I am sure the Taoiseach will agree that the courage and resilience shown by the family of Pat Finucane in their battle with the British state is inspirational. Pat Finucane was killed in February 1989 by a UDA death squad working in collusion with RUC special branch, the British Army's force reconnaissance unit and the British state. For three decades, like so many others, the family have fought a formidable campaign seeking a public inquiry into Pat's killing. Despite incontrovertible evidence that British state agents were directly involved in authorising and planning the killing, successive British Governments have blushed and stalled to prevent this.
An outcome of the Weston Park talks in 2001 was to appoint a judge to make recommendations on the need for public inquiries into a number of conflict-related deaths and, where required, that the relevant Government would implement the recommendation. Judge Peter Cory reported on 1 April 2004 and recommended a public inquiry into the killing of Patrick Finucane. That was more than 16 years ago. In 2012, the then British Prime Minister, David Cameron, acknowledged that there had been, as he put it, shocking levels of collusion in this killing. That was eight years ago. The British Supreme Court ruled in February last year that all previous investigations into the killing of Pat Finucane were incapable of establishing the full facts and failed to meet the standards of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Pat's widow, Geraldine, had to bring a judicial review against the British Secretary of State for his failure to act on this decision. On 11 October last, the barrister acting for the Secretary of State told the court a decision on an inquiry would be taken on or before 30 November. That is next Monday and the family are still waiting.
The EU Council of Ministers has expressed its deep concern that a decision still has not been taken by the British Government. That is a concern we all share. Only a public inquiry can assist the family to get the truth. The Finucane family have spoken truth to power for 30 years. They have not been and will not be silenced. Their questions deserve answers and their questions will not go away. The British Government has an obligation to ensure that the truth is told. I have written to the British Prime Minister urging that his Government fulfil Britain's international human rights obligations and hold a public inquiry.
I also wrote to the Taoiseach last week and I asked him to engage with Mr. Johnson at this critical juncture. I know the Taoiseach met with the Finucane family yesterday. I know they have thanked him for his support and, in particular, they thanked him for his commitment to engage with Boris Johnson ahead of the 30 November deadline. It is incredibly important that the demand for a public inquiry has the full weight of the office of An Taoiseach behind it. It is also important that there is a unified stance from the whole Oireachtas in support of the Finucane family. It is in that spirit that I ask the Taoiseach when he will make this urgent contact with Mr. Johnson. Will he make it absolutely clear to the British Prime Minister that a full public inquiry must happen as soon as possible because the Finucane family has already waited far too long?