Northern Ireland news

Judge Peter Cory has died aged 94

Retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory has died aged 94
Connla Young

A RETIRED Canadian Supreme court judge who led an investigation into allegations of collusion has died.

Judge Peter Cory died in his home country on Tuesday aged 94.

The World War Two veteran investigated a series of controversial killings during the Troubles including the 1989 murder of solicitor Pat Finucane by the UDA.

His recommendation for a public inquiry into the solicitor's killing has yet to be implemented by the British government.

It was claimed last year by the BBC that in 2002 MI5 officials wiped computer hard drives holding information relating to the Finucane case after visiting Mr Cory's London offices.

The Cory Collusion Inquiry reports were published in 2004 and also examined the IRA killing of Lord Justice Maurice Gibson and his wife Lady Cecily Gibson near the border 1987, and the shooting dead of RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen along with Superintendent Bob Buchanan in 1989, again by the IRA.

The retired judge also looked into the loyalist killing of Catholic man Robert Hamill, who was beaten to death in Portadown in 1997, while the circumstances surrounding the INLA shooting of loyalist leader Billy Wright in the same year were also considered.

Mr Cory also investigated the loyalist murder of solicitor Rosemary Nelson, who died after a bomb exploded under her car, in 1999.

Sinn Féin MP John Finucane last night paid tribute to Mr Cory.

“On the back of his 2004 report into the murder of my father, Mr Cory confirmed the allegations of collusion, and recommended that the British government should hold a full public inquiry,” he said.

"It has further come to light that MI5 attempted to sabotage and destroy his investigation, but thanks to Judge Cory's foresight in having back-up files, they were ultimately unsuccessful.”

Mr Finucane referred to the fact that no inquiry has been held into his father's murder.

“Of the six cases examined, he recommended inquiries into five,” he said.

“Of those five, only the case of Pat Finucane remains outstanding.

“Unfortunately, his recommendation for a public inquiry continues to be ignored by the British government, a position he was most critical of.

 

“I want to pay tribute to Peter Cory for the work that he has done.

 

“My thoughts are with his friends, family and colleagues at this sad and difficult time.”

Relatives for Justice chief executive Mark Thompson also praised the retired judge.

“We are very saddened to hear this news,” he said.

“Justice Cory was a man of significance and integrity.

“His service to truth and justice in Ireland will never be forgotten.

“His refusal to be used as a puppet by the British Government in the case of Pat Finucane was exemplary.”

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