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KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY….?

By David Vance On October 13th, 2012

How intriguing…

A judge has lifted a ban on naming five people facing charges of membership of the IRA and other offences from more than a decade ago. They include Seamus Finucane, a Sinn Fein member and brother of the murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

The BBC had challenged the ban.

The BBC cannot reveal full details of the charges in the case – but can reveal the names of those involved after reporting restrictions were lifted. Mr Finucane, 55, is a member of Sinn Fein and a community worker in west Belfast.

My goodness! What a scurrilous and surely unfounded allegation. A member of the Finucane family allegedly in the IRA, a terrorist organisation?? I certainly do not believe a word of it and am relieved to see Seamusb is a  “community worker”- the salt of the earth  – as we all know here in Northern Ireland.

However  if these wicked allegations were to be proven true, Seamus would  NOT be the first Finucane to have served the Provos. Would he?

“Pat Finucane’s brother, John, an IRA man, was killed on active service in a car crash in the Falls Road, Belfast, in 1972. Another terrorist brother Dermot successfully contested attempts to extradite him to Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic, while a third brother was the fiancée of Mairead Farrell, one of the IRA trio shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar in 1988.”

It’s a bit of luck that with so many members of this family having served the IRA that Pat himself was an intrepid human rights lawyer, fighting for justice. Here’s hoping Seamus is proven innocent.

141 Responses to “KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY….?”

  1. So the security forces claim his brother was an IRA member so it is okay that the security forces had him murdered, I hope you never become a member of a dissenting minority.

    Ohh wait you already are, do you have a brother?

  2. I have always found the Finucane family movement a bit rich. His murder was indeed a crime, but it wasn’t the only crime. Their links to the IRA would make me wonder why some call for apologies to a family that should be making them.

  3. The difference is that any and all illegal actions committed by an member of the Finucane family were and are pursued by the state with full rigour. In fact the almost seem to want to go out of their way to pursue the Finucane family. When Pat Finucane was murdered by the state (not because of any illegal activity but in an attempt to prevent him defending human rights) the state covered up all but the actions of their sacrificial lamb in it.

  4. It would be more accurate to say Pat Finucane was murdered by people who colluded with the state.

    His murder was a crime and deserved to be prosecuted, as did the crimes of the IRA.

  5. He was murdered on the orders of the state, by people protected by the state, who worked for the state and it was then covered up by the state. So I pretty comfortable and quite accurate in saying that Pat Finucane was murdered by the state.

  6. He wasn’t killed because of some directive of the Prime Minister or Act of Parliment. He was murdered for certain, in a grisly manner and those who committed the crime colluded with certain authorities who themselves committed crimes by the collusion.

    But his death does not need to be elevated above other victims, and that is what the Finucane movement wants. Pure politics.

  7. No the Finucane family want his murder to be properly investigated. The British have apologised but in their apology made it clear they had no intention of pursuing those responsible.

    It also wasn’t some sort of dark alley way deal to look the other way. It was a state ordered killing and the killing was in of itself aided by the state that day. It didn’t need to be ordered by the Prime Minister to be ordered by the state. And the fact that the state (including the Prime Minister) have made it clear they have no intention of pursuing those responsible is just another in a line of offences committed.

  8. Of course the Finucane family want his murder investigated. They are less enthusiastic about investigations regarding murders committed by the IRA.

    It is the elevation of some victims over others, for political reasons. They don’t want justice for all, just justice for some.

  9. That can be applied to family of every victim. Of course they want their loved ones murder investigated more than others? Are you going to attack the families of the victims of Kingsmill for not campaigning for an investigation in the Reavey and O’Dowd killings? David has posted about Kingsmill a lot and I’ve never heard a word from you about condemning them for not having a more universal view of victims.

  10. No it can not be applied to the family of every victim.

    I have in the past and will again point out that people such as yourself elevate some victims over others for political reasons.

  11. But you weren’t saying that about me. You are saying it about the Finucane family. You are saying they want to elevate it above the others for political reasons. The fact is they do want elevate it above others but it isn’t for political reasons. It is because they consider the loss of their loved one to be more important than the loss of others. And the fact is that all families do that. They all think the killing of their loved one deserves more attention than the killing of others. Yet you seem to only condemn the Finucane family for it.

  12. I was saying it about you. And I was saying it about the Finucane Family. And I would say that about any family who puts their victimhood above others.

    Most victims families want justice for all, not just some. Finucane’s death is a well-known rallying point in Republican circles where the deaths of other victims are ignored.

    I would equally point to any family saturated with loyalist paramilitary members who tried to utilize the death of one of their members for political purposes and who ignored the deaths of other victims.

  13. They aren’t utilising it for political purposes. What political gain are they trying to get through the death of their loved one? They are trying to get justice, not political gain.

  14. Of course they are political. By advocating for a hierarchy of victims (and downplaying victims of IRA violence) their efforts are part of politics, not justice.

  15. Where have they done that? Where have they said that IRA victims aren’t important? Where have they advocated a hierarchy of victims?

  16. I haven’t been able to find their calling for public inquiry into any IRA violence. Perhaps you can point me in the right direction?

  17. Can you point me in the direction of where the families of the victims of Kingsmill have called for greater inquiry into collusion? And if not can you point me in the direction of where you have attacked them for it?

    How much attention do the families of victims of IRA violence pay to the victims of state violence?

