The Finucane family astonish me. Inflicted with the brutal killing of their husband and father as they sat at a family meal, denied the truth at every turn for thirty years, they have persevered with an inner resolve that I can only stand back from and admire. That’s why yesterday I was happy to hear Geraldine Finucane announce to the world, after the Supreme Court ruling on the case, “We won.” Happy that the ruling has given them such comfort, outraged with the British judicial system that stillrefuses to order a public inquiry, which is what the Finucane family have been in pursuit of for so many years.
Using the usual near-impenetrable language, Lord Justice Kerr yesterday declared:
“It is for the state to decide, in light of the incapacity of Sir Desmond de Silva’s review and the inquiries which preceded it to meet the procedural requirement of Article 2, what form of investigation, if indeed any is now feasible, is required in order to meet that requirement.”
In more normal parlance: you haven’t had a public inquiry into Pat Finucane’s death, the government will decide whether you get a public inquiry or not, and by the way, don’t hold your breath.
The Supreme Court also said that Mrs Finucane had been given “an unequivocal undertaking to hold a public inquiry into Mr Finucane’s death”; unfortunately a “change of heart on the part of the government” had occurred, but that change of heart had been made “in good faith.”
That’s as near as you can get to saying that this sieve in my hand is water-tight. The fact is the Finucanes were promised a public inquiry and they have received everything but a public inquiry.
If I need to tell you why they haven’t had (and probably will never have) a public inquiry, maybe you should turn your interest from British justice to stamp-collecting.