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November 17, 2004

News 11/17/04 - Congressional Letter to Blair

From:  Gerry Coleman (Irish Northern Aid)

Urgent Action Alert! Congressional Sign-On Letter to
Blair --- Public Inquiry into the Murder of Pat

Members who wish to sign on must do so before this

Congressman Chris Smith [R - NJ] circulated a letter
among his colleagues in congress to be sent to British
PM Tony Blair urging him to immediately hold a Public
Inquiry in the murder of Patrick Finucane.

You will have to call your member of congress's
Legislative Assistant TOMORROW to sign on. They need
to contact George Phillips, Legislative Assistant,
Congressman Chris Smith at (202) 225-3765.

We will publish the letter on the INAC web site with
the signatories attached.

In his message to encourage Congressman Smith's
colleagues to sign on, Mr. Phillips wrote:

“Despite the fact that both Ireland and Great Britain
have agreed to hold public inquiries into other high
profile murder cases, Great Britain has thus far
refused to hold an inquiry into the violent death of
attorney Patrick Finucane, who was shot more than a
dozen times while eating dinner with his family in his
home 15 years ago.

“Prime Minister Blair stated he would follow through
with a Public Inquiry if Peter Cory, the judge
appointed to investigate the allegations of collusion
in the Finucane case and five others, recommended
further action. In his report, Judge Cory stated
evidence of possible collusion by Army intelligence
and the RUC in the Finucane case.

“However, following the conviction in September of Ken
Barrett for the murder of Patrick Finucane (who
received a life sentence but will be released next
year under the early release provisions of the Good
Friday peace agreement), the British government seemed
to walk away from its commitment in a September 23
statement by Northern Ireland Secretary of State Paul
Murphy, in which he indicated it would be necessary to
pass new legislation before an inquiry could be held.

“Further delays only feed speculation that the
government is continuing to resist an impartial, full
investigation into the murder.  The prompt holding of
a Public Inquiry is a necessary confidence- building
measure for the whole Northern Ireland peace process
and to see justice accomplished in this important

Jay Dooling (
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