November 22, 2020
Letter from John Finucane MP to all Members of Parliament calling for a public inquiry into the killing of his father

A chara

My name is John Finucane, Sinn Féin Member of Parliament for North Belfast.

I am also the youngest son of Pat Finucane. My father was a human rights lawyer from Belfast who was murdered on February 12th 1989, by killers who acted in collusion with the British state.

On 12 December 2012, then British Prime Minister David Cameron apologised to my family whilst publicly acknowledging the “shocking levels of collusion” in my father’s murder

Since my father’s murder, my family has campaigned for a full public judicial inquiry.

Our case remains a matter of significant public interest, not just in Ireland, but internationally. The unanswered questions around his murder remain an open wound – not just for my family – but among the legal and human rights community worldwide.

Over the course of our campaign various investigations have been held which as a family we have criticised as being incapable of meeting basic human rights and legal standards, or of having any potential of revealing the full picture of what happened to our family.

In February 2019, the UK Supreme Court agreed with our consistent position, and ruled that all previous investigations failed to meet Article 2 ECHR standards and were incapable of establishing the full facts of what took place. As I write to you, the UK government remains in breach of both its international and domestic legal obligations. Our position, which continues to enjoy international support, is that only one option remains which can both satisfy the government’s obligations whilst also finally addressing the questions which remain over 31 years later. That option is a fully independent public inquiry.  

Only a public inquiry can assist in ascertaining the true extent and scope of British state collusion in the killing of my father. It is a matter of public interest, not just in Ireland, but in Britain and internationally too, that answers are provided to the questions around the full circumstances which led to the deliberate targeting and murder of a human rights solicitor, and subsequent cover-up.

The Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, has committed to setting out the government’s response to the UK Supreme Court judgment by November 30th. The decision of the British government on this matter is of the utmost importance. It is imperative that this response is credible and meets the international and domestic legal obligations which are currently breached.

The denial of a public inquiry will have far reaching implications for confidence in the rule of law and the administration of justice.

I ask that you speak with parliamentary colleagues and the Secretary of State to impress on him your support for a public inquiry.

If you wish to discuss the details of my father’s killing and my family’s campaign for justice, I would be more than happy to facilitate a conversation over the phone or provide a more detailed briefing.

Is mise le meas,

John Finucane MP 

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