  18. Whataboutery: a republican speciality.

  19. No its about consistency Petr. If Mahons consistently attacked victims for only campaigning for their loved ones or against the organisation that murdered their loved ones then that would be fair enough. But he doesn’t. He has never attacked other victims for only campaigning for justice for their families despite ample opportunity on this site to do so. So I want to know why he is singling out the Finucane family.

  20. A republican specialty only?

    Oh.

  21. Phantom — Not only but republicans are very good at it.

  22. Just to put some meet onto the relatively vague bones of this case.

    Firstly in David’s opening message it makes it seem as if there was another IRA member in the Finucane family and that this was surprising. Firstly it has been known for decades that Seamus Finucane was in the IRA. He was in the same arrested on active service in the same police operation that also arrested Bobby Sands and Joe McDonnell. Additionally in the realitvely vague blurb that David has taken bastion of victims rights FAIR it fails to point out that the fiance of Mairéad Farrell was in fact Seamus Finucane.

    As far as I can tell this case is about an IRA investigation into a rape claim (the claim by the niece of former IRA chief of staff Joe Cahill) and two of the people arrested (Finucane and Padraic Wilson) where the two IRA volunteers who investigated the claim. They claim they told her after investigating it to go to social services and the RUC (I don’t really believe the RUC bit) while she claims they covered it up.

  23. Allegedly (and it is probably accurate) the IRA held a meeting between the alleged victim and the alleged rapist (who has been named by the BBC but not in connection to the rape). That is what the charges seem to be about.

  24. I note with sadness but not surprise the vicious glee about the murder of Pat Finucane that is implicit in this latest topic. As we know David opposes all forms of terrorism except when it suits him. Or perhaps when he knows in his heart that the forces of “law and order” were involved.

  25. First of all let’s deal with the not so thinly veiled insinuation:

    It’s a bit of luck that with so many members of this family having served the IRA that Pat himself was an intrepid human rights lawyer, fighting for justice

    I’ve had this out with you before David your former colleague in the TUV, Jack McKee, has a brother who’s a DUP politician and was(?) also a member of the UVF. Does it then follow that Jack McKee is a member of the UVF? Pat Finucane and senior RUC detective Kevin Sheehy were long term friends who would often have dinner at Fincuane’s home. Would a senior RUC dectetive who presumably had access to high grade intelligence do this at the home of an alleged IRA member?

    His murder was indeed a crime, but it wasn’t the only crime. Their links to the IRA would make me wonder why some call for apologies to a family that should be making them.

    Mahons, I think that most families campaigning for the truths surrounding their loved ones death have the death of their family member as their immediate priority. Do you hear the family of Billy Wright or people like Willy Frazer calling forinvestidations into Finucane’s murder? and do you really think that the wife & children should be apologising for IRA murders considering that none of them have been in the IRA? (and even if they did it would have no value precisely because of the fact that none of them have been IRA members). If you say that this is political then surely most victims families are being political by elevating their loved ones death over others?

    He wasn’t killed because of some directive of the Prime Minister or Act of Parliment

    Technically correct.

    Douglas Hogg, a home office minister in 1989, told MPs in the Commons that some of Northern Ireland solicitors were “unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA” just weeks before Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane was murdered

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/2956659.stm

    The only reason that Pat Finucane was murdered was because he was a defence lawyer who successfully defended IRA suspects, i.e. he used the systen & the system didn’t like it.

  26. Paul – The impact on the actual family is of course greater and their interest most driven by the loss of their family member which is human and understandable.

    I think a marginal knowledge of NI would lead to the conclusion that the Finucane murder is a particular case that is used by republicans with motives that are pretty obvious.

    Must run will get back with more.

    His immediate family doesn’t seem to have been in IRA I would agree with that. His extended, well that is another story.

  27. I think a marginal knowledge of NI would lead to the conclusion that the Finucane murder is a particular case that is used by republicans with motives that are pretty obvious

    What are the motives Mahons? And even if if were true that Republicans are exploiting this case does that it mean that it should be held against the family’s search for the truth of what happened.

    His immediate family doesn’t seem to have been in IRA I would agree with that. His extended, well that is another story

    Yeah we know that so what’s the point?

  28. “Pat Finucane’s brother, John, an IRA man, was killed on active service in a car crash in the Falls Road, Belfast, in 1972. Another terrorist brother Dermot successfully contested attempts to extradite him to Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic, while a third brother was the fiancée of Mairead Farrell, one of the IRA trio shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar in 1988.”

    A remarkable family for sure.

  29. This will annoy all the right people!

    Republic and Northern Ireland will eventually be reunited, predicts Enda Kenny

  30. Paul – Justice does not belong to a victim’s family. It belongs to all of us (hence a criminal trial is Queen v. John Doe or The State v. John Doe). If there is to be an inquiry into Finucane’s murder, why no such inquiry into other victims?

  31. I don’t think that anyone is arguing differently Mahons however one can hardly castigate the family in their struggle for truth when it was Regina or the State’s agents which allegedly were involved in the murder?

    If there is to be an inquiry into Finucane’s murder, why no such inquiry into other victims?

    You’ve never heard of Willie Frazer or FAIR? And I thought you had a ‘marginal knowlege’ of NI?

    The fact of the matter is that Finucane was killed because he was a lawyer doing his job, (just like you) regardless of his family’s connections. You have criticised the campaign claiming that it is political. What political advantage do Trinity College & the following people have in highlighting the case?

    http://www.belfastmedia.com/z/pdfs/finucane.pdf

  32. Paul – I am critical of their search for selected truth.

    William Frazer and FAIR are the other side of the coin, pushing for one side instead of all (though Frazer is more clumsy in his comments).

