In May, 2017, Sinn Féin announced that it was nominating John Finucane as its candidate in the Belfast North constituency Westminster election taking on Nigel Dodds of the DUP.
John’s candidacy was billed as the first “generational change in Sinn Féin” – apparently meaning – in layperson’s terms – out with the old jailbird murderers, bombers, terrorists and recipients of OTR letters, etc., who’ve infested Sinn Féin – and in with new believers who have neither shed the blood of innocents nor violated the Civil and Human Rights of the IRA’s many thousands of victims.
Unfortunately for a claim of ‘generational change’, John’s election agent was IRA leader and jailbird bomber Gerry Kelly – London bomber, violent Maze escaper and Amsterdam arrestee – whoops! – assisted by IRA jailbird and would-be Crumlin RUC station booby-trap bomber Caroline Cullen – who has attempted to change her name to an Irish version – Caral ni Chuilin – hopefully not intending to accidentally obfuscate her terrorist past.
John canvassed with IRA supremo and celebrated liar Gerry Adams – “Brownie” – and expressed pleasure on social media at having the support of Adams, whom many believe is the ultimate Godfather of IRA Mass Murder and Human Rights’ violations.
John’s decision to stand for Sinn Féin – the unapologetic political wing of the IRA – was a shock to many since Sinn Féin has resolutely supported the IRA throughout its three-plus decades of ‘armed struggle’ and its consequent thousands of Civil and Human Rights’ violations, and since many leading IRA terrorist murderers and bombers have not only shimmied sideways into Sinn Féin but have also been elected on the Sinn Féin ticket.
Since I was inducted into the IRA at the age of 15 in 1970, there is no record of a Sinn Féin electoral candidate ever having criticised the IRA’s ‘armed struggle’, murders or bombings since the Provisional IRA was formed 50 years ago.
Victims’ campaigner, Raymond McCord, whose son was murdered by the UVF over twenty years ago, expressed his surprise at John’s decision to stand for Sinn Féin.
“It came as a major surprise. I know the Finucane family well. I know John personally. I’ve attended – and spoken at – several events over the years supporting the Finucane family in their quest for justice. I fully supported the Finucane family in seeking justice for Pat.
What really got to me was John saying that he took his inspiration from Martin McGuinness. But John’s talking about a man who was the leader of a terrorist organisation.
If the current MP, Nigel Dodds, came out and said that he took his inspiration from Lenny Murphy, or Johnny Adair or some loyalist terrorist, I would be absolutely disgusted, and would speak out the same way I’m doing now.
I deal with victims. I helped as best I could with Loughinisland, Ballymurphy, Bloody Sunday, and McGurk’s Bar.
My question is: is John Finucane going to support the Catholic victims of the IRA? Is he going to criticise what happened to [human bomb victim] Patsy Gillespie in Derry, what happened to Briege Quinn’s son [Paul] down on the border? Is he going to call for an inquiry into what happened to them?
If, a few months ago, someone had told me that John Finucane was going to run for Sinn Féin, I would have laughed at the idea.”
How, the question went, could a self-proclaimed ‘Human Rights’ lawyer’ solicitor choose to be associated with a large gang of unrepentant actual terrorists and terrorist cheerleaders who violated so horrifically the Human Rights of so many victims, particularly since John was campaigning on the basis of the terrorist murder of his own father whose Human Right to life itself was violated?
Does John perceive a difference between Loyalist violations of the Human Right to life and IRA violations of the Human Right to life?
Peter Sefton, whose father and mother were murdered by an IRA under-car bomb on June 6, 1990, [his father had been retired from the RUC for three years and his mother had never been a member of the RUC] expressed his shock on his blog at John Finucane’s standing for Sinn Féin:
“The other night, John shared a platform with two IRA volunteers, [Gerry] Kelly and Caral Ní Chuilin [Caroline Cullen]. 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?”
Author and journalist, Ed Moloney, publisher of The Broken Elbow blog, highlighted Peter Sefton’s post and added his own comment under the heading ‘Is John Finucane a SF/IRA dupe?‘:
“Peter Sefton asks a question I guess a lot of people asked themselves when they heard that John Finucane was standing for the Shinners in the upcoming UK general election. My own reaction was one of dismay born out of a belief that John has damaged the campaign for the truth about his father’s death. The ‘told you so/he got what he deserved’ brigade will be delighted and so will the UDA on the Shankill…..”
