Family of Pat Finucane respond to the early release of convicted murderer Ken Barrett

Speaking on behalf of the Finucane family Michael Finucane said:

"The release of Ken Barrett was inevitable and although the timing is perhaps a little surprising, the event itself is not. However, the significance of Mr. Barrett should not be overestimated. The real focus for my family is to succeed in our campaign to have a fully independent, public judicial inquiry into the murder as agreed by the two Governments at Weston Park in 2001. This is what we must achieve and it is also what successive British Governments have refused to allow, including the present administration of Tony Blair with the help of his Secretary of State, Peter Hain.

We can only get the truth behind the murder of Pat Finucane and the policy of collusion that facilitated it if the process of inquiry is properly and verifiably independent. The British Government has run out of excuses for delaying the establishment of such an inquiry.

The recent resolution passed by Congress of the United States has re-affirmed the pressing need for a credibly independent inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and rejected the British assertion that the Inquiries Act is capable of providing such an inquiry. Britain cannot maintain this fiction any longer.

This Resolution from the House of Representatives follows hard on the heels of the motion passed by Dáil Eireann in February this year. It echoes the criticism levelled at the Inquiries Act by the Irish Government, Lord Saville, Lord Woolf, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, British Irish Rights Watch, CAJ and even Judge Peter Cory himself. Now the legislature of the United States can be added to the ever increasing list of those who reject the British fiction, that an inquiry can be controlled by the state and yet somehow remain independent. The two notions are simply not compatible.

The case of Pat Finucane was a case where justice needs to be done and seen to be done. If this is to happen, a Cory-compliant inquiry must be established without further delay. If Tony Blair cares at all about the search for lasting peace in Ireland or even the reputation of his government in the eyes of the world, he must act now to establish a proper public inquiry that is clearly independent and not subject to Ministerial control."