The memorial bench in Trinity College Dublin is empty
It’s awaiting Ireland’s next legal champion
Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane was murdered in his own home
There was a deliberate decision to kill him, so as to
silence other lawyers and
prevent them from doing the type of work
he and his friends engaged in.
He looked at Human Rights Law, which was, in a way, bigger than the state itself,
and he understood that if you didn’t have a remedy in UK law, you could go to the European Court of Human Rights.
Pat Finucane was one of the first of a generation of lawyers to take cases to Strasbourg.
Peter Madden gave him the credit for
“revolutionising” the detention system by taking habeas corpus actions in the courts
and forcing the police to produce prisoners in court who had been beaten up.
Mr Finucane wasn’t the only lawyer targeted that weekend.
Indeed the ferocity of his murder (shot 12 times in the face, at the family dinner table)
may have been due to uncontrollable rage and frustration
because attempts to kill two others along with him had been thwarted.
Back in the day, Ben Madigan was told a story
Make of it what you will – it’s old news now.
It was even reported in the press nearly 20 years ago
All three lawyers were North Belfast men.
All lived fairly close to each other in the shadow of Ben Madigan.
They were 3 links in a chain,
One having studied under the other, who then helped the third.
All three worked together
“They were supposed to have a meeting, on the Friday or Saturday night before the Finucane assassination.
But one called it off.
You must know this.
He was sick, had the flu.
It was that time of year. There was a lot of it about.
High temperature, headache.
We all know what it’s like.
He couldn’t get out of bed and
the wife was busy making sure he didn’t.”
“The other two agreed to put their meeting off until he was better and up to it.
So none of them attended”.
None of them was where they were supposed to be that evening
The youngest was assassinated the day after.
Refs and Pics