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PAT FINUCANE…AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW

By David Vance On December 15th, 2012

We have heard a lot about “collusion” from the Finucane family in recent times so I thought it might be interesting for you to remind you of the thoughts of the former Head of IRA’s Southern Command, Sean O’Callaghan;

“I knew Pat Finucane reasonably well. I first met him in 1980 at a high-level IRA finance meeting in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. The meeting took place in a private room above a public house. Also present were Gerry Adams, the now-dead Tom Cahill, Pat Doherty (now the MP for West Tyrone) and several others.

Adams and Finucane arrived together in the morning and left at lunchtime. Did Finucane introduce himself as a member of the IRA? No. Did anyone present describe him as such? No. It was, however, exclusively an IRA meeting and quite clearly, without doubt, understood to be so by all present. That is the evidence of my own eyes and ears and I stand by it today as I did yesterday and as I will tomorrow.

Of course Finucane should not have been murdered, and if it is proved that anyone played a role in that murder they should pay the price. But he was not the blameless, innocent “human rights” lawyer beloved of nationalist Ireland and the quasi-liberal chattering classes in the United Kingdom

He came to visit me several times in Crumlin Road prison in Belfast, where he spent much of his working life acting as a trusted conduit between the IRA prisoners and the leadership on the outside. Finucane wanted to represent me, but expressed no interest in my legal position. All he wanted to know was what I had told the police, and there is no doubt in my mind as an individual that he was acting as an IRA member and exploiting his own legal position for the benefit of that organisation.

When an IRA member was arrested, the first person to gain access to him was usually a solicitor. The organisation on the outside was often desperate to discover if the prisoner had made any statements incriminating himself or others, had provided information on arms dumps or future IRA operations or even had been turned by the security forces.

This was where an individual solicitor such as Finucane was invaluable to the organisation. He was different to many other lawyers who held strong political views. The renowned Belfast solicitor Paddy McCrory was undoubtedly a staunch republican, but he was a constitutionalist who demanded the highest standards from the state and never believed that the law was a weapon to be exploited by a terrorist organisation.

Pat Finucane was first and foremost an IRA volunteer, and he exploited his position ruthlessly to wage his war on the state. In Crumlin Road, I once explained to him that I had admitted the attempted murder of a UVF member from Portadown and went into some detail. When I finished he looked at me with contempt on his face: “And after all that, you missed him.” Hardly what you would expect to hear from a peace-loving man who believed in the primacy of law. The last occasion I met him was in Crumlin Road about 27 hours before he was murdered: I was, in fact, the last prisoner he spoke to.

Pat Finucane was an effective agent for the IRA. Who knows what “punishments” were exacted by the IRA as a result of his activities? Finucane did end up being murdered, but not because being a member of the IRA was immediately punishable by murder or execution – unlike being a member of the RUC , the Army, the judiciary, a civilian worker at a security force base or an agent for the state.

Strange old “troubles”; a very strange “dirty war”. To anybody who has involved himself in Northern Ireland, none of this should come as any surprise. How Pat Finucane would laugh at his continuing effectiveness.”

The allegations made by O’Callaghan are not compatible with the republican eulogising of Mr Finucane. It seems logical to assume someone is lying. I wonder will we ever know who? Was Finucane in the IRA as O’Callaghan alleges? His family say he was not although there is no doubt that other family members WERE in the IRA.  So the more we look into this story, the more obtuse it gets.

50 Responses to “PAT FINUCANE…AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW”

  1. Hmmmmm. Taking the words of a double murderer as gospel David?

    Is he not one of those terrorists that you keep banging on about?

  2. There is no doubt that other family members WERE in the IRA

    Guilt by association? I wonder when your erstwhile boss Jolly Jimbo Allister will be expelling TUV councillor Jack McKee for his brother being in the UVF?

  3. Even if it is established that Finucane was a card carrying IRA member his murder was murder.

  4. Interesting debate on the issue over at Slugger

    ‘Finucane allegations – put up or shut up’

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2012/12/15/finucane-allegations-put-up-or-shut-up/

  5. Interesting post David.

    But the state collusion in the murder, which has finally been admitted, was worthy of Putin.