In the end, John lost the Westminster election by 2,000 votes.
On April 3, 2018, John Finucane went a step further than standing as a Sinn Féin candidate – he was chosen to “give the oration” at the Easter IRA Commemoration in Ardoyne, a commemoration that traditionally remembers both the IRA that fought the Easter Rising of 1916 (and the War of Independence from 1918 to 1921) and the more modern Provisional IRA.
An essential aspect of these Provisional IRA/SF commemorations since 1970 has been to convince the populace of the claimed absolute continuity between the ‘Old IRA’ and the more recent Provisional IRA and its campaign of Human Rights’ horrors.
Walking beside IRA volunteer Caroline Cullen, John prominently sported directly over his heart that eternal symbol of the Provisional IRA – the Easter Lily (pinhead version) that has been used to distinguish the Provisional IRA from the Official IRA (sticky version Easter Lily) since 1970.
Wow Johnboy! Hardcore Easter Lily!
Millionaire John’s speech – which was carefully-phrased and published online by Sinn Féin here – was a bizarre mashup of diverse statements where John’s outreach to Unionists included: [John’s Ardoyne speech has recently been deleted by Sinn Féin from its web servers – the full speech may be read at the end of this post.]
“comrades… we also send a message loud, clear and unambiguous to our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar… A generation of Gaels, of socialists, feminists and nationalists… The orange state is gone, and will never return. The perpetual unionist majority in the north has ended, and ended for good. This did not just happen, for this was a direct result of the sacrifice, resilience, leadership and activism of republicans everywhere, and embodied by this very community I am proud to stand with today… Building on the work of Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and others… Go raibh mile [sic] and up the rebels!”
If that’s John’s version of ‘outreach’ I’d hate to see his version of ‘hostility’!
[Hang on a minute – “our Taoiseach”? Different state, Johnboy?]
The “up the rebels” exclamation is a longstanding reference to the IRA.
In order to keep John’s infinite political ambitions titillated, Sinn Féin announced in July 2018 that John was a “strong contender” for the Irish presidential election.
John did not demur when he was billed as the “likely Irish presidential candidate” in a Russian Television ‘Going Underground’ interview.
[Hang on a wee minute – this guy is a blow-in to politics – has done none of Declan Kearney’s or Pearse Doherty’s years of heavy lifting and he wants to be President of the Republic of Ireland just like that? That must have gone down well in Southern Sinn Féin ranks…]
John lost out on that too when Sinn Féin instead chose – I’d imagine after blood-on-the-floor “discussions” by time-served candidates – Liadh Ní Riada, MEP, who turned out to be another loser.
Unwilling to let millionaire solicitor John fester, Sinn Féin quickly nominated him to stand for Belfast City Council in the Castle district where he was elected on May 4, 2019 on the first count with 1,650 votes, coming in second behind former Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister of the Alliance Party.
Barely had greenhorn councillor Finucane learned any ropes when only a fortnight later on May 21 Sinn Féin shoehorned him into the Mayoralty of Belfast – “a meteoric rise” according to ITV – to keep his zombie political corpse warmed for – obviously – another general election.
John claimed – the usual Sinn Féin platitudes on these occasions – that he would ‘serve all the people’ and engage in ‘outreach to Unionists’.
John Finucane and IRA Veterans
John publishes pictures of himself in the company of leading IRA gunmen and bombers – completely without any qualificatory statements that he abhors their murders or bombings – and yet he must be aware that this close association with unrepentant and boastful terrorists might give rise to a belief in others that he actually supports the IRA.
On his first Mayoral day, he published a picture of himself along with IRA England bomber Martina Anderson, who has never condemned the IRA’s slew of Human Rights’ violations nor even her own IRA Human Rights’ violations.
As Raymond McCord noted, John claims the inspiration of Derry’s Grim Reaper and Mass Murderer Martin “Tout-killer” McGuinness – a surefire Unionist-Conversion Therapy success right there, Johnboy…
Has John achieved a single iota of “generational change” in Sinn Féin and can he really win the hearts and minds of Unionists or even of Nationalists who abhor the IRA’s legacy?
How much has John’s inability to specifically condemn the IRA’s violence and Human Rights’ atrocities – according to The Belfast Telegraph and The Irish Times – damaged his future prospects?
John Finucane background
John Finucane is a Belfast solicitor. He describes himself as a ‘solicitor’ on his company documents and declares his place of residence as ‘Northern Ireland’ – good man, Johnboy – there are many in the Sinn Féin movement who do not have the respect to utter the name of the state in which they live as they stuff their pockets with the Queen’s Sterling.
