Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Testimony :: Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton
Commissioner - Helsinki Commission

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As a member of the Helsinki Commission, I am grateful for the testimony of Former Justice Peter Cory and Mrs. Geraldine Finucane. On April 23, 2004, I, and my colleagues in the U.S. Senate, sent a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair expressing our deep concerns about the British Government’s decision against holding a public inquiry into the death of slain lawyer Patrick Finucane who was murdered in his home in 1989. This decision is disturbing given the public inquiries held in the Hamill, Wright, and Nelson cases.

I applaud Justice Cory for completing his investigation into the six murders – four in Northern Ireland and two in the Republic of Ireland – ahead of schedule on October 7, 2003. Justice Cory had a very difficult task and I commend him for his passion, conviction, and persistence in pursuing a thorough investigation. He is a passionate advocate. Mrs. Finucane has been coping with the death of her husband and she, and her children, deserve a public inquiry. Mrs. Finucane continues to carry the torch in memory of her husband and for all those concerned with human rights.

Once again, I call on the British Government to hold a public inquiry into the Finucane murder based on Justice Cory’s recommendation. The peace process must remain strong for all the people of Northern Ireland and I believe a public inquiry will help ensure that peace is lasting.

I applaud the work of the Helsinki Commission, my colleagues, and all those working to keep the peace agreement strong. With continued efforts and attention on these important matters we can ensure that there is hope for future generations.