The British Government published edited versions of the reports by retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory declaring that there was British and Loyalist collusion in the murder cases in Northern Ireland of Patrick Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, Robert Hamill and Billy Wright. The British Government announced that public inquiries will be held into cases of Nelson, Hamill and Wright, as recommended by Judge Cory. Further inquiries into the murder of Patrick Finucane were omitted, on the grounds of a pending criminal case.
Following the release of the report on April 1, 2004, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble claimed that there is a link between the murdered lawyer and IRA paramilitaries. Trimble’s accusation met with strong opposition from the Irish government and Irish-American organizations.
Finucane was shot in front of his wife and children, and the family has been requesting a public inquiry for the past 14 years. His widow, Geraldine, said, “The campaign for a public inquiry will also continue. Justice Cory’s report confirms that there was a State policy of targeting and assassination. The public should read the details in his report. It is unbelievable, but the official documents that he examined show that it is all true.”
Richard Ryan, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, made a statement at the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in April on the Cory reports and commented on the delayed inquiry into the murder of Finucane and Nelson — the other lawyer who was murdered.
Ryan stated, “My Government also expressed disappointment at the decision of the British Government to delay action on the Judge’s recommendation that a public inquiry be established quickly into the circumstances of the murder of Finucane. Judge Cory came to the conclusion that this may be one of those rare situations where a public inquiry will be of greater benefit to the community than prosecutions. This is a view that my Government shares.”
Judge Cory will appear before the Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe on May 5, 2004 in Washington, D.C. ♦