Journalist claims British and Irish govts knew of threat to Pat Finucane months before murder

Thursday 13 December 2012 14.56
Geraldine Finucane described the report as a 'sham' and a 'whitewash'
Geraldine Finucane described the report as a 'sham' and a 'whitewash'

The widow of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane has said claims by the author and journalist Ed Moloney underline the need for a public inquiry into her husband's death.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Moloney claimed that the Irish and British governments were informed of threats to Mr Finucane months before he was murdered.

A report which detailed the level of collusion between the British state and loyalists in his killing 23 years ago was published yesterday.

It found that employees of the British state "actively furthered and facilitated the murder".

However, it found no evidence of what it called "an over-arching state conspiracy".

British Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out a public inquiry.

Geraldine Finucane and her family described the report as a "sham" and a "whitewash".

"I have heard about that," Mrs Finucane said about Mr Moloney’s claims. "It ties in with the questions we started to ask immediately after Pat's murder.

"[Former British minister] Douglas Hogg made statements in the House of Commons in January just before Pat was killed, saying that some solicitors were unduly sympathetic to the IRA.

"He was immediately challenged by the SDLP's Seamus Mallon.

"So these were questions we have been asking right from the minute that Pat was murdered."

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said at least one Belfast solicitor informed the British government of a threat to his life before Pat Finucane was murdered.

Mr Adams said he was certain PJ McGrory - who was his own solicitor - was aware of a threat to his life, and would have told the authorities in Dublin.

He said Mr McGrory was regularly approached by Irish government officials to brief them on the situation in Northern Ireland.

The Sinn Féin leader said Mr McGrory would also have told them about threats to Mr Finucane.

He said he was sure the Irish Government would have raised the issue with the British government.

Mr Adams said yesterday's report on Mr Finucane's murder did not diminish the need for a public inquiry.

Taoiseach reiterates call for public inquiry

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has reiterated his call for a public inquiry into the murder of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Speaking in Brussels, Mr Kenny said he had been speaking with the British Prime Minister David Cameron.

He told Mr Cameron that if a similar case had applied in Ireland and a report produced it would have been sent to the gardaí and the DPP.

"It is open to the authorities in Northern Ireland where this murder occurred to follow on now if they so wish from the De Silva report, and if there's cooperation required and any such further action is taken by the authorities the Irish govt will be very willing and happy to co-operate in that," he said.