Press Statement Pat Finucane Centre

12 December 2012

The British prime minister, David Cameron, has today described loyalist/ state collusion revealed in the de Silva review relating to the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane as "unbelievably ghastly".

The Pat Finucane Centre, however, believes those words would be better applied to the British government’s continuing refusal to establish a full, public, independent inquiry.

Cameron is pushing the line that there was no "over-arching" state conspiracy into Pat Finucane’s murder, yet:

1. The UDA, whose gunmen (including RUC agent Ken Barrett) murdered Pat, whose "intelligence" unit was headed by a British military agent (Brian Nelson) and whose "quarter-master" (Billy Stobie) provided the weapon used (stolen from a British Army barracks in Holywood, County Down) was a legal organisation at the time of the murder.

It took a further three years before the UDA was banned. The Pat Finucane Centre has uncovered documents

1. showing that, as far back as the early 1970’s, the UDA was viewed as a "release valve" for "Protestant extremists".

2.  In January 1992, the then Department of Public Prosecutions reached a deal (effectively a cover-up), allowing Nelson to plead guilty to five counts of conspiracy to murder. This prevented the courts examining his activities as a British military agent. Nelson was given a derisory ten year prison term.

3.  The man who acted as Nelson’s "handler" and who gave him a glowing character reference during the 1992 court hearing was Brigadier Gordon Kerr who became head of the Force Research Unit in 1987, two years before Pat Finucane’s murder. 

In 1997 (eight years after Pat Finucane’s murder), Kerr was promoted and became Britain’s military attaché in Beijing, where he was awarded an OBE. He also holds the Queen’s Medal for Gallantry. Two weeks after he was identified in the Stevens Report into collusion in the murder of Pat Finucane, Tony Blair sent him to Iraq. He has never been charged with a single offence.

Pat Finucane was stalked by a British military agent who was then given effective immunity by the office of the DPP. The gun used to murder him was of British military origin. It was supplied by one RUC agent and fired by another RUC agent.

Pat Finucane’s murder was authorised and carried out by state agents. What more evidence is needed before London grants the public inquiry demanded by the Finucane family?


 Photocopy of document retrieved from British National Archives available from our offices on request


review by Desmond de Silva5.68 MB