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De Silva Report

Volume 554: debated on Wednesday 5 December 2012

8. What representations she has received from the Finucane family in advance of the scheduled publication of the de Silva report on 12 December 2012. (130911)

I have not received any representations from the Finucane family since taking office, but my officials are in touch with the family’s legal advisers on the arrangements for publication of the de Silva review next week.

I thank the Secretary of State for her answer. It seems that we take a long time to bring justice to grieving families, and I am surprised that the Government have been involved in checking the de Silva report. How does she intend to bring justice for the death of Pat Finucane, given that the family have not been involved in the review?

I strongly believe that the de Silva review will reveal the truth. It has been a very serious exercise. One reason the Prime Minister and my predecessor chose the review process, as opposed to a public inquiry, was the experience of public inquiries taking many years. It would not have been right to wait that long or for the family to have to wait another 12 years to get to the truth. The truth is what counts, and I am sure that the de Silva review will reveal it next week.

I thank the Secretary of State for her premature, but nevertheless welcome, birthday wishes.

The Secretary of State takes a great interest in the Finucane case, but will she cast her mind to the families of the 10 people murdered at Kingsmill in south Armagh, and will she note that one of the guns was found in possession of Raymond McCreesh, after whom a play park in Newry has now been named—shamefully—by the Social Democratic and Labour party and others? Will she cast her mind to those innocent victims who today are hurt by the decisions of Newry and Mourne district council, which frankly are a disgrace?

It is important, both today in the House and next week when the de Silva review is published, to remember all the victims of the troubles. There were far too many despicable murders and tragedies, and the focus on individual cases should not blind us to the gravity of the suffering imposed on so many people across so many years. We will be emphasising that next week when we look at the Finucane case. [Interruption.]

Order. I remind the House that we are discussing extremely serious matters of life and death, and it would be appreciated if the House would respond accordingly.

Does the Secretary of State agree that the Finucane case is not just about truth but about justice, and that there is a need to follow through and obtain justice, as much as truth, for the Finucane family?

Of course, the review is about finding the truth and obtaining justice, but whether prosecutions follow will, of course, be a matter for the prosecution authorities, not the Government. [Interruption.]