John is often described, a little fancifully and pompously in my view, as a ‘human rights’ lawyer’, a title which has been so disfigured by sectarian misuse in Northern Ireland in recent times as to have become contentious.
As the republican Director of the “Pat Finucane Centre” Paul O’Connor told the Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs on Feb 21, 2005:
“We think it would be wrong for us to seek to portray ourselves as cross-community in the sense that anybody would feel free to approach us. Clearly we are a group that works with the victims of state and Loyalist violence.”
The Pat Finucane Centre chooses not to investigate the Provisional IRA’s many thousands of Human Rights’ violations over a 30-year period, including its appalling record on the abduction, torture, murder and disappearance of civilians.
Indeed, you could say that – like Sinn Féin – it never mentions ANY of the IRA’s Human Rights’ violations.
John studied for a law degree at Dundee University in Scotland and avoided the exigencies of an Honours’ Degree in Law by aiming instead at the somewhat less taxing Bachelor of Law, minus any honours.
He graduated in 2002.
Two of John’s classmates, Graham Cowan and Grant Johnson, graduated this lower class with a Distinction, but John did not.
John qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and in April 2014 he and Ciaran Toner incorporated ‘Finucane Toner Ltd’ – a firm of solicitors that quickly began to earn many pretty pennies through the Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland legal aid fund of the Queen’s Sterling.
In the year 2013, Finucane Toner Solicitors earned £390,706.86 in legal aid fees alone and were at No.41 on the Top 100 list of high earners.
For the year 2013/2014, Finucane Toner Solicitors rose to No.30 on the Top 100 list and earned £533,244.94 from legal aid payments.
In the financial year 2014/2015, Finucane Toner Solicitors earned £721,346.26 from legal aid – quite apart from private earnings – and jumped to No.15 on the Top 100 earners’ list.
God Bless generous Northern Ireland!
It’s the Queen’s Sterling all the way for John and Ciaran!!
Let’s be honest, all the publicity that John Finucane garners can’t hurt the business.
Figures for more recent years have not yet been published, but judging by previous payments, John will soon be – if he is not already – another Northern Ireland solicitor mi££ionaire – bringing just the right sort of values to Sinn Féin, formerly the revolutionary socialist party beloved of Bobby Sands.
John describes himself – during press and television interviews – as “well known” for one reason and one reason only – his father was murdered at home in front of his family.
Let me be clear, the murder of anyone for “political reasons” was and is ALWAYS wrong in my view, whether at home or anywhere else. Pat Finucane’s murder was wrong.
Let me be even clearer – I do not share the Republic of Ireland Supreme Court decisions that have labelled murders and bombings by the IRA in Northern Ireland and England as “political” rather than “criminal”.
Extra-judicial killings and all bombings are ALWAYS wrong in my view, regardless of who practises them.
John’s father – Pat Finucane – had three brothers – John, Seamus and Dermot – who were prominent IRA volunteers totally committed to the IRA’s campaign of violence and to its belief that it had the authority and power to extinguish the Civil Rights and Human Rights of all of its many victims.
Let’s look briefly at these three IRA volunteer Human Rights’ violators.
John Finucane, IRA Human Rights’ Violator
Pat Finucane’s brother John was arrested and interned on 29 February 1972.
He was released four months later on June 6 and was “killed in action” three weeks later on June 28 when a hijacked car crashed into a lamppost in the Beechmount area of the Falls Road.
He and the other dead occupant of the car, Anthony Jordan, were claimed by the Provisional IRA in death notices in The Irish News newspaper in Belfast.
Anthony Jordan was declared to be a ‘Lieutenant’ and John Finucane was declared to be a ‘Section Leader’ in ‘F’ Company of the 1st Battalion of the Belfast Brigade of the Provisional IRA.
[Ironically, John’s IRA activities and the IRA’s publication of his membership and Section Leader status retrospectively affirmed the accuracy of the RUC’s prior intel that caused John to be arrested and interned four months earlier.]
Seamus Finucane, IRA Human Rights’ Violator
Pat Finucane’s brother Seamus was arrested and detained on September 18, 1973 at the age of 16. He was released on June 17, 1975.
Within 16 months in October of 1976, Seamus was arrested following a bomb attack on a Balmoral furniture factory after which shots were fired at the RUC.
