Is John Finucane a SF/IRA dupe?

It’ s hard to imagine [almost] the horror that John Finucane witnessed, although  he was not by any means an isolated case.

I knew, worked with and liked his father, who was a contemporary.

Since then, John has qualified and practised as a solicitor, seemingly uninterested in politics, till now.

It would be difficult for an impartial observer to conclude otherwise than he is anti-British.

He and I have a common interest . As his mother put it, who sent the gunmen? I want to know who sent the bomb team that murdered my parents. Our common suspicion is that the State was involved.

Here, the stories diverge.

The other night, John shared a platform with two IRA volunteers, Kelly and Na Chullin. Worse, he was photographed beside Sean Maguire, who was part of the operation that killed my parents. Maguire was a prominent member of PIRA in 1990 and also an informer for the State. He was with Scap when they visited the house where Sandy Lynch was held. Maguire may be managing his publicity, I don’t know. Maguire, who ‘qualified’ as a journalist after his release from prison, benefitted from the general amnesty for touts, agreed some years ago by the Army Council and now lives in the Oldpark area of Belfast.

What sort of world is John currently inhabiting? Does he really believe his own publicity about equality and  justice for all? Why does he share a platform with terrorists ? Was not his candidature agreed by the Army Council?

Is it the same old Finucane deal, Uncles John , Dermot and Seamus?

The fascinating thing that the Finucanes have in common with the Adams Family is that one  outstanding family member , Pat Finucane  and Gerry Adams never joined the IRA.

I wonder what the moderate Roman  Catholics of North Belfast think?

And for whom will they vote?

And why is John Finucane, Human Rights lawyer, sharing a platform with terrorists?

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There are no bad soldiers only bad officers

Kier Starmer made a number of criticisms of the PPS. Any prosecuting barrister could have told him of the failings if he had cared to ask. The service provided to victims has always been wanting. Frequently the defence is represented by senior and junior counsel attended by a solicitor and frequently the prosecution is in the hands of junior counsel or employed counsel attended by an unqualified clerk.

Worse still is the enormous pressure place on these clerks, who are left to be the conduit between victims, the witnesses, the court, the police, the directing officer and counsel. None of the PPS high command, mentioned by Starmer, has ever had a career prosecuting  in the Crown Court and they are rarely seen there.

The problems suffered by the three complainants are not new. The victim is less well looked after than the accused. For example in Craigavon, the PPS has no dedicated , private, room in which to consult with victims. It was taken off them without a fight.

Of course like all organisations, found out at last , the promise is for new organisational structures. I’m surprised that nobody said “we have learned lessons”.

All the reorganisation in the world will be of no avail until there is a culture change at the heart of the PPS. Less obsession with ‘stats’ and more interest in the court process would be a start. The Irish Times  today says  that the two counsel involved have reported themselves to the Bar Council. Let’s see what happens to the civil servants, responsible for delivering the service.

Meanwhile Napoleon’s dictum is as relevant as ever.

Willie awakes

It’s good to see that the Reverend Doctor William McCrea has taken time out from pastoring and singing to front a statement about victims. He says that the DUP will seek a definition of a victim which excludes terrorist perpetrators.

Most often seen as a nodding head behind his more capable colleagues at Westminster, the reclusive MP for South Antrim [he has twice failed to answer queries from me] describes the current law as “immoral”.

This will be of huge comfort to the victims of Libyan Semtex who, after twenty five years, have yet to see any compensation and much action from the DUP.

Of the one hundred “demands” as the Irish Times described them today, only one relates to victims and this is it.

Victims and their survivors might ponder that in the voting booth.

Young barristers

The Irish Times reports today that sixty percent of the law library’s members have been in practice less than ten years.

“Many of them have part time jobs as teachers , waiters-even security guards- just to make ends meet”.

Frowned on in Belfast?

Positive approach by David Barniville in Dublin. But then again, his country is well ahead of us where women lawyers are concerned.