    Finucane death was murder, and those who were responsible and those who colluded with them deserved arrest and prosecution. But if it is done on his behalf it should be done on everyone’s.

    I am fairly certain that the politics of it are not lost on anyone, whether it is discussed in the halls of Trinity or the pages of ATW.

  33. Paul – I am critical of their search for selected truth

    Then you must be critical of a fair, (no pun intended), amount of victims families/ groups Mahons.

    I am fairly certain that the politics of it are not lost on anyone, whether it is discussed in the halls of Trinity or the pages of ATW

    I won’t disagree, I’d consider a defence lawyer being murdered by alleged state coerceion for successfully doing his job to be fairly political.

  34. “I am critical of their search for selected truth.”

    Yet you haven’t issued that criticism to other victims groups. Why are you critical of the Finucane family’s search for what you deem to be selected truth but not critical of virtually every other victims group in Northern Ireland?

  35. Paul – I am critical of any victims group whose real driving motivation is advancing a political agenda unrelated to the victim(s) or one that aligns itself with organizations that themselves were responsible for creating other victims.

    Seamus – In fact, I have been critical of others who take a similar approach – Frazer being a good example.

  36. Paul – I am critical of any victims group whose real driving motivation is advancing a political agenda unrelated to the victim(s) or one that aligns itself with organizations that themselves were responsible for creating other victims

    Well Mahons, as Republicans, loyalists and the State were all culpaple in creating victims that just about covers everyone but instead of blanket comments could you be a bit more specific and tell us the victims / groups that you are critical of?

  37. But not specific families. Where have you condemned specific families? Did you condemn the Kingsmill families (who have as their spokesman one Willie Frazer) for only speaking out about the murders committed by the IRA and not about the loyalist killings that are effectively twinned with them? Have you condemned them for not openly condemning state violence?

  38. Paul – I’ll be happy to address it on a case by case basis as I do not have a list of the thousands of people effected by violence and a personal opinion on the approach each has taken. I do think efforts, such as the Victims and Survivors Forum has taken a positive approach in seeking support for all.

    This is NI, no one well ever be fully satisfied.

  39. The Forum is a central body to encompass all victims groups. There have been plenty of opportunity on a case by case basis where David has posted on behalf of other groups (I have mentioned the Kingsmill families in this post already and there have been plenty of others). Those groups articulate only on behalf of themselves and focus on the perpetrators of the violence against their families. You have never condemned them. Why?

    Will you now condemn Kingsmill families in the same way you have the Finucane family?

  40. I do think efforts, such as the Victims and Survivors Forum has taken a positive approach in seeking support for all.

    But that’s one that you feel is positive Mahons I asked for specific examples of (you being)

    critical of any victims group whose real driving motivation is advancing a political agenda unrelated to the victim(s) or one that aligns itself with organizations that themselves were responsible for creating other victims

    So far I can only see you highlighting one that you allege to be.

  41. Pat Finucane’s wife Geraldine (aprotestant) has been the driving (family) force along with Pat’s law partner behind seeking answers and justice. He also has a brother who moved to the US early on and played an instrumental role stateside keeping the case in the forefront. Pat and his NY-based brother were lucky enough to be away from Belfast while the troubles were heating up…the brothers, who signed their own fate by joining the IRA were not. I’m not excusing their choice to join the IRA but given the times and goings-on, it’s somewhat understandable (still a bad choice IMO). Pat believed in nonviolent/legal resolution to the ‘troubles’. It is because of the family and law partner Madden that we even know about the extent of collusion that went on. When they began their fight, the collusion angle was scoffed at as conspiracy crap. I don’t see how anyone can fault Geraldine et al for their undying search for the truth as to how and why a father was brutally murdered in front of her and her young children.

  42. Seamus – Kingsmills is hardly an event in which you have much credibility, since you’ve previously absolved the IRA of responsibility of the crime or knowledge of those who committed it.

    I think the Kingsmills families are poorly served by the likes of Frazer.

    And I don’t condemn victims families. I am critical of those who are selective in their advocacy for justice, as I believe I have written enough times above to allow for comprehension to dawn.

  43. Are you critical of the Kingsmill families for only campaigning for justice for their loved ones?

  44. And I don’t condemn victims families. I am critical of those who are selective in their advocacy for justice, as I believe I have written enough times above to allow for comprehension to dawn

    So why did you say that the Finucane family should apologise for IRA violence?

  45. Paul – The Olympics of suffering is not a phrase I coined, but it is apt. Rival groups often use victimhood as part and parcel of their politics. I think the Long March episode was an example of where some people also tended to focus on one side over the other. Not that focusing on one aspect is necessarily always wrong as sometimes there are issues which require more attention.

  46. Seamus – I am not sure that is the case.

  47. Where have they condemned other violence? Point in the direction of their statement calling for investigations of other killings. For apologies for other killings.

    They have ample opportunity to do so.

    But instead of campaigning for justice for the Reavey and O’Dowd families and calling for a proper investigation into the Glenanne gang that carried it out they ally themselves with Willie Frazer and try to hold loyalist band marches past Reavey family houses.

  48. Geraldine has stated numerous times that a proper investigation into her husband’s death will open the floodgates for all sides who have been victimized by state collusion in Ireland…that’s been one of the family’s stated goals. She has never suggested it only pertains to one side…she mentions ALL sides when she speaks.

