Northern Ireland news

Pat Finucane's brother wants to meet those who attacked his home with explosive device

North Belfast MP John Finucane with his uncle Martin FInucane following an attack on his home with a explosive device. Picture by Mal McCann

THE brother and a nephew of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane escaped a potentially lethal `fireball' attack on their home after a "crude explosive device" failed to detonate.

Rain is understood to have prevented the ignition of fuel-soaked cloth on the glass bottle device which was packed with gas cylinders, batteries, nails and bolts.

Two window panes were smashed in the attack carried out around 6.30am yesterday at Glenties Drive, a cul-de-sac in the Lenadoon area of west Belfast.

Martin Finucane, who is among family members due to meet the secretary of state today to discuss a Supreme Court ruling that an effective investigation into the 1989 murder was not carried out, said he was "flabbergasted" to be targeted.

He was woken by a "thud" at the front of the house.

"I thought maybe it had snowed and somebody may have thrown a snowball," said Mr Finucane whose son was also in the house.

He heard the second crash as he went to investigate and "knew straight away that the windows had been put in".

Police and forensic officers at the home of Martin Finucane after damage was caused to his window following an attack with a explosive device. Picture by Mal McCann

"I went to the front door and there were items on the ground... It could have ignited, thankfully it didn't. ATO did say had it went up it would have exploded."

It is understood that the attackers made off on a motorcycle.

Detective Sergeant Keith Wilson said it was "extremely fortunate no one was injured in what was a reckless act in a built up area".

He stressed that "a motive for this attack has not yet been established" as he appealed for anyone in the area who "witnessed any unusual activity or vehicles to contact detectives in Musgrave Police Station on 101 quoting reference 212 20/02/20".

Pat Finucane's son John visited his uncle and cousin within hours of the attack.

"As a family we're preparing for a meeting with the secretary of state, this is the last thing we thought we would have to dealt with," the North Belfast MP said.

Martin FInucane looks at the damage caused to his window following an attack with a explosive device Picture Mal McCann.

"It's not something we want to be dealing with or should be dealing with. We are a big family, a strong family and we will deal with this and we'll conduct this meeting as well."

PSNI warned Sinn Féin last week that dissident republicans are planning attacks against Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill and Policing Board member Gerry Kelly.

However, Mr Finucane, who is not a member of the party, said he is "baffled" at this attack.

He was visited by West Belfast MP Paul Maskey who demanded an explanation from those who targeted the co-founder of the Relatives For Justice campaign group.

"They need to come forward to explain why they felt to right to attack a human rights campaigner's home."

Mr Finucane said he wants to sit down and talk to his attackers.

"I want to know why?" he said.

Police and forensic officers at the home of Martin Finucane after damage was caused to his window following an attack with a explosive device Picture Mal McCann.

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