  6. Peter

    Agreed.

  7. this has all come about because ruth dudley posted in telegraph blogs and after a few hundred comments, with a lot of abuse thrown in the comments were closed and continued on her face book page. Edwards and O’Callaghan are associates of some sort.

    “Actually I laughed too. Parts of the story about Sean O’Callaghan and the burglars are amusing. I didn’t see the funny side when Sean rang me in Tuscany last September to report that two men he’d brought home for a drink had threatened him with a kitchen knife”

    http://www.ruthdudleyedwards.co.uk/journalism06/IrInd06_28.html

    So this is nothing but smear on a mans good name by O’Callaghan..a very uncredible source in my view.

    Everyone knows when the real story of this murder comes out britains dirty war secrets wil be exposed.

  8. His murders are sinners but he was no saint.

  9. Aileen, on December 15th, 2012 at 7:20 PM Said:
    His murders are sinners but he was no saint.

    Aileen care to expand on this?

  10. Isn’t it amusing that we supposed to take the word of some Provos such as McGuinness and Kelly as sacred text whereas when it is other Provos such as O’Callaghan then the mock horror expressed on this thread by some contrasts. I guess some Provos are more equal than others.

    Subby…Thank goodness Pat did not follow the deplorable example of his IRA brothers.

  11. O’Callaghan must be a liar sure everybody knows Gerry Adams was never in the IRA .

  12. Gerry Adams being a liar doesn’t mean O’Callaghan is a truth teller. The de Silva review is quite clear, the man was shot down in cold blood while eating dinner with his family by the british state proxies in the UDA.

    Please provide any back up you have other than O’Callaghan that says Mr Finnucane was a memeber of the IRA? Or that he was involved in it. Theres none, only O’Callaghans word, where as other ‘provos’ on certain matters can be backed up and verified on independent evidence. …

  13. Sub

    I would have thought that the point was complete as it stands.

    David. SoC did try and make up for the damage he had caused, (although of course he can’t bring back the dead). So I would say some are “more equal than others”, especially others who never turned away from their murdering.

  14. Turk

    Yup….Adams was never IRA godfather and McGuinness never did anything bad when he WAS in IRA.

    Aileen

    Good point. SoC demonised whilst the vile scum that never felt an ounce of regret are lionised by some.

  15. Given how many people were never members of the IRA it makes you wonder whether they really existed.

  16. It’s a very interesting piece.

    The Finucane propaganda has always hinged on him being “a civil rights lawyer”. This was always drivel and whether or not Finucane was a card-carrying member of the IRA is irrelevent: he was a tool of the IRA, always at the service of the IRA.

    The reality, therefore, is that he willingly promoted, defended and served evil. Yes, his murder was wrong, but no-one beyond his family ought to be duped into mawkish hand-wringing.

  17. Now Pete

    The IRA choose him to provide legal services despite his total revulsion of its murder!

  18. Oops “at”

  19. //he was a tool of the IRA, //

    He was used by the IRA the same way as every defendant uses his defence counsel.

    //, his murder was wrong//

    When PC Plod looks in your window, it’s state fascism, but when cops help murder someone it’s “wrong”.

  20. Ross

    They didn’t. It was all a bad dream. Mind you, when I visit my family graveyard, I see headstones to those murdered by these illusions. Thank goodness Adams, Finucane and other prominent republicans never joined the imaginary Provos.

  21. Aileen, on December 15th, 2012 at 8:14 PM Said:
    Sub
    I would have thought that the point was complete as it stands.

    Im afraid it dosent. At least have the courage to say what you are thinking.

  22. To convince yourself that Finucane was in the IRA you believe the word of an IRA man who with his own hands killed a policeman and an off-duty UDR woman and who has been described as being “entirely untrustworthy” by a judge in a trial where he appeared as witness.
    over the word of both the RUC and the Stevens Report.
    Very wishful thinking indeed.