  49. Paul – I am willing to suspend belief and pretend with you that Pat Finucane was the white sheep of his family and merely a human rights lawyer. However, even if he was in the IRA he was under no charge and his killing was a murder and a terrible one.

    Individual members of the family may have little or no connection to the IRA. Those who did have connections should avoid asking others to apologize. I hope that makes my position more clear.

    Mairin2 – Over 80 people were killed that year in NI. Are you advocating undying search for the truth into their deaths? To me it must be all or none.

  50. Rival groups often use victimhood as part and parcel of their politics

    Yes Mahons and that is precisely what David is inversely doing here. He is trying to discredit the Finucane family’s campaign for truth by linking some of the Finucane family connections to the IRA and implying that Pat Finucane was shot because of the same. A variation of blaming the sins of the father on the children.

    David knows that if the truth emerged that Pat Finucane was killed by senior agents of the state it would be devastating for his political narrative.

    And you Mahons are, IMO, being played as a proxy with your, (no offence intended), rather naive comments on the issue.

    Seamus – I am not sure that is the case

    No, neither am I but I have never seen anything contrary to what Seamus suggests so if there is I’m open to persuasion.

  51. Mairin2 – A floodgates for all who died due to state collusion? How about a floodgates for all who died as a result of collusion AND paramilitary attacks?

    Edgar Graham was a lawyer targeted and killed by the IRA? Where is his forum at Trinity College?

  52. Paul – I am willing to suspend belief and pretend with you that Pat Finucane was the white sheep of his family and merely a human rights lawyer. However, even if he was in the IRA he was under no charge and his killing was a murder and a terrible one

    See my comment regarding naive comments above.

    And pretend with you that Pat Finucane was the white sheep of his family and merely a human rights lawyer

    Coming from a fellow lawyer that comment is unbelievable.

  53. Paul – If people here believe that Pat Finucane was merely a human rights lawyer than I would suggest that a naive person would be in good company.

  54. Oh please, Mahons…of course…every victim deserves justice…state murder is a different can of worms and that is what the Finucane family’s fight is about. BTW, they have worked hand in hand with the British Irish Watch Group that is also seeking an inqiiry into the Billy Wright case…a loyalist shot dead by INLA likely due to state-sponsored collusion. Their campaign is about state collusion and that is why it garners more attention then the other murders.
    Paul, Imagree with you…Mahons has been played.

  55. “Edgar Graham was a lawyer targeted and killed by the IRA? Where is his forum at Trinity College?”

    It’s a bit disingenuous to say Edgar Graham was a lawyer targeted and killed by the IRA. He wasn’t killed because he was lawyer. Should he have been killed? No. He was killed because he was the rising star of the right flank of the Ulster Unionist Party.

  56. Are you suggesting he was something else Mahons? If so, for cñarity’s sake, let’s be clear. What?

  57. Paul – What is unbelievable? That lawyers are not always saints? As I’ve written (a dozen times now) Finucane’s politics and/or activities were not justification for his murder.

  58. Mahons you’re mixing apples and oranges. Just because I advocate for justice in likely state collusion cases does NOT MEAN I DON’T advocate for justice in non-collusion cases…get a grip.

  59. Yet you seem to be suggesting he was killed for something other than being a human rights lawyer. The not so thinly veiled suggestion on your behalf that he was something more than that.

  60. So, what was he in addition to a HR lawyer Mahons?

  61. He was killed because of who he successfully represented most likely not because he was also involved in human rights.

  62. Seamus- Among Graham’s offenses to the IRA was his legal advocacy (of things I happen to disagree with). But the fact that you’d mitigate their attack by portraying his threat to them as being part of the civil political process is telling.

    Marian 2 – Call me when the Finucanes work closely with those seeking to investigate IRA murders. Until then, I have a fairly good idea of who is being played.

    Paul – I am not suggesting Finucane was not merely a human rights lawyer. I am suggesting he was the IRA’s Tom Hayden.

  63. Mairin2 – I didn’t realize you were one of the Finucanes.

  64. Indeed mairin, see my 7.41 from yesterday:

    The only reason that Pat Finucane was murdered was because he was a defence lawyer who successfully defended IRA suspects, i.e. he used the systen & the system didn’t like it

    If anyone has anything other than squalid innuendo and hearsay from convicted murderers to suggest anything to the contrary I’d love to see it.

  65. No the point I was making is that the two cases are not comparable. One was a human rights lawyer, defending peoples rights, and was murdered for it. One was a bigoted, right wing reactionary trying to remove peoples rights and was murdered for it. Neither should have been murdered but the similarity of the two cases end there.

    You still haven’t shown me where the Kingsmill families have called for the investigation of state collusion or loyalist murders.

  66. I am not suggesting Finucane was not merely a human rights lawyer. I am suggesting he was the IRA’s Tom Hayden

    Based on what Mahons?

  67. Mahons, the Finucane family is a focus group if you will with one focus…to uncover the truth about their loved ones brutal murder. That’s what focus groups do…they focus. They use their limited resources to focus on their stated goal. They aren’t a huge operation with unlimited resources.

  68. I’m not Mahons but I can hold the same beliefs as them…it’ allowed you know.
    Paul, your post from last night is dead on and much better said than my efforts.

  69. Ummm…Finucane represented Loyalists too, Mahons.

  70. Seamus – If they haven’t advocated for justice for all then their movement is also flawed.

    Paul – based on wild speculation on my part clearly. The numerous family ties, statements by a former IRA member, and coordinated support from the SF crowd could only mean that it is impossible that he was tied to the IRA in any way whatsoever.

