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Helsinki Commission to Hold Hearing on Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement, Collusion, and the Finucane Inquiry

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following hearing:

“Northern Ireland: Stormont, Collusion, and the Finucane Inquiry”

Wednesday, March 18
2:00PM
Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2175

The Helsinki Commission hearing will review progress toward holding individuals accountable for past injustices in Northern Ireland. This will include the December 2014 Stormont House Agreement, as well as government collusion in paramilitary crimes, and the long-promised—but not yet delivered—inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane.

In the December 2014 Stormont House Agreement, the parties of the Northern Ireland Executive and the British and Irish governments agreed on a process to resolve a number of outstanding issues in Northern Ireland. These include accountability for past injustices, or what has become known as “dealing with the past.” The success of the process is far from assured, and the hearing will investigate its prospects, and help determine how the US government can best support its implementation.

The hearing will examine other issues of accountability for past government collusion in paramilitary crimes. This will include the Finucane case: as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the government of the United Kingdom solemnly committed to conducting a public, independent judicial inquiry into its collusion in Mr. Finucane’s murder. Yet 17 years after the accord and 26 years after Mr. Finucane’s death, the British government has not yet conducted the promised inquiry.

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

  • Anne Cadwallader, author, Lethal Allies: British Collusion in Ireland
  • Mrs. Geraldine Finucane, widow of murdered human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane
  • Professor Kieran McEvoy, Queen’s University School of Law, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Media contact: 
Name: 
Stacy Hope
Phone: 
202.225.1901
Relevant countries: 
Leadership: 
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