Leaving behind two wounded comrades (Seamus Martin and Gabriel Corbett), four IRA volunteers tried to escape in a car, but were captured – Seamus Finucane, Bobby Sands, Joe McDonnell and Sean Lavery.
It is interesting that these well-known IRA volunteers – captured in action with weapons in the car from which shots had been fired at police – were not killed by the arresting Royal Ulster Constabulary officers, but were instead brought before the courts.
The RUC seemed very inept at returning the IRA’s own “shoot to kill” policy for policemen and soldiers – with the result that prisons like Long Kesh, Magilligan and Maghaberry ended up containing thousands of captured IRA volunteers to be released later.
If the RUC and/or Ulster Defence Regiment and/or British Army had ever really practiced a “shoot to kill” policy directed at IRA volunteers – similar to the IRA’s own “shoot to kill” policy directed at police, soldiers and UDR members – the IRA’s activists would have been totally wiped out in a matter of weeks.
On September 6, 1977, Seamus was sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession of firearms with intent to endanger life.
Seamus was in the news again later when he attended the Gibraltar inquest in 1988 into the earlier shooting of 3 IRA would-be car bombers by SAS soldiers. Newspaper reports described him as the former boyfriend/fiancé of IRA volunteer Mairead Farrell who was one of those shot dead by SAS soldiers.
Seamus was in the news much later again when IRA sexual abuse victim Maria Cahill claimed that he was one of those who carried out the internal IRA “investigation” of her case when she claims she was forced to confront the alleged IRA man who allegedly raped her, Martin Morris.
Charges of IRA membership against Seamus and others were dropped after Maria refused to give evidence against them.
Seamus gets nostalgic now and then about the old jailbird nights of boyish fraternity dressed only in blankets:
Dermot Finucane, IRA Human Rights’ Violator
Pat Finucane’s brother Dermot was arrested on February 7, 1981, the day after a 36 year old police officer, Charles Lewis, was murdered coming out of a newsagents on Balmoral Avenue, Belfast. A second police officer was seriously wounded.
Dermot was charged with the murder of Charles Lewis and remanded in custody.
On May 22 Dermot was released after the DPP directed no prosecution ‘due to lack of corroborative evidence of identification’.
Dermot was arrested three months later on August 20, 1981, along with Bobby Storey after a British Army patrol came under fire from a car. Police noticed a car with three men mount a footpath, saw a rifle in the car and fired on it.
The men surrendered and police found a .223 AR15 semi-automatic weapon and a .223 M16 A1 semi-automatic weapon in the car.
Dermot was later sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for possession of weapons with intent to endanger life.
[It is apparent that – far from an alleged ‘shoot to kill’ policy – the RUC was capturing prominent IRA volunteers in possession of guns and bombs and turning them over to the courts, again and again, whereas when the IRA abducted police, military or civilian prisoners, they always executed them, extra-judicially, some of them after periods of torture. While IRA prisoners had human rights and lawyers, prisoners of the IRA got no such rights, lawyers or mercies.]
Dermot participated in the Maze Escape in September 1983 during which it was recorded that he stabbed a number of prison officers with a chisel.
Officer James Ferris lost his life shortly after being stabbed three times.
Dermot Finucane was arrested in Annagh, Longford, in the Republic of Ireland on November 23, 1987 and one of the warrants was for the murder of James Ferris.
After an autopsy had concluded that Officer Ferris’ heart attack some minutes after he was stabbed could not be said to have been directly caused by his three chest stab wounds, that warrant and murder charge were dropped.
Dermot fought a number of extradition hearings and eventually the Irish Supreme Court ruled that his offences were political, not criminal, and he should NOT be extradited back to Northern Ireland.
After almost 20 years on the run in the Republic of Ireland, Dermot was one of nearly two hundred IRA volunteers who were granted amnesties by Tony Blair’s Labour government and he was able to return to Northern Ireland a free man, without having to return to the Maze prison to serve any of his unserved sentence following his earlier escape.
These days Dermot looks like a well-fed, well-coiffed scarf-bedecked stockbroker.
In the book, “A Secret History of the IRA”, Ed Moloney wrote:
“Finucane, who had been Bobby Sands’ solicitor, was the principal defence lawyer for arrested IRA suspects in Belfast, and his family was steeped in republican activity. A brother John was killed on IRA active service in a car crash in 1972; another brother, Dermot, was on IRA GHQ staff, and a third brother, Seamus, was on the Belfast Brigade staff…” [p.577]
Pat Finucane’s Mother
Pat Finucane’s mother, Kathleen, published in An Phoblacht – the IRA newspaper – a number of memorials expressing pride in her dead son John, who “gave his life for Irish freedom” on behalf of the IRA.
