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Government must order public inquiry into Finucane murder

The family of Pat Finucane secured a notable victory at the UK's highest court yesterday which will intensify pressure on the British government to establish a public inquiry into the solicitor's murder 30 years ago.

The Supreme Court in London ruled there had been no 'effective investigation' into Mr Finucane's death and previous inquiries had not complied with the family's human rights.

While the British government will be relieved the court did not order a public inquiry to take place, the other points in favour of the Finucane family will be regarded as a setback.

It is quite plain that despite giving what the court termed an 'unequivocal undertaking' to hold a public inquiry, the government, for its own reasons, has set its face against an open and thorough investigation of this case.

Instead, it set up the review by Sir Desmond de Silva, which found 'shocking' levels of state collusion involving the army, police and MI5, but ruled out an overarching state conspiracy.

Now the Supreme Court has ruled that the de Silva probe was not compliant with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which required an investigation to be provided with the means to identify suspects and if possible hold them to account.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is among those urging the British government to hold a public inquiry into the 1989 murder and said he would be raising the matter with Theresa May.

It is clearly time for the British government to honour the commitment it previously made to the family and order a public inquiry.

They must know that this is a case that is not simply going to fade away.

The Finucane family have mounted a relentless, focused and high profile campaign for thirty years. Like so many who have lost loved ones during the troubles, they are determined to uncover the truth, no matter how long it might take.

It is now up to the British government to do the right thing.

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