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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

12 February 1989: Patrick Finucane a prominent Civil Rights solicitor was killed at his home in Belfast by loyalist paramilitaries on this day. His murder was one of the most controversial deaths of the Conflict in the North of Ireland (1968-1998). He came to prominence due to successfully challenging the British Government over several important human rights cases in the 1980s.He was shot fourteen times as he sat eating a meal at his home with his three children and his wife, who was also wounded during the attack. In September 2004, a UDA informer, Ken Barret pleaded guilty to his murder.

Two public investigations concluded that elements of the British security forces colluded in Finucane's murder and there have been high-profile calls for a public inquiry. However, in October 2011, it was announced that a planned public inquiry would be replaced by a less wide-ranging review. This review released a report in December 2012 acknowledging that the case entailed "a wilful and abject failure by successive Governments" however, Finucane's family called the De Silva report a sham.

Many in the Nationalist Community believed at the time that he had been set up for assassination by elements within both the British Government and Crown Forces - a conviction that lasts to this day.