US embassy cables: MI5 prepared to hand over files on Pat Finucane murder

12 October 2010

During Special Envoy Mitchell Reiss' visit to Ireland May 19-22, the Irish government emphasized that the Good Friday Agreement and the December 8 joint communique must be the basis for forward movement in the peace process. They anticipate an IRA response to Gerry Adams' call to leave the scene within 60 days; they believe the focus must be kept on the IRA but do not have a specific list of steps the IRA must take as pre-conditions to serious negotiations. They believe serious talks will begin in September, but it could take until early 2006 to put the pieces in place, especially since the DUP would require a long period to verify IRA good behavior. GOI officials uniformly expressed concern that the UK's political interest in showing progress might lead the UK to be too soft on Sinn Fein. Other issues raised include Irish unhappiness with the UK's inquiry into the Finucane murder; the importance of a non-violent marching season in Northern Ireland; and concerns about IRA criminality. Reiss briefed on his meetings in London and Belfast and informed them of the USG's decision to refuse a visa to Sinn Fein member Rita O'Hare.