After 46 years, families of victims of McGurk’s Bar bombing deserve justice – Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile

Commenting after the families of the victims of the McGurk’s Bar Bombing spoke before the the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality, Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile said:

“The McGurk families were very welcome to the Oireachtas today.

“Their accounts of the massacre of their loved ones in December 1971 and the treatment of the atrocity by the British government of the time and successive British governments is appalling.

“Fifteen people, including two children, died in the outrage.

“Within hours of the massacre the British government deliberately spread lies that the IRA was responsible for the bombing and that those who died were also involved despite the fact that an eye-witness gave RTE an interview, which was broadcast saying he saw the bombers fleeing the scene.

“These lies were based on reports from the British Army and the RUC that were willingly accepted and promoted by the British and unionist governments.

“A British Army scenes-of-crime assessor submitted a report to the British Army Headquarters in which he stated that the bomb was placed in the entrance to the bar.

“This contradicted the public account by the British government and the soldiers report was marked ‘Not for PR’.

“The lie was publicly supported by Reginal Maudling, British cabinet minister, Brian Faulkner, the North’s prime minister, John Taylor, unionist cabinet minister, Graham Shillington, RUC Chief Constable and Sir Harry Tuzo, British Army GOC among many others.

“The lie continued for decades until the families uncovered the truth themselves from the British government’s own files in Kew Gardens.

“The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) and the police Ombudsman failed to find these files.

“The families are seeking justice and the truth.

“I support the calls they made today for a new investigation, a new inquest and the scrapping of the HET report into the massacre.

“It is time the families of the bereaved were given the truth after 46 years of lies and deceit.”

Adams urges Irish government to raise Finucane case internationally

Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams TD, today raised the Pat Finucane case with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil.

He did so after the Court of Appeal in Belfast dismissed the appeal by the Finucane family against the refusal of the British government to honour its commitment on a Public Inquiry.

Speaking to the Taoiseach Gerry Adams called on the Irish government to bring the Finucane case before the United Nations, the European Union, the government of the United States and to every other available international forum.

Teachta Adams said:

“I have to ask the Taoiseach what the government has done to implement the Weston Park agreement between the British and Irish governments in 2001?

“This committed both governments to hold inquiries if a judge appointed to examine these cases recommended this. Judge Peter Cory concluded that four inquiries should be held. Three have taken place. But the British government has refused to hold an inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane!

“In October 2011 the British Prime Minister appointed Desmond de Silva to review the case files. The de Silva report was published in December 2012. It revealed a scale of collusion that is staggering. It serves to reinforce the need for an enquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane.”

De Silva revealed that:

·        85% of intelligence that the UDA used to target people for murder originated from British army and RUC sources

·        Agents working for MI5, RUC Special Branch and British Military Intelligence were participating in criminality, including murder.

·        This issue was also considered extensively at British cabinet level and ministers were aware that the agents were being run without guidelines. The director general of the MI5 briefed Margaret Thatcher in 1988.

Teachta Adams added:

“Pat Finucane’s murder by state agents was not a one-off incident – it was the norm. Collusion was a matter of institutional and administrative practise by successive British governments. It involved the establishing of unionist paramilitary groups, the systematic infiltration by the British of all unionist death squads at the highest levels, the controlling and directing of these groups, their training and providing them with information on people to be killed.

“The role of successive Irish governments in all of this has not been helpful, strategic or as consistent as it could be. That is why I urged the Taoiseach today to develop a strategy that will employ the full resources of our diplomatic service to raise this case with our international friends at every opportunity. This should include bringing the Pat Finucane case before the United Nations, the European Union, to the government of the United States and to every other available international forum.”

Gerry Adams TD commends family of Pat Finucane

Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams TD, today raised the Pat Finucane case with the Taoiseach in the Dáil and calls on the Taoiseach to initiate a diplomatic offensive to get the British government to honour its obligations and commitments.

This morning the Belfast High Court dismissed the appeal of Geraldine Finucane against the British government for its refusal to hold the promised inquiry into his murder in February 1989.

The family have been involved in a long battle with the British state over the circumstances of Pat Finucane’s death and the role of the British state and of its agents in carrying out that murder.

Speaking to the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, in the Dáil Gerry Adams TD said:

“I trust you noted that the Court of Appeal in Belfast has dismissed the appeal of Geraldine Finucane.

“It did so on the basis that Ministers are entitled to depart from the policies of previous governments.

“This decision has serious implications beyond the case of Pat Finucane.”

Speaking afterward Gerry Adams said:

“I want to commend the courage and determination of Geraldine Finucane and the Finucane family for pursuing this case through the courts.

“At Weston Park in 2001, the British and Irish Governments agreed to invite Judge Peter Cory to examine four cases, including that of Pat Finucane. Judge Cory concluded that four inquiries should be held. Three have taken place, including one by the Irish Government. However, the British Government has refused to honour its commitment.

“In October 2011, the British Prime Minister David Cameron further disappointed the Finucane family by refusing an inquiry and instead appointing Desmond de Silva to review the case files. The de Silva report was published in December 2012 and it revealed a shocking scale of collusion by the British and Unionist paramilitaries. It serves to reinforce the need for an inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane.

“There is an onus on the Irish government to ensure that the British government honours its obligations and commitments. The Taoiseach should initiate a diplomatic offensive to ensure this.”