Finucane family to meet Paisley

The family of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane is holding talks with the Rev Ian Paisley today over proposals for an inquiry into one of the most controversial murders of the Troubles.

The Stormont meeting with the DUP leader comes days after the family pledged to take their fight for the truth about the 1989 killing to Dublin.

The lawyer’s wife Geraldine and son Michael accused Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain of resisting demands for major changes to the inquiry into the shooting.

After talks with Mr Hain at Stormont Castle the Finucanes claimed the British government wanted to cloak the tribunal in secrecy.

Mr Finucane, 39, was assassinated by loyalist paramilitaries at his north Belfast home 17 years ago.

Both a retired Canadian Supreme Court judge and former Scotland Yard chief John Stevens detected evidence of security force collaboration with the Ulster Defence Association men involved.

Their findings, which supported a campaign by the Finucanes, saw the British government propose setting up an official hearing into the allegations.

But the family rejected the arrangements, claiming the Inquiries Act passed to run the probe would allow the authorities to keep crucial material undisclosed.

Human rights organisations joined Judge Peter Cory, who probed the collusion claims, in expressing concerns at how the authorities planned to run the inquiry.

The family’s campaign has also included talks with the Ulster Unionist leader Reg Empey while Mrs Finucane last week addressed the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Human Rights in the Dáil.

Nearly £9m (€13.2m) has been spent on the latest police inquiry into Mr Finucane’s murder, it emerged last week. The cost of Lord Stevens’ third probe into the assassination was branded a waste of money by the lawyer’s family.

PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde also confirmed it was being scaled back and taken over by a new unit given a £30m (€43.9m) budget to examine more than 3,000 unsolved killings during three decades of violence.

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