Taoiseach in fresh call for public inquiry into Finucane murder

The Irish Government has vowed to continue to pressure a reluctant Britain for a public inquiry into the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he had reiterated to British Prime Minister David Cameron that commitments were given several years ago to hold a public inquiry.

"The murder of Pat Finucane was one of a number of cases which gave rise to allegations of collusion by the security forces," Mr Kenny said.

"The British and Irish governments agreed in 2001 to appoint a judge of international standing to investigate these cases and, in the event that a public inquiry was recommended in any case, to implement that recommendation."

Mr Kenny and Mr Cameron spoke before his statement to the Commons as the De Silva report was being published and agreed to discuss the issue further.

Mr Kenny said he repeated the Irish Government's unwavering position to Mr Cameron.

"It is a matter of public record that the Irish Government disagrees strongly with the decision by the British government last year not to conduct a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane," Mr Kenny said.

"The Government's position has consistently been in accordance with the all-party motion adopted in the Dáil in 2006 which called for a full, independent, public inquiry.

"That position is unchanged."

Mr Kenny said he would reflect carefully over the report, commissioned by the British government, which highlighted what Mr Cameron described as shocking levels of collusion.

The Taoiseach said he appreciated Mr Cameron's apology to the Finucane family and accepted that he had shown determination in getting to the truth behind the brutal murder in 1989.

But he added that Geraldine Finucane - the wife of the murdered solicitor - was not satisfied with the outcome. Further talks are planned with the Finucanes.

He welcomed Mr Cameron's calls for various authorities in Britain and Northern Ireland to consider the De Silva report.

Mr Kenny said: "I want to make clear once again that I do not subscribe to the notion of a hierarchy of victims.

"During the Northern Ireland troubles, thousands were murdered and maimed. Each tragic case left behind devastated family members, friends and colleagues.

"I have, in recent months, met with some of the victims and relatives of such horrific tragedies.

"I will meet others in the months ahead. I have heard, and will continue to hear, first-hand, their pain, their loss and their concerns.

"More generally, all these cases serve as a reminder of a darker time in Northern Ireland, a time that no right-thinking person wants to see return."

He added: "Confidence is fundamental to the Northern Ireland peace process.

"As we have seen in recent days, significant challenges have yet to be tackled.

"We can only tackle these successfully when we do so together."

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