Socialist Worker

Scared Tories decide not to hold public inquiry into killing of Pat Finucane

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2733

A vigil in 2015 to remember Pat Finucane

A vigil in 2015 to remember Pat Finucane (Pic: Sinn Fein/Flickr)


The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane say the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry is an “insult”.

Pat Finucane’s son John said the decision was “less than a sop”.

On 12 February 1989 two Loyalist gunmen smashed their way into Pat’s Belfast home. He was sitting down to Sunday dinner with his wife, Geraldine, and their three children.

The intruders shot him twice. They then stood over him and put another 12 bullets into his face and head.

The Loyalist paramilitary intelligence officer responsible for directing Ulster Defence Association (UDA) attacks, Brian Nelson, was a British agent controlled by the army’s Force Research Unit.

Ken Barrett, one of the UDA gunmen who shot Finucane, told the BBC years later, “The peelers wanted him whacked.”

Nelson and Barrett were both convicted of murder, but the Finucane family has continued to lobby for a public inquiry.

Several examinations of the case found that state forces colluded in his murder.

But the Tories don’t want a public inquiry because it would have to look at evidence of how high up collusion with Loyalist death squads went in British politics.


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