Report gives new light on Finucane murder case

FRESH evidence suggesting security forces colluded in the murder of Irish solicitor Patrick Finucane has come to light in a confidential report handed to the British and Irish governments.

The report, based on research by British Irish Rights Watch, was delivered on the tenth anniversary of Finucane's death and has led to renewed demands for an independent judicial inquiry.

Finucane was murdered at his home in front of his wife and three children in February 1989.

He represented Catholics and Protestants accused of paramilitary offences, and had been active for more than 10 years, campaigning for prisoners' and human rights, in detention cases.

British Irish Rights Watch director Jane Winter says: “Not only did we discover that the actions of the police and army directly contributed to the murder of Finucane, but also that the Force Research Unit, a branch of army intelligence, misled both the Stevens inquiry and Belfast Crown Court about its knowledge of the Finucane, Slane and McDaid murders, in an attempt to cover up the truth.”

The United Nations Special Rapporteur's appeal for an inquiry was rejected by the Government.

Paul Mageean, legal officer at the Committee on the Administration of Justice, says: “Last year, the UN called for the establishment of an inquiry into this case and now we have further evidence of official involvement in this murder. The Government can no longer resist the need for an inquiry.”

The International Bar Association has added its voice to calls for an independent judicial inquiry.