Dáil Éireann - Volume 623 - 06 July, 2006

Written Answers. - Northern Ireland Issues.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if, in view of the continuing refusal of the British Government to initiate a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and therefore into the activities of the Force Research Unit, he has satisfied himself that he has received all potentially relevant information from the British authorities in the North and the PSNI regarding the 1991 murder of Councillor Eddie Fullerton and the possible involvement of the Force Research Unit in that murder. [27532/06]

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if, in view of the emerging evidence of special branch informers within loyalist paramilitaries, he has satisfied himself that he has received all potentially relevant information from the British authorities in the North and the PSNI regarding the 1991 murder of Councillor Eddie Fullerton and [1727] the possible involvement of special branch in that murder. [27533/06]

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if, in view of the reply given by him over a year ago to a parliamentary question from Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh which stated that the Garda review of the investigation into the 1991 murder of Councillor Eddie Fullerton was drawing to a close, he will make that review available to his family and if he will make a statement on its findings. [27534/06]

  Mr. McDowell: I propose to take Questions Nos. 554 to 556, inclusive, together.

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 295 of 1 February, 2006. The extensive Garda review of the case was substantively completed in March 2005, at which point I received an interim report from the Garda authorities. Nothing has emerged as a result of that Garda review which would justify the holding of an inquiry, public or private, into the murder. I caused this and other information to be communicated in writing to both the solicitor acting on behalf of the victim’s family and directly to a family member in October and November 2005, respectively. I do not propose to publish or otherwise release the interim Garda report.

In relation to the outstanding matter of a mutual assistance request made of the British authorities, this has not yet been executed. However, I understand that the Garda Síochána has been in direct contact with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and that the Garda authorities anticipate that all information sought will be made available in due course. I have already given a commitment to the family’s solicitor and a family member that I will be in further contact with the solicitor as soon as all additional information is available and has been assessed and a final Garda report submitted to me.

I can assure the Deputy that the Garda investigation into the murder remains open and that any further lines of inquiry arising from new information from whatever quarter will be actively pursued by the Garda Síochána.

Finally, the Government remains committed, in close co-operation with the Finucane family, to seeking to secure the holding of a full public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane. Moreover, the Government remains concerned about persistent reports of collusion between security forces and paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, and these issues are consistently raised with the British Government.