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The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
- Hubert H. Humphrey




We need a public inquiry into Finucane murder
Irish News Letters Page, 29.11.01


IT seems that there is no end to British duplicity, hypocrisy and double standards.

For years – and more pronouncedly in past months – weapons have been at the centre of political discourse.

The ‘D’ word seems to have replaced the ‘H’ word from the era of the prison protests and hunger strikes as the most overused word in the political vocabulary pertaining to Northern Irish affairs.

Decommissioning has been the key demand from unionism, the British and others who are intent on putting the republican genie into a concrete bottle.

Not only have republicans been the bull’s-eye for those making the demand for decommissioning, they face the added indignation of having to delegitimise their past if they do opt for decommissioning.

This is all the more poignantly felt within republicanism given that it more than any other party to the conflict suffered so immensely trying to legitimise possession of weaponry – an act the British spent so much time and energy seeking to criminalise.

Given the bitterness of the pill that republicanism is expected to swallow if it is compelled to engage in a further act of ‘never but will’ the least that would be expected is that the British effect the appearance of dignified silence while the funeral cortege of yet another core tenet of Provisional republicanism passes by.

But what we get instead is the British decommissioning their own weapons as a means to destroy evidence and not as a gesture toward the peace process nor as part of an honourable quid pro quo.

The weapon used to murder the solicitor Pat Finucane was recently found by the Stevens team to have been dismantled by members of the British army.

The weapon had started its life as the property of the British military and somehow managed to find its way to the UDA killers of Pat Finucane.

The dead solicitor’s brother Martin alleged that the revelation about the weapons dismantling “reinforces the necessity for a full judicial inquiry and shows the build-up of a web of deceit and cover-up at the highest level”.

Martin Finucane’s assertions grow in strength when considered against a similar revelation some time ago about weapons used in the Bloody Sunday massacre having been destroyed by the British ministry of defence.

Too sinister to have been a mere coincidence, it would be an abdication of responsibility on the part of everyone professing concern for justice and transparency in the murky world of state violence if they fail to support the call of Martin Finucane.







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