I have known many mothers of IRA volunteers since the 1970s and they had largely four things in common:
- they were shocked and horrified that their son/daughter was involved with the IRA;
- they wanted their son/daughter to live;
- they wanted them to have a normal life;
- they wanted them, above all, never to take a human life under any circumstances.
Pat Finucane, IRA
IRA volunteer Sean O’Callaghan, during the period that he was prepared to leave Kerry and cross the border into Northern Ireland to participate in IRA murders – he took part in (and was later convicted of) the murder of the first woman member of the UDR, Eva Martin, in Clogher, County Tyrone, on May 2, 1974 –
and later participated in the murder of Catholic RUC Detective Inspector Peter Flanagan in Broderick’s bar, Omagh, on August 23, 1974 – while Sean was an active IRA volunteer willing to extinguish the Civil and Human Rights of his victims, he was held in high regard by the IRA and its political facade, Sinn Féin.
Sean’s claim that Pat Finucane attended a high-level IRA meeting in Letterkenny in 1980 along with Gerry Adams – where Pat Doherty and others were present – is credible.
It follows inexorably that each of those at the IRA meeting would have expected that everyone else present would have “sworn the oath” of allegiance to the IRA as the very least protection of secrecy and confidentiality.
With the very real threat of informers, agents and ‘supergrasses’, there is absolutely no way that participants in a high-level IRA meeting would have been willing to risk the presence of anyone who had not “sworn the oath” of allegiance, not even if that person was a solicitor.
It’s my opinion, as a former IRA volunteer who often attended meetings with IRA leader Martin McGuinness, that Pat Finucane could not have attended such meetings without being “sworn in” as a member of the IRA as a most basic matter of protection to the others present.
It’s my view that, along with his three brothers, Pat Finucane was a sworn member of the IRA.
John Finucane (Jnr)
John has referred many times to his father as having been an “officer of the court” as one of the many reasons why he should not have been murdered. He was a servant of The Law and was serving his clients in a professional manner.
I agree with John that his father should not have been murdered and I condemn his father’s murder.
I do NOT agree however that we should have a hierarchy of persons who should or should not to a greater or lesser degree be subject to murder – all citizens have a right not to be murdered, regardless of their social or legal status and regardless of who murdered them.
No murder of a citizen is more important than any other murder of a citizen.
I suppose that John should not really be bound by my personal expectation with respect to the absolute indivisibility of Human Rights – that he and others associated with the Pat Finucane campaign, or that he as an elected councillor or potential ‘new blood’ MP, or that he as a Mayor claiming outreach to Unionists (or to everyone) should in justice condemn – as I do – the murders of ALL “officers of the court” in Northern Ireland by name and specifically referring to the organisation that murdered most of them – the Provisional IRA – all apart from Pat Finucane (and Rosemary Nelson) that is.
John appeared to prevaricate when a Belfast Telegraph reporter, Victoria Leonard, put to him two entirely predictable questions: “Would you condemn the activities of the IRA?” and “But do you believe that the IRA’s campaign of violence was justified?” resulting in this car-crash interview:
Of course, for John to publicly name, shame and criticise the IRA would involve naming, shaming and criticising his deceased Uncle John (after whom, I assume, he was named) and his extant uncles Seamus and Dermot – the latter, according to Ed Moloney and many others – were not just IRA members, but IRA leaders…
And if his father was a member of the IRA – as I believe – it would mean naming, shaming and criticising his father too.
It might shame his grandmother too, Kathleen, who placed a proud memorial to her IRA son John in the IRA’s newspaper, An Phoblacht.
It raises a lot of red flags with me when a man who allows himself to be billed as a “Human Rights’ lawyer” fails to specifically and instantly condemn any terrorist group BY NAME, especially after his father was murdered by terrorists.
John’s refusal to get specific with regard to the IRA was taken up in The Irish Times by Gerry Moriarty who referenced Nigel Dodds’ willingness to condemn loyalist paramilitaries by name and Dodds’ ability to empathise with the Finucanes over the family’s loss.
