Pat Finucane's widow loses appeal for public inquiry

By Catherine Morrison

  • Published
MRSImage source, PACEMAKER
Image caption,
Geraldine Finucane pictured outside court on Tuesday

The widow of the murdered solicitor Pat Finucane has lost the latest stage in her campaign for a public inquiry into his death.

He was shot by loyalist paramilitaries in front of his young family at their home in Belfast in February 1989.

Geraldine Finucane challenged former Prime Minister David Cameron over his refusal to hold a public inquiry.

But the Court of Appeal in Belfast has dismissed her appeal, concluding the government had acted lawfully.

It ruled ministers were entitled to depart from the policies of previous governments.

It also emerged during the judgement that the PSNI was close to completing an investigation into new information about the shooting.

In taking the case, Mrs Finucane had argued that in 2004, a previous administration - Tony's Blair's Labour government - had promised that a public inquiry would be held.

Image source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
Pat Finucane, a 39-year-old Belfast solicitor, was shot dead in front of his wife and children in 1989

But she said Mr Cameron reneged on that and instead commissioned a review of the case by Sir Desmond de Silva QC.

The de Silva report, published in 2012, found that agents of the state were involved in the 1989 killing and that it should have been prevented.

The new information being investigated by the PSNI was uncovered during Mr da Silva's review.

A senior judge told the Court of Appeal it was his understanding that a PSNI report would be finished "within weeks".