue," a coalition source said.

Mr Finucane was gunned down in front of his wife Geraldine and their three children inside their north Belfast home in February 1989.

Government figures believe a new report into murder has added momentum to the demands and rationale for an inquiry.

Irish Independent

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