Millionaire John offered a weak defence in The Irish Times – he declared he becomes “unhappy, however, with what he feels is a tendency in some quarters to “cherry pick” certain incidents or organisations while ignoring others.”
Well, John, that’s just it! You’ve cherrypicked Officer of the Court Pat Finucane’s murder while totally ignoring ALL of the other Officers of the Court murders!
How could you possibly ignore all of these murders of Officers of the Court or their families or of innocent bystanders, some murdered at home by the IRA in front of wives and children – some murdered by the IRA as they came out of Mass beside wives or children – some murdered by the IRA along with their wives or children??
You held the Annual Pat Finucane Lecture in St. Mary’s University College in February 10, 2019, without a single reference to the fact that Judge William Staunton was murdered outside that very college by the IRA in front of his young daughter, Sally-Ann – a murder supported by Sinn Féin.
You sat in the front row with IRA terrorist Godfather Gerry Adams without a single statement distancing yourself or your family’s campaign from Adams and his paramilitary organisations’ thousands of Human Rights’ violations.
A number of very prominent IRA leaders were present in the audience, recorded on Sinn Féin’s own YouTube video – it appeared that they were not in fear of hearing criticisms of their terrible Human Rights’ violations at this conference.
How could IRA terrorist Human Rights’ violators feel comfortable in a meeting criticising Human Rights’ violators?
You made no mention at the lecture that graduate of St. Mary’s University College, Mary Travers, was murdered coming out of Mass alongside her father Judge Tom Travers – Mary was murdered by the IRA, supported by Sinn Féin.
What an incredible series of omissions by a “Human Rights’ lawyer”!
You didn’t even think it appropriate to name-check these victims of IRA Human Rights’ abuses so associated with St. Mary’s University College before you began your talk in St. Mary’s???
What is the reason for your silence on these IRA murders committed against Officers of the Court and their families?
But then back in October 22, 2009 when you were speaking to the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on International Organisations, Human Rights and Oversight you said:
“Over many years, my family and I persisted in seeking all of the facts surrounding my father’s murder. This followed much investigation, lobbying, speaking out at every opportunity and no little personal risk. My mother was forced to move from her home for several months as a result of death threats from Loyalist paramilitaries. Others have been attacked just for being part of the Finucane family. Even so, we have persisted.”
Astonishingly, John, for a man who demands “all of the facts” of your father’s murder, you withheld the full facts and full truth from the Congress committee – namely that three of Pat Finucane’s brothers – three of your uncles – were highly active members of the paramilitary IRA carrying out attacks on other families’ members – was this not a pertinent fact that the committee should have heard?
Would this not have had some possible bearing on the reasons why there might have been death threats and/or attacks of a ‘revenge’ nature on the Finucane family, other than the severely limited information you offered – “just for being part of the Finucane family”?
How could you possibly omit such a salient fact from the Americans?
The Provisional IRA perpetrated the greatest number of the worst Human Rights’ atrocities across Northern Ireland and England, not forgetting parts of Europe – an unwanted campaign of mass murder, mass-casualty anti-civilian bombings, abductions, torture and extra-judicial murders of civilians, soldiers, police and prison officers, young children… allied to “disappearing” many of its victims, and it still “disappears” the body of a Catholic soldier, Captain Robert Nairac… an illegal and murderous campaign that John Hume and Catholic church leaders and many others said was immoral, unnecessary and unwanted – that nothing in Northern Ireland deserved the spilling of a single drop of blood…
What is it that is preventing you from condemning specifically the IRA’s unnecessary campaign of mass murder as all right-thinking people would do?
John Finucane and Optics
John and others walked into the recent St. Mary’s Annual Pat Finucane Lecture led by IRA terrorist leader – and one of the IRA’s Chief Human Rights’ violators for 30 years – Gerry Adams, where this same terrorist violator of Human Rights was given the podium to orate about the Pat Finucane case – is there something wrong with me that I regard this as an affront to my concept of Human Rights, that an unrepentant IRA leader and Human Rights’ violator is welcomed to orate about the murder of an Officer of the Court?
Gerry Adams, John Finucane , Seamus Finucane and Dermot Finucane were all active and willing members of the Belfast Brigade of the IRA – and of the IRA overall – which engaged in murders of Officers of the Court and also the civilians murdered during the same attacks.
