Finucane family brand murder review 'a whitewash'

Geraldine Finucane, with her three children Michael (far left

The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane dismissed the report into his death by Sir Desmond de Silva as "a sham...a whitewash....a confidence trick", and renewed their calls for a public inquiry into the murder.

The Prime Minister told MPs in the House of Commons that the de Silva review into the murder concluded there was "no overarching state conspiracy" but "shocking" levels of state collusion. Political Editor Tom Bradby reports.

The de Silva review found a number of agencies of the state were involved in the murder, and subsequent cover-up, of the death. The RUC police force and the Army came in for particular criticism, as the report found that more 85% of UDA/UFF intelligence originated with sources within the security forces.


  • Members of the RUC "proposed" Mr Finucane be selected as a murder target

  • They took "no action whatsoever" to prevent the planned attack

  • The was a failure to investigate and arrest key members of the West Belfast UDA after the attack

  • Members "seriously obstructed" the criminal investigation

The Army

  • The Army had information on a series of planned UDA attacks through their informer Brian Nelson, but did nothing with the information

  • The army "must take responsibility" for Nelson's "targeting activity", including Mr Finucane during 1987-1989

  • Senior officers lied to criminal investigators

  • The Army and MoD officials provided the defence minister with "highly misleading" and in parts "factually inaccurate" information about the handling of informer Brain Nelson

David Cameron apologised to the Finucane family for "an appalling crime" saying the degree of collusion exposed was "unacceptable"

Read more: PM sorry for 'shocking state collusion over Finucane'

Mrs Finucane said she accepted Mr Cameron's apology but suggested he had little choice but to offer one.

Her son Michael, also present when his father was shot 14 times in the face by UDA/UFF gunmen, said the report did not provide much new material to the family.

He said the review did not reveal any new information on the "culture" of protecting intelligence sources during the 'Troubles' even if there was a "human cost."

He also said there were "probably hundreds of others" killed in similar circumstances.