Geraldine Finucane is an activist and justice advocate who, for over 30 years, has campaigned for a fully independent judicial public inquiry into the circumstances around the 1989 murder by loyