Finucane widow: I am entitled to the truth

Finucane widow: I am entitled to the truth

A mural to commemorate the continuing legacy of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane has been unveiled just days before a report into his death is published.

The Catholic father-of-three was shot dead when loyalist UDA/UFF gunmen used sledgehammers to burst in through the front door of his home in north Belfast in February 1989.

His widow Geraldine has vowed to keep up a campaign for a full public inquiry into the gun attack regardless of the findings of the review.

“I am entitled to a public examination of all of the circumstances and explanations from those who are required to give them, no matter how powerful, no matter how influential,” she said. “In short, I am entitled to the truth.”

Mrs Finucane revealed her late husband had been happiest growing up with his family close to where the mural is on Beechmount Avenue in west Belfast.

“He probably played in this street as a boy. He would certainly have walked it as a young man,” she told family, friends and supporters at its unveiling.

“This was one of the places he was happiest during his life, as he dreamed of the future. I cannot think of anywhere that would be more appropriate to host a memorial to Pat’s continuing legacy than somewhere so closely linked to his past.”

A review into the 38-year-old’s murder, carried out by Desmond de Silva, is due to be published on Wednesday when a formal statement will be made to the House of Commons by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Cameron has previously accepted collusion took place and has apologised to the Finucane family.

But Mr Finucane’s widow and relatives have been critical of the £1.5m review ordered by Mr Cameron, claiming it falls short of the full public inquiry they demanded.

De Silva has already said his report will include previously highly-classified documents relating to the murder.

Mrs Finucane said she has great difficulty in accepting the word of the British government’s appointed reviewer, or that it could ever be a substitute for an independent public inquiry.

“After 23 years of campaigning, 23 years of struggle, 23 years of disappointment and frustration, I am not prepared to take the word of anyone that they have found the truth for me,” Mrs Finucane continued.

“I think, after 23 years, that I am entitled to read the truth for myself from documents on the table in front of me.

“I think, after 23 years, that I am entitled to hear the truth for myself, from witnesses who are in the room next to me.

“I think, after 23 years, that I am entitled to know the truth for myself and for my family and for my friends and supporters all around the world who have helped me get to the point of exposing the truth that the British State has battled to suppress: that the British colluded and were complicit in the murder of Pat Finucane.”

Mrs Finucane said she will travel to London with her family to see what the report has to say but stressed they will return to their campaign because they believe in the truth.

“The events of our past shape us and drive us on to do what we believe is right, and the right thing to do is establish an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane,” she added.

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