12 Jan 2012

The British government’s refusal to hold an inquiry into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane has been raised by the taoiseach.

Enda Kenny held talks with Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday.

Pat Finucane was shot dead by loyalists in front of his family in 1989

Last November, Mr Kenny called for a full, independent inquiry into the 1989 murder. The British Government has ruled that out, but the Finucane family is challenging that decision.

Mr Kenny said: “Clearly we have a difference of opinion here.”

Mr Finucane was shot dead in his north Belfast home by the loyalist UFF in 1989.

The family wants a full independent inquiry into the murder, which, they believe, was promised by the British government.

However, last October the prime minister told them a review would be conducted by leading QC Desmond de Silva.

Legal action

His review is expected to be completed by December 2012 at a cost of £1.5m.

The Finucanes have now instructed their solicitors to take a judicial review challenging Mr Cameron’s decision. That hearing will take place on Friday.

In 2004, the then Northern Ireland secretary of state Paul Murphy announced his intention to hold an inquiry under the new Inquiries Act.

The Finucane family are opposed to the inquiry being held under this legislation, which they say makes the inquiry accountable to the minister responsible, rather than to parliament.

The family believe there was collusion in the murder.

Commenting on Thursday’s talks, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “They discussed bilateral relations between Ireland and Britain, noting the success of the state visit to Ireland last year by Her Majesty the Queen.

“They agreed to build on this success by work in 2012 to deepen economic partnership.

“They discussed Northern Ireland, and reiterated their commitment to working closely together to ensure safety and prosperity there, including through close cross-border cooperation.”