Northern IrelandSpeeches

John Finucane – 2022 Comments on “Bill of Shame”

The comments made by John Finucane, the Sinn Fein MP for North Belfast, on 11 September 2022.

The introduction of the Legacy Bill is evidence that the British government have much, much more to conceal and cover-up from their dirty war in Ireland.

Those who seek to introduce a formal amnesty for their soldiers and agents;

Those who seek to block the rights of families to due legal process.

Those who seek to halt the ability for families to take civil proceedings, to seek an inquest have much to cover-up.

These actions are deliberately cruel, and show that the British government care not for the lives of our loved ones, nor do they care about the rule of law, truth or justice.

And that they couch this legislation in the language of reconciliation is truly shameful.

We need to be honest. This Bill is another slap in the face to victims.

It is the price for delivering a Tory manifesto commitment that prioritises the demands of the British military over the legal rights of victims.

This Legacy Bill is about providing an amnesty for British state forces and deny families their basic legal rights to an inquest, an independent investigation and to pursue civil actions.

This is political interference of the worst kind in basic legal process which will have far reaching implications for confidence levels in the rule of law and the administration of justice.

These legacy proposals are not only opposed by Sinn Féin but also the Irish government, all political parties across Ireland, the Executive Justice Minister Naomi Long, victims’ groups, families and the churches.

So let’s be clear this Bill is unworkable, it will not deliver for victims and survivors, it is in breach of the Good Friday Agreement, and that it is incompatible with Article 2 obligations.

But it is the price to be paid to protect those in Downing Street who know the extent of collusion and State murder because it was their predecessors, who planned it.

Liz Truss needs to hear that we will not allow our rights to be cherry picked or traded by any British government.

She must bin this flawed legislation without further delay.