    Basically O’Callaghan has said he wants to do everything possible to damage the Republican movemnet, when it began to emerge that British agents were partly responsible for Finucane’s death he dutifully turned up with attempts to blacken his name.

  23. Sub

    I am thinking that he wasn’t a saint but his murderers are sinners.

    And I said it!

    Also why the hell should anyone have to say what they are thinking. If you say all you are thinking, courageous is not the word tha best covers it.

  24. Isn’t it amusing that we supposed to take the word of some Provos such as McGuinness and Kelly as sacred text whereas when it is other Provos such as O’Callaghan then the mock horror expressed on this thread by some contrasts. I guess some Provos are more equal than others.
    Subby…Thank goodness Pat did not follow the deplorable example of his IRA brothers.

    What is amusing is your and other Unionists willingness to believe a murdering terrorists word over those of senior RUC officers and Stevens who have all stated that Finucane was not in the IRA.

  25. Sub
    I am thinking that he wasn’t a saint but his murderers are sinners.

    Please explain why you think this?

  26. Actually going further, it is nobody’s bloody business what I am thinking up until the moment I choose to say or write it!

  27. Sub
    SoC is an EX murdering terrorist – big difference.

  28. Sub

    As Pete has said he was a willing tool of the IRA.

  29. S62 –

    There’s being in the IRA, and there’s being in the IRA.

    Finucane did his job for the IRA, he defended it, he promoted it, he was a willing tool and accomplice of evil. Whether or not he had the membership card is irrelevant.

  30. Aileen, on December 15th, 2012 at 10:33 PM Said:
    Sub
    As Pete has said he was a willing tool of the IRA.

    In what way was he a willing tool?

  31. //Finucane did his job for the IRA, he defended it, he promoted it,//

    When or how did he promoted it?

    As for doing his job for the IRA, he certainly did his job for some IRA members. He defended them in court and that was his job.

  32. Sub

    He willingly, knowingly defended IRA terrorists – tried to keep them out of jail and free to murder another day.

  33. Finucane was a liar and a deceiver in the service of evil. He had a choice and he chose evil.

  34. I’m not exactly favourable to the murdering scum known as the IRA but surely even they should have a defending lawyer when being tried for what they are accused of? The fact that Finucane supported the aims of the IRA and even its methods doesn’t mean that he should forfeit his life for doing so. Besides, the IRA was so heavily infiltrated that several ‘missions’ are reported (I’ll attempt to dig up the links) as having been conducted by units composed entirely of British agents.

  35. //Finucane was a liar and a deceiver in the service of evil. He had a choice and he chose evil.//

    I take that as an admission that you only made that bit up about him promoting the IRA because it suits your narrative.

  36. Aileen, on December 15th, 2012 at 10:54 PM Said:
    Sub
    He willingly, knowingly defended IRA terrorists – tried to keep them out of jail and free to murder another day.

    Are you serious?. Do you believe that IRA suspects should not have legal representation?.

  37. //He willingly, knowingly defended IRA terrorists – tried to keep them out of jail and free to murder another day.//

    Of course he bloody well did. That’s what defence lawyers are supposed to do.

    What the British hated about PF was that he did his job so well.

  38. Sub

    FGS we are talking about PF not being a saint, not what a defendant is entitled to.

    Was he not willing? Did the IRA choose him despite his deep revulsion at its murder?

  39. Sub
    FGS we are talking about PF not being a saint, not what a defendant is entitled to.
    Was he not willing? Did the IRA choose him despite his deep revulsion at its murder?

    Oh course he was willing that was his job for god sake. I take it you have the same opinion of any lawyer who represented terrorist suspects.?

  40. and that being his job – willingly is what made him not a saint. How does something being someone’s job confer sainthood?

    As to your question YES and the same of anyone that knowingly defends a rapist etc, unless to get them to plead guilty and unless they were appointed by the court and had little say in it.

    That anyone chooses to try and get murderers off is not a saint – to put it mildly.