    As I wrote previously, even if he was in fact active in the IRA it is no justification for his murder. But they don’t just want legal justice, for his murder to provide the most political hay Finucane must have been a saint. A human rights crusader.

  71. Miarin2 – What loyalists and on what charges, I would be happy to review.

  72. I thought you’s go for that Mahons that’s why I said above at 4.21:

    If anyone has anything other than squalid innuendo and hearsay from convicted murderers to suggest anything to the contrary I’d love to see it

    So, are you basing your allegations on anything but this rubbish?

    For his murder to provide the most political hay Finucane must have been a saint. A human rights crusader.

    It’s incredible that you’re able to say what he must have been yet unable to say what he mustn’t have been

  73. “statements by a former IRA member”

    Here is a word of advice. If Sean O’Callaghan says something assume the opposite.

  74. “If they haven’t advocated for justice for all then their movement is also flawed.”

    Why have you never voiced this criticism in the past? Why have you reserved it only for the family of Pat Finucane? David has given ample opportunity to question why they have only advocated for their own families but you never have said a word about it.

  75. Seamus – your selective memory must come in handy as an apologist for the IRA. However I have in the past been critical of of one sided emphasis of The Troubles.

    Paul – You mean he had no family connections? Throw out O’Callahan’s claims if you wish, there are other factors.

  76. I’m on my way out the door…but look up the Finucane v UK case in the European Court of Human Rights
    http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/searches.aspx?i=001-22606
    “Patrick Finucane was a solicitor who represented clients from both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland and was involved in a number of high profile cases arising from that conflict”.

  77. Mairin2 – Enjoy your day. The link will not allow me access – are you colluding with the European Court of Human Rights to deny me access?

  78. Mahons answer the question. David blogs on Kingsmill a couple of times year. You have ample opportunity to raise the problems with them only campaigning for their loved ones and not for anyone else. Why haven’t you?

    I am also not an apologist of the IRA. I have condemned them on a number of occasions. Or are you having a selective memory?

  79. Here is a word of advice. If Sean O’Callaghan says something assume the opposite.

    On the contrary Sean O’Callaghan has shown himself to be highly credible, especially about who is a member of the IRA. For instance his testimony against Thomas Murphy in a Dublin court, when Murphy sued over claims he was an IRA member, was certainly found to be credible.

  80. No the court found him credible. That doesn’t mean he is credible. Courts regularly balls things up.

  81. You mean he had no family connections?

    If you look through this thread Mahons a blind man could see where I’ve referred to Finucane’s three IRA brothers, (and the comparison of blaming the children for sins of the father), so I don’t see your point other than being deliberately obtuse which, (if correct), is disappointing as it’s below your normal standard.

    I’ll gladly throw out O’Callaghan’s claims as I know from anecdotal evidence that he’s a liar but, more importantly, I’m surprised that you’ll accept the word of a convicted murderer yet dismiss out of hand the word of the Finucane Family. Now, why don’t you tell us the other factors?

    If they haven’t advocated for justice for all then their movement is also flawed.

    Does that also mean that a group like the Omagh Bomb families are also flawed because they haven’t campaigned for the McGurk’s Bomb families?

  82. Well Seamus – here is your chance to show us yourself condemning the IRA – condemn them on Kingsmills.

  83. I have already condemned Kingsmill. And when I’m convinced it was the IRA I’ll condemn them for it.

  84. Seamus – Great – you’ve condemned the killing of ten unarmed workers who were killed because of their religion. How you do go out on a limb for justice!

    But you don’t have the decency to admit it was the IRA. Discussing the Kingsmills massacre with you is like discussing Roswell New Mexico with Allan.

  85. And I have called into question the selective anniversary practice that David has of highlighting certain atrocities in his quest against the peace process. I am fairly sure I’ve mentioned this on a Kingsmills post previously.

  86. It isn’t about admitting it. I am actually not convinced. There are too many unexplained things about that night, namely the fact that one of those involved was wearing a British Army uniform and the leader of the unit spoke with a pronounced English accent.

    If it was the IRA in South Armagh I’d imagine it would be easy to find that leader considering there weren’t that many IRA members in South Armagh with pronounced English accents.

    I can only think of one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Nairac

  87. But have you condemned the families like you have the Finucane family? Its one thing to accuse me or David or outside observers having a selective view of the Troubles. But you targeted for your condemnation a family campaigning for justice for their loved one. Will you do the same for the Kingsmill families the next time David blogs about it?

  88. Paul – I am not accepting the word of O’Callaghan. I tend to go for the totality of the circumstances which includes the family connections, client base, IRA practices at times of using people not directly members, extensive support in the Republican community, and the fact that many human rights lawyers in NI were not in fact targeted. Insufficient to make the charge stick, but certainly enough to give one pause as to his canonization. Of course I am willing to review any evidence that he was not. Several organizations (The RUC) seem to have said he was not.

    By the way, although there are mentions that he represented loyalist paramilitaries I can find no evidence of any particular case or circumstance.

  89. Seamus – So it was the British Army that committed the Kingmills attack? I can see how credibility does not place a heavy burden upon you.

    Refresh my recollection on the links between the Kingsmills victims and Loyalist paramilitary groups.

    As I said, my criticism of the Finucanes is not over their seeking justice for their husband/father, but in not seeking it for all. I would have the same criticism of the Kingsmills advocates if that is in fact the case.

  90. Mahons, you know, probably better than me, that what you state is all circustantial and anecdotal. It is precisely that which some use to slyly imply innuendo.

