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Pat Finucane 20th Anniversary events to take place

8 February, 2009

A series of events are to take place throughout Belfast this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the murder of leading human rights lawyer Pat Finucane.

Pat Finucane was murdered on 12 February 1989 by UDA gunmen acting in collusion with the British military and the RUC.

His murder came just weeks after British Home Office minister Douglas Hogg stood up in the British Parliament and claimed that some solicitors in the North of Ireland were 'unduly sympathetic to the IRA'.

Since 1989, the Finucane family has battled for an independent, international public inquiry into Pat's murder and this demand has been supported by President Barack Obama, Sinn Fein, the Irish government, the EU and human rights organisations and leading legal figures across the world.

The public launch of the planned events will be on Tuesday 10th February 3pm at the former Andersonstown barracks site at the top of the Falls Road.

A mural supporting the Finucane family's campaign for truth will be unveiled at this event. The main speaker will be Sinn Fein President and West Belfast MP Gerry Adams. A member of the Finucane family and Mark Thompson from Relatives for Justice will also speak.

Sinn Fein Minister Gerry Kelly is encouraging people to take part in the anniversary events.

Mr Kelly said:

''Pat Finucane was murdered because of his success in defending those who were victims of British oppression, collusion and state murder.

''Pat's case is the most prominent case involving the British government's state murder policy and we believe the decision to murder Pat was taken at the highest levels of the British government.

''Today, 20 years on, the British government continues to cover up Pat's murder, in the same way as they continue to cover up hundreds of other cases of collusion and state murder.

''The Finucane family have campaigned relentlessly for many years for the truth about Pat's death. The dignity they have shown is in stark contrast to the behaviour of the British state.

''The events organised this week are to remember Pat and to highlight the continuing campaign for an independent, international public inquiry into Pat's murder.

''I would encourage people to attend the events and show their support for the campaign for truth about British state murder in Ireland.'' ENDS

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