I say that John Finucane is NOT bound by my personal desire that he or others in the Pat Finucane juggernaut should specifically condemn the IRA – and its supporting Sinn Féin political cheerleader wing – for the murders of these “officers of the court”, not even of the murders of their wives and children – such as Emily Gibson and Mary Travers…
But I do say that John Finucane should normally be bound by his own statements and claims in the media when he is seeking political office and votes from the general public.
When interviewed recently by that scion of Human Rights, Jude Collins, John offered the following:
“We had said from a very early stage in our campaign that this wasn’t a campaign – a movement – into the circumstances of one man, it was quite clear that the murder of Pat Finucane represented the murder of so many other people and as time went on we realised that that number just got greater and greater and greater, so we have never been a campaign that’s been focused on one individual person…”
If John Finucane is declaring that the Pat Finucane campaign is NOT about solely one man, then why is there no evidence of it having ever campaigned for – or having ever even mentioned – the other murdered “officers of the court” – those murdered by the IRA Human Rights’ violators? And their family members?
And the three members of the Hanna family wiped out when the IRA wrongly identified their car as being that of Justice Eoin Higgins and his wife and blew the car to bits?
I asked Ann Travers – whose sister Mary Travers [a graduate of St. Mary’s College] was murdered by the IRA as she came out of Mass along with her mother and father, and whose Judge father, Tom Travers, was shot 5 times by an IRA gunman beside his daughter, and whose wife only survived the IRA attack because a second IRA gunman’s gun twice jammed when pressed against her head – I asked Ann Travers if anyone from the Pat Finucane campaign had ever contacted her to offer any kind of support whatsoever to her in her campaign for justice for her murdered sister Mary and for her five-times-shot father Tom, an “officer of the court” – and she replied that nobody from that campaign has ever contacted her.
I asked Anne Graham – whose brother, Edgar, a barrister and Queens’ University law lecturer who was most brutally murdered in Queens’ University by an IRA gunman – if anyone from the Pat Finucane campaign had ever contacted her to offer any kind of support whatsoever to her in her campaign for justice for her brother Edgar who was shot twice in the back of the head, another “officer of the court” – and she replied that nobody from that campaign has ever contacted her.
It does not appear that John Finucane’s references to his murdered father as “an officer of the court” have won for the relatives of other murdered “officers of the court” – those murdered by IRA terrorists – any salute or mention or recognition or acknowledgement by John or others leading the Pat Finucane Campaign – but as I have said earlier, this is not a requirement, but merely a desire on my part.
It’s as if these other murdered “officers of the court” have never existed, or as if their murders do not ever deserve any mention or remembrance, especially not to groups in America.
Sinn Féin continues to commemorate, praise and glorify the IRA’s ranks of murderers and bombers as “our patriot dead” who [according to Sinn Féin] “gave their lives” for Ireland – Sinn Féin could describe their activities more accurately as “took a lot of innocent lives” in Ireland, England and parts of Europe, but dishonesty is the lifeblood of cults.
The glorification of terrorist murderers and raising two fingers to victims nowadays lurk beneath the ample cloak of “remembering our dead” – the latter has been declared to be a “right” while the former are the real ingredients of these commemorations as they have been since 1970.
John unhesitatingly refers on Twitter to IRA prisoners as having been “ex-pows” – Prisoners of War – not terrorist murderers of men, women and children and horrific Human Rights’ violators… thereby conferring a retrospective legitimacy on the IRA’s murders and bombings – and murderers and bombers – which the leadership of the SDLP, the Catholic church and Irish governments denied for 30 years.
John declares that he remembers “with pride” the would-be Gibraltar no-warning IRA bombers (who were shot dead by the SAS):
I think you have left no-one in any doubt, John, about your views concerning the IRA and its ‘armed struggle’.
You might watch this video a few times and consider your position:
How could you, John, possibly achieve “generational change” in Sinn Féin when you spend a great part of your time hanging out with tired and unrepentant old IRA jailbird gunmen and bombers and paying tribute to dead IRA volunteers?
You can’t seriously believe that you’re capable of “outreach to Unionists” when you keep company with unrepentant IRA terrorist Human Rights’ violators and fail to condemn the IRA’s horrific activities… and never ever mention the IRA’s atrocious Human Rights’ record.
The Interview That Never Was
I emailed Sinn Féin in Belfast on July 12 requesting an interview with John Finucane about how he reconciles his own championing of Human Rights with the IRA’s Human Rights’ record.
I never received a reply.
I forwarded my request to the Mayor of Belfast’s email account and received an initial response from Sharon.