    Several organizations (The RUC) seem to have said he was not.

    I said at the beginning of this thread that if Pat Finucane was a member of the IRA do you think that a senior RUC detective, who presumably had access to high – grade intelligence, would regularly have dinner with him at his house?

    Mahons, you have stated that the Finucane campaign is flawed as it is a single issue campaign. Does that also apply to the Omagh, Enniskillen, McGurk’s bar, Bloody Friday familes?

  91. “As I said, my criticism of the Finucanes is not over their seeking justice for their husband/father, but in not seeking it for all. I would have the same criticism of the Kingsmills advocates if that is in fact the case.”

    You keep saying things like “if that is in fact the case”. Can you point me to any statement they have ever issued where that was not the case?

    “Refresh my recollection on the links between the Kingsmills victims and Loyalist paramilitary groups.”

    Their spokesman regularly shared platforms with them and “had a lot of time” for Billy Wright. Most of his family where also in the UDR.

    “So it was the British Army that committed the Kingmills attack? I can see how credibility does not place a heavy burden upon you.”

    How is it not credible? Are you telling me the British never used false flag operations? Or wouldn’t jump at the chance to severely undermine the support of the IRA both locally and abroad?

  92. Seamus – I am telling you that you would deny the IRA was involved unless they said they were and that it was ok for you to say they were.

    Paul – Would you think it better that an advocacy group place their advocacy in the context of advocating for all. Is true justice seeking the answer to one event, or all?

  93. I’ve already criticized Frazer.

  94. Have you criticised the families in the way you have the Finucane family?

    ” I am telling you that you would deny the IRA was involved unless they said they were and that it was ok for you to say they were.”

    You are wrong. If I believe the IRA did I would say it.

  95. Would you think it better that an advocacy group place their advocacy in the context of advocating for all. Is true justice seeking the answer to one event, or all?

    What I think on this issue is unimportant in the context that it was you who set the criteria. Now, does that criteria & criticism extend to the other campaign groups I mention?

  96. Mahons

    You hit the nail on your head with your comment about associating with victim makers! It is the happy long standing association with SF/IRA that disgusts me. I have on occasion been involved in victim campaigns and made efforts to ensure that PUP/UDA/UVF etc were not going to be part of it, either blatantly or under cover.

    Many victims groups are primarily victim support groups and the advocacy for justice is part of that wider support. Victims support needs should come before political expediency or social engineering. Many victims have their comfort zones and shouldn’t have to expand them just for the sake of inclusivity. FAIR campaigns primarily for victims of republican terrorism. That is it’s focus.

    I remain to be convinced that the new victims forum represents the needs of the least supported victims.

    David knew one of the victims of one of the atrocities that he consistently remembers on here. I think it was Kingsmills and even when that is clear people still have a go at him!

  97. You hit the nail on your head with your comment about associating with victim makers!

    FAIR campaigns primarily for victims of republican terrorism. That is it’s focus.

    Those two statements are absolutely inconsistant bearing in mind who FAIR’s director is.

  98. Seamus – This is like arguing with someone that the Earth is not flat. If you want to pretend that the Kingsmills massacre was anything other than an IRA attack then you’ll have to have that “debate” on your own.

    Aileen – yes, I agree that an advocacy group may have to by necessity focus on one event or situation in order to bring attention to an issue.

    Paul – I find the Finucane campaign especially political, and not merely by the Finucanes, who at the very least have a personal interest, but by many of the people who use their campaign for political points. Tell me, do you think his murder is deserving of a public inquiry ahead of others?

  99. Tell me, do you think his murder is deserving of a public inquiry ahead of others?

    Not particularly but his family have been tenacious about keeping the spotlight on it, (as have the Omagh families).

    But as I said previously what I think is unimportant in that you set the criteria for criticism so please answe the question I asked at 7.20.

  100. mahons, the investigations into murders of lawyers are important because they’re wide-reaching. Very few lawyers would knowingly jeopardize their lives defending people (guilty AND not) under the new laws implemented at the time Finucane was alive and in practice. He was unique in that way. He was challenging newly implemented laws and winning cases…they are deemed human rights cases by the courts not by the Finucane family alone. If you (the general ‘you’ not the personal you because I understand you’re a run-of-the-mill lawyer but correct me if I’m wrong) prevent lawyers from representing people by killing them then you prevent people from due process.
    As for you not being able to get into the link…just google it. Finucane’s focus was to show the new laws were wrong and being wrongfully used…contact Madden and Finucane…professional courtesy and all that…I’m sure they’d talk to you.

  101. I think I have answered it, but I’ll be happy to try again. I find the tone of the Finucane campaign more politically driven. The Omagh victims survivors are more diverse in their views so there is less of a generalization that can be made. One of the groups involved with the Omagh victims has reached out to others attacked by terrorism.

    In any event I don’t sit and score the level of response of the victims of each atrocity. On Finucane I’ve now said over a dozen times I find that movement overtly political.

  102. Mairin2 – I agree that the targeting of a lawyer for representing his clients (especially unpopular clients) is not merely a crime against the person, but it is an attempt to deter others from representing such clients effectively.

    I also believe that killing Judges and magistrates (or their family members) is also an attempt to cause a chill in the legal system, and if memory serves the IRA targeted a number of magistrates, killing some and even attacking family members. Jury intimidation was another abominable practice.

    Frankly, many of the laws and practices imposed by the British government were well deserving of strong legal challenge and I have no problem with that.