  41. //. I take it you have the same opinion of any lawyer who represented terrorist suspect//

    Indeed every defence lawyer.
    Are they not willing? Does the defendant choose them despite their deep revulsion for his crime?

  42. Aileen, on December 15th, 2012 at 11:28 PM Said:
    and that being his job – willingly is what made him not a saint. How does something being someone’s job confer sainthood?
    As to your question YES and the same of anyone that knowingly defends a rapist etc, unless to get them to plead guilty and unless they were appointed by the court and had little say in it.
    That anyone chooses to try and get murderers off is not a saint – to put it mildly.

    Im absolutely dumbfounded at that statement.

  43. Sub

    Astounding indeed to think that not everyone things someone happy to try and keep murderers, terrorists etc free to carry on is a saint.

  44. Finucane wasn’t a defence lawyer. He was an IRA tool and propagandist.

  45. Sub

    Just to clarify, I took “terrorist suspects” as suspects who are terrorists as opposed to people suspected of being terrorists.

  46. After claiming he promoted the IRA you were challenged for evidence, and could only return with an equally unsubstantiated claim that he was a propagandist for the IRA.

    Very poor.

    //someone happy to try and keep murderers, terrorists etc free to carry on is a saint.//

    Aileen, nobody said he was a “saint”. He was a defence lawyer and his job is to hold the state to the burden of proof.

    You also seem to be assuming that his clients were guilty of murder and/or terrorism.
    Have you any reason to believe they were?

  47. Can anybody help me out?was PF in the IRA or not?

  48. I find the Media disinterest in the real facts of Mr Pat Finucane amazing. Sean O’Callaghan was attested publicly by the Irish Government as one of their most reliable agents. Hence is testimony cannot be as easily rejected as some here try to do.

    Lord Maginnis and Sir John Hermon, who both had access to intelligence information at the time, attested publicly that Finucane was a PIRA activist. Lord Maginnis repeated his allegations again this last week. This coupled with the fact that 3 of Pat Finucane’s brothers were convicted PIRA members means that Ruth Dudley Edwards arguments cannot be so easily dismissed as fiction or mere speculation.

    The irony in all of this is that DaSilva found less evidence of collusion and every nationalist and media representative was happy to trumpet this “fact” from the housetops. But when 3 significant and accredited intelligence experts actually put their names publicly to statements that they are convinced that Finucane was a PIRA member then this should be taken seriously.

    The other point that has been so overlooked in this smokescreen is why is SF making such political capital on the back of the death of a supposedly innocent human rights lawyer. They have never been concerned about actually justifying the murder of lawyers like Edgar Graham and attempted murder of lawyers like Nigel Dodds. The suspicion must be that Finucane’s death was something that hit the SF/IRA axis in a particular tender point. The question that Adam’s et al must be asked is where? There were many lawyers who represented arrested suspects in the troubles. No one targetted or murdered them. So why was Finucane picked out? If the loyalist paramilitaries had wanted to merely wage a war on solicitors acting for arrested republicans, they would not have far to go to spot their legal office signs in every town and village of Ulster. Yet they didn’t – why?

  49. Martin, on December 16th, 2012 at 12:21 AM Said:
    Can anybody help me out?was PF in the IRA or not?

    One disgruntled ex-employee says yes, every one else says no, so of course unionists use it as an excuse for murdering him

  50. He willingly, knowingly defended IRA terrorists – tried to keep them out of jail and free to murder another day

    David’s former boss Jim Allister defended LVF man Clifford McKeown when he randomly murdered innocent Catholic taxi driver Michael McGoldrick in a sectarian ‘birthday present’ for Billy Wright in 1996.

    Does this make JJ an LVF accomplice / sympathiser / useful tool / card – carrying member etc?

    P. Samuels makes a relevant point above, Pat Finucane was not the first lawyer to be murdered. Edgar Graham was murdered by the IRA in 1983. Interestingly Graham was killed three years after his colleague at Queen’s University, Dr Miriam Daly, was murdered. There are claims that the killers of Daly were acting on information supplied by staff inside Queens’

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