In spite of sending another email to Sharon, the Mayor’s office has not responded to me.
I’m still interested in doing the interview, John.
Alternatively, you can have a full right of reply on this blog, uncensored, if you think that there are matters you can clarify.
John Finucane’s Ardoyne Easter IRA Commemoration Speech
It is a great honour for me to welcome you here today to Ardoyne as we gather to remember our patriot dead, the generations that gave their all, to build an Irish Republic.
An Irish Republic of equal citizens, sovereign and free.
We remember and we recommit to the cause of Irish freedom, the cause of equality and the cause of Irish unity.
This year, like all years, we have lost comrades to age and ill health. We grieve. The pain is real. The memories still vivid.
And I want to pay particular tribute to all those who have delivered this remembrance garden, ensured its upkeep and provided a peaceful and dignified space for us all to remember our dead.
We send our solidarity to the people of Palestine following the brutal murder of 17 protestors, and the injuring of hundreds more last Friday.
We are proud of the close ties between our two struggles, and we once again stand by the people of Palestine.
And we also send a message loud, clear and unambiguous to our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to use this moment to recognize the Palestinian state and expel the Israeli ambassador back to Israel, with the message that no more will Ireland tolerate such brutality and murder.
This year marks the centenary of the 1918 general election, the Sinn Fein election. An election in which the vast majority of citizens here turned their backs on Westminster and voted for Irish Republicans.
This was a changing Ireland led by a revolutionary generation. A generation of Gaels, of socialists, feminists and nationalists that found common cause in Irish sovereignty, equality and freedom, and the ending of the union once and for all.
A Changing Ireland
Ireland is again at a point of great change. The orange state is gone, and will never return. The perpetual unionist majority in the north has ended, and ended for good. This did not just happen, for this was a direct result of the sacrifice, resilience, leadership and activism of republicans everywhere, and embodied by this very community I am proud to stand with today.
A new Ireland is emerging, and requires to be shaped.
We are a changing party, a growing party. We have new leadership building on the legacy and work of all those who came before. Building on the work of Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and others.
A New and United Ireland
Republicans now, have an opportunity to end the union, to end partition and build a new and united Ireland.
A new and united Ireland, must be about more than adding the north to the south. It is not a 32 county free state. It is a new republic. The republic of Tone and Connolly, Markievicz and Farrell, Sands and McGuinness.
The challenge for us, for this generation of republicans is how we shape that change, how we build a new and united Ireland.
An Ireland of prosperity and opportunity. An Ireland of equal rights in which everyone has a place. An Ireland that provides jobs, homes and health care for its citizens.
An Ireland that promises security of a roof over your head and fair pay for a fair day’s work.
An Ireland of reconciliation and peace.
And we repeat our calls that there can be no credible peace without justice. We stand with the families from this community and beyond who continue to campaign for truth and for justice for their loved ones killed as a result of the conflict here.
It is unacceptable that families have been forced to wait decades for an inquest, or to be used as a cruel political pawn by a British government determined to bury the truth.
But make no mistake, they will not succeed. The rights we fight for are rights for everyone, and we reaffirm our commitment to the many families in their continued fight for justice.
Delivering Irish Unity is the key to building a new Ireland.
There are those on the side of the status quo who will try and frustrate change, to demonise republicans.
They cannot and will not succeed, be they unionists, Tories in Westminster or the elites in Dublin.
The message of Martin McGuinness remains as true today as when he said it – THERE WILL BE NO RETURN TO THE STATUS QUO.
There simply can’t be.
We want to see the institutions up and running, but unless they deliver for everyone here then we will continue to stand strong and fight for equality and fight for rights of everyone – be they our LGBT community, Gaelgori, or families fighting for truth.
These challenges are great, but then so are we. I don’t need to tell this community about perseverance and fighting for what’s right, and we need that spirit and that activism now as much as ever.
It’s often quoted, but rightfully so, when Bobby Sands called on us all to play our part, republican or otherwise. No part is too great, and no part is too small. No one is too young, and no one is too old.
So I call on everyone today to continue to give us your help and support.
Don’t want for change, get out there and demand it, create it and shape the society we all want to live in.
Let us use Easter to commit ourselves to building a new and united Ireland.
An Ireland for all our people, and to finally cherish all of our children equally.
Go raibh mile and up the rebels!
3 April 2018
You are certainly getting to the point Shane.
I just wish all Catholics thought like like you,this place!would be a better place to live.