  103. Thank you for making so many comments on this thread, Mahons. You’ve helped identify the many issues involved in the Finucane case. Again, I encourage you to contact Finucane & Madden…as a professional courtesy, they’d likely accommodate you and answer your concerns.

  104. Mairin2 – Their position is readily available.

  105. Yet you asked questions. Yet misconceptions were posted.

  106. Mairin2 – If only others would.

  107. Would what? ask questions? Sorry Mahons…you get very little credit for this. You made some shitty comments in this thread and you were treated with respect. I hope you follow through with the research…who knows, it could make you a better lawyer…

  108. Looks like you have another infatuated fan, lawyerman. 🙂

  109. Don’t think so, Daphne. Mairin is correct: Mahons has made some pretty loose comments on a subject he clearly knows little about, and a family who have been through hell.

  110. I’m not sure if you’re talking about me Daphne…but Phantom has asked me to me him and Mahons. I said no because based on my readings here and only here I think Mahons is an ass but he’s real typical of those I went to law school with…I don’t hold him in contempt…I just don’t understand why he doesn’t do the research he ( and I) were taught to do. …he’s a dime a dozen…He and I went to law school when the going was good and the competition wasn’t so great for men.
    With that said the Finucane case is something every lawyer…if they are interested in the law would be drawn to. to suggest it has something to do with Mahons is something even he would find repugnant.

  111. Backing off my snarky comment with cat’s paws.

    Please resume the debate.

  112. I hate iPad …if there are any questions about my previous statement I will answer them.

  113. But it did seem as if Mairin was smacking while kissing with the same back hand.

  114. Does iPad ruin the spelling?

    Sincerely Mairin, I must have read it wrong and I offer true apologies if I’ve given offense.

  115. No offense Daphne…it’s not about me anyway. It’s about a lawyer who was killed for trying to parse a new law.

  116. Mairin2 – Well you’ve gone from thanking me to damning me. Of course having aligned yourself with the Finucanes you’ve not actually answered one of my basic questions (when did he represent loyalists and in what context – surely you can call his old law firm and ask).

    I don’t mind taking on the cause celebres from Republicans, I’ve swatted down the ravings of Loyalists as well.

    As for your education, I assure you it has nothing to do with mine.

  117. Paul – how long did you work at Finucane’s law office?

  118. Do you think you swat anyone? you are so full of yourself….you can’t swat down a fly. Not even a fly.

  119. Mairin2 – You are coming apart (one of the clear signs of defeat).

  120. Not a chance Mahons but I’m away to bed … Phantom, I hope you see why I said NO”

  121. Mairin2 – Goodnight sweet prince. But I’ll still be right tomorrow. And that is something we both know.

  122. Right about what?

  123. What do you think you’re right about, Mahons? Say it succinctly and back it up with evidence…you learned about that right?

  124. Peace.

    Good night to all.

  125. You can’t save him…but good night anyway.

  126. Wow, nice thread. Now on to Daphne’s “Love Wins” ….

    Mahons makes some good points. A lot of the support for an inquiry is politically motivated.

    On the other hand, it isn’t right to confuse Finucane’s own family (wife and kids) with the family he comes from. It is the former that is mostly fighting for an inquiry. The children, remember, were sitting with their lawyer dad at the dinner table when his killers smashed into their house and murdered him right in front of their eyes. THIS family is entirely innocent and has, as far as I know, no connection to militants of any stripe.

    Finucane was doing good work (it was also Loyalists themselves who said he had had defended some of their colleagues, by the way) and it’s almost a certainty that there was some British collusion in his murder, whether it was positively directed by state forces or whether they simply knew about it beforehand and let it go ahead.

    As those state forces cannot be expected to investigate themselves (one good, if naive, cop from Manchester who dared try just that got this place burned down for his trouble, I recall), there is a need for an independent inquiry.

    There are at least grounds to suspect the state is guilty of murder here, and this can’t be compared to killings by individuals, that are of course investigated by the police.

  127. Mairin

    Just how “understandable” do you consider joining the IRA is?

    And by “bad choice” do you mean vile evil bad or bad choice as in wearing stillettoes to a concert in a field?

  128. I would have little trouble in believing that Finucaine represented “loyalist” terrorists. All the one sow’s pigs.

    I share Mahos’s scepticism about him being his family’s white sheep and also his view that it was still murder.

  129. Th part about him representing loyalists is supposed to convince us he was even-handed and devoted to the law as a principle. A human Rights for All campaigner, not just for some. I asked for examples of this, and the context of that representation, and haven’t heard one yet. This is not to say it did not or could not have happened, but that it appears not to have been significant and the claim is bolstered to bolster his reputation.

    As I’ve said, the crime was a vicious crime whether he was pure or tainted.

  130. Mahons

    That “even handed” spin has long been one of the problems in the situation. It is another variation on that theme. Pandering to the Provos is somehow balanced by pandering to the UVF etc. It is supposed to be One All but it is in fact Two Nil against the rest of us.

  131. I think I have answered it, but I’ll be happy to try again. I find the tone of the Finucane campaign more politically driven. The Omagh victims survivors are more diverse in their views so there is less of a generalization that can be made. One of the groups involved with the Omagh victims has reached out to others attacked by terrorism.

    Okay Mahons, if that’s the level of criteria then might it be that Omagh victims might be more diverse as the number murdered was more (29) rather than the individual Finucane? As for the Finucane campaign being ‘politically driven’ as I said previously, a lawyer murdered with the alleged coercion of the state? How could it not be political? Off the top of my head I can think of at least two groups involved with the Finucanes who have ‘reached out to others attacked by terrorism’

    In any event I don’t sit and score the level of response of the victims of each atrocity.

    And yet that is exactly what you’re doing with Finucane by ‘pretending he was only a human rights lawyer’ and accusing him of being ‘the IRA’s Tom Hayden’

    On Finucane I’ve now said over a dozen times I find that movement overtly political

    See above re murder and alleged state involvement

    Paul – how long did you work at Finucane’s law office?

    More disappointment. such a facetious comment regarding the murder of a lawyer and then the sullying of his professional reputation with unfounded allegations in the wake of his death is below your normal sensitive incisive wit,

  132. Paul – On another post I thought you indicated you had worked at that firm. Am I mistaken?

  133. No Mahons you’re not but my what relevance does my professional life have on the subject at hand?

  134. I can’t imagine what relevance it would have. Clearly anyone who worked as Finucane’s firm has an unbiased view of him. Much like a member of the crew of the Titanic would be unbiased as to icebergs.

  135. As opposed to not working at his firm and having an unbiased view of him like some here?

  136. Now you must be joking. Are issues relating to Finucane up for debate at that firm among employees?

    Come on, I knew your sympathies were with them but I had not realized until I doubled back to an earlier thread that you were so involved with the specific movement.

  137. Mahons, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Could you decode that please?

  138. Sure- no. one. who. works. at. that. firm. would. discuss. the. matter. with. objectivity.

  139. Interesting Mahons, that would then mean that someone who has lived in an area where conflict has occured could never have a truly objective opinion because they’re too emotively involved? That people like, for example, Troll or yourself could only have a totally objective opinion on the situation in Palestine / Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ireland or any other part of the world where there is / has been over people who are from / have served/ lived there?

    That’s what the logic of your post implies.

    Of course another, (objective), opinion may state that those who are from / have served/ lived there may be better informed that the ‘objective’ observer from afar?

    I had not realized until I doubled back to an earlier thread that you were so involved with the specific movement.

    Let’s put something to bed. Firstly, I am not nor have ever been ‘involved’ with any ‘specific movement’ relating to the Finucane family nor the Finucane campaign. I worked in Peter Madden’s law firm fiftenn years after the murder of Pat Finucane.

    But let’s get back to the crux of the matter; Two questions Mahons:

    If Finucane were an IRA member why did a senior RUC dectective regularly have dinner with him at Finucane’s home?

    Why were these allegations never directly levelled at Finucane when he was alive and only surfaced after his death?

  140. //This is not to say it did not or could not have happened, but that it appears not to have been significant and the claim is bolstered to bolster his reputation.//

    That isn’t true, mahons. I said already that the claim was (also) made by Loyalist paramilitaries themselves, which anyone following the debate in the early days will know. The context was that the UDA told their men not to harm him as “he also works with our lads”, but then this faction went ahead – for some reason – and killed him anyway. Some of the killers apparently got some flack from their bosses (I mean their Loyalist, not British, bosses) for the murder.

    The UDA is hardly in the business of bolstering the reputation of a Taig lawyer.

    The fact is that you, or Aileen, have no reason to believe he was not “tainted”, apart from a reference to family members who were, and we all know how little that’s worth. Although, in Aileen’s case, it would appear that defending Republican and Loyalist accused is already tainting enough.

    Finucane naturally couldn’t have been politically neutral. He was a just and intelligent man, and anyone like that sees immediately that NI of the time was a political pigsty. The state had generated a generation of fanatics in its population, and resorted to all kinds of crime – including internment without trial, torture and murder – in its attempts to work its way out of the mess it created. Every society needs brave and intelligent men to fight against injustice; there were several such brave people in NI and they paid for their commitment with their lives.

    It’s pathetic that many who turned a blind eye to this state crime and generations of bigotry and oppression are now wailing from the rooftops that the same state has actually gone and struck a deal with terrorists to get them to stop.

    If you want a ruthless state, you get one; just don’t go complaining when it decides to start trampling over your own political sensitivities for a change.

  141. I was reading Danny Morrisons blogs about the new style strategy to pick out Republicans and throw dirt on them via british gutter-press with the goal to legally pursue the women and men.

    140 comments and it didn’t hit the brains?

    1. Pat Finucane was an solicitor, he was not involved into armed warfare. Any allegations that Pat Finucane was involved somehow been made by low-life agents whom are paid by british or loyalist handlers. No one in the British government or British intelligence services made ​​such accusations, it was just scattered via informants. If this were not the case, the British government had not initiated any investigation.

    2. It is solely for the fact that loyalist killers, supported by local security forces, on behalf of British intelligence, murdered Pat Finucane in front of his family. It is fact that all british officials hushed, veiled and have lied. The weapons used been forwarded by security forces of the so called democratic system in Northern Ireland. (Not Northern England….) The gettaway car was covered by RUC, the telecommunication tapping, and the monitoring of any move Pat Finucane did was the work of the security forces. This is therefore a unique state operation.

    3. Anything else here is just opening of a sideshow. Why anyone name Seamus? Or Dermot? Of course there are many envious people who have failed in civilian life after the GFA. Perhaps this envious people should have been studying alike Michael Finucane? Or instead of howling and yelling about old times in the pubs they should work? Seamus for example is an Socialworker who cares about the people in his community. Dermot is an hard working business man. And the scumbags doing the accusations against the Finucane family are just wanna-bes who try to sail under the republican flag for their criminal and disturbed world of lies and bullshit!