The Ulster Unionist Party’s Justice Spokesperson, Doug Beattie MC MLA, has responded to the intervention by Micheal Martin who has called on the UK Government to hold a public inquiry into the 1989 murder of Pat Finucane.
Doug Beattie MC MLA said:
“There has recently been a co-ordinated campaign to pressurise the UK Government into holding a public Inquiry into the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.
“It is rather curious that the Irish Government should feel compelled to intervene in this particular legacy matter. The Ulster Unionist Party has been calling on the Republic’s Government to account for the role played by Dublin during the Troubles, not least at the outset, given the recent revelations and claims about the 1970 Arms Trial and the fact that the IRA ‘s Chief of Staff was a Garda agent. We also need to examine in detail just how for decades the IRA was able to use the territory of the Republic to maintain arms dumps, training camps and launch crossborder bomb and gun attacks which cost the lives of hundreds of UK citizens. One point I would like Dublin to address is the following. Garda Chief Superintendent John Fleming in 1971 told the Dail’s Committee of Public Accounts Inquiry that a recurring feature in Special Branch reports at the time was that money was on offer from the Dublin Government if a separate IRA Northern Command was created, free from the control of Goulding’s leadership. If Micheal Martin really wants to see a legacy Inquiry established, he could set an example by opening one in Dublin.
“Many people will also wonder why 24 US Congressmen should feel the need to get involved. It is very noticeable that there has been no appetite amongst US lawmakers to hold an Inquiry into the activities of groups like NORAID and how the flow of weapons and money from terrorist sympathisers in the USA to the IRA helped sustain the murder campaign here for 30 years.
“Innocent victims will be watching keenly to see if the Government does decide to hold a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane. There has certainly been no pressure applied from Dublin or the USA to hold inquiries into the murder of other legal figures such as Edgar Graham, Lord Justice Gibson or Judge Rory Conaghan, to name but three. We are constantly told there can be no hierarchy of victims, so the families of other Troubles related murder victims will be watching with interest to see what is to be done for them, in the interest of human rights and equality.”