Pat Finucane

Pat Finucane

Patrick Finucane was an Irish lawyer who specialised in criminal defence work. He came to prominence due to his successful challenge of the British government in several important human rights cases during the 1980s. He was shot 14 times as he sat eating a meal at his Belfast home with his three children and his wife, who was also wounded during the attack. In September 2004, an Ulster Defence Association member, and at the time of the murder a paid informant for the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Ken Barrett, pleaded guilty to his murder. In 2011 British Prime Minister David Cameron indicated that collusion was likely.

About Pat Finucane in brief

Summary Pat FinucanePatrick Finucane was an Irish lawyer who specialised in criminal defence work. He came to prominence due to his successful challenge of the British government in several important human rights cases during the 1980s. He was shot 14 times as he sat eating a meal at his Belfast home with his three children and his wife, who was also wounded during the attack. In September 2004, an Ulster Defence Association member, and at the time of the murder a paid informant for the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Ken Barrett, pleaded guilty to his murder. In 2011 British Prime Minister David Cameron indicated that collusion was likely, although no member of British security services has yet been prosecuted. The British government reneged on this promise after the international judge found evidence of collusion. In October 2011, it was announced that a planned public inquiry would be replaced by a less wide-ranging review. This review, led by Desmond Lorenz de Silva, released a report in December 2012 acknowledging that the case entailed ‘a wilful and abject failure by successive Governments’. The report called the De Silva report a ‘sham’ and called for a public inquiry to be held into the case. The family called the report a ‘wilful’ and ‘abject’ failure to investigate the case properly and to hold an inquiry into the collusion between the British security forces and the loyalist paramilitaries that killed Pat Finucanes.

The De Silva Report was released in October 2012 and concluded that elements of the UK security forces colluded in the murder. The UK government said it would comply with the terms agreed by the two governments at Weston Park in 2001. It agreed to appoint an international judge that would review FinUCane’s case and if evidence of collusion was found, a public Inquiry would be recommended. In February 1989, Finucene was shot dead at his home in north Belfast by two masked men using a 9mm pistol and a 38-Power Hi-Power revolver. The two gunmen knocked down the front door with a sledgehammer and entered the kitchen where he had been having a Sunday meal with his family; they opened fire and shot him twice, knocking him to the floor. The three children witnessed the attack which they hid underneath the table as they hid under the table. On February 12, 1989, he was shot in the face at close range by two Corporals Corporals using a Browning pistol and another masked man using a 8mm pistol. His son John is a Sinn Féin politician who was elected as Lord Mayor of Belfast in May 2019 and was elected MP for Belfast North in December 2019. He also represented other IRA and Irish National Liberation Army hunger strikers who died during the 1981 Maze prison protest, Brian Gillen, and the widow of Gervaise McKerr.