Pat Finucane: Family receive ‘no assurance’ of inquiry from SoS

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The Finucane family met Brandon Lewis at Stormont on Friday

Relatives of the murdered solicitor Pat Finucane have not received any assurance from the British Government that a public inquiry into his death will be called.

His family met the new Northern Ireland secretary, Brandon Lewis, at Stormont on Friday.

Tanaiste Simon Coveney is also due to meet Mr Lewis soon.

He replaced Julian Smith as NI Secretary last week.

Mr Finucane was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries in 1989. There have been long-standing allegations that members of the UK security forces colluded in his murder.

His family has been urging the government to hold a public inquiry into the case.

Assessment ‘within weeks’

In January, his widow, Geraldine Finucane, was granted leave by the High Court to seek a judicial review as part of her ongoing campaign to secure a public inquiry into her husband’s death.

After meeting Mr Lewis, Mrs Finucane said she had not heard anything to indicate an inquiry will happen yet.

She added that the secretary of state told her he would make an assessment “within weeks, not months”.

Her son, the Sinn Féin MP John Finucane, said this was the first time they had secured a meeting with the British government, despite requests to his predecessors, Julian Smith and Karen Bradley.

Coveney meeting

Mr Lewis has also met Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney at Stormont.

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Reuters

It was their first meeting since Mr Lewis replaced Julian Smith.

It also follows the Irish general election, which saw Mr Coveney’s Fine Gael party come in third place.

That government, under Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar, will remain in place until a new government can be formed.

Mr Lewis made his first official visit to Northern Ireland last week, when he said he was “fully aware” of his responsibilities and that he was focused on making “a brilliant success of the New Decade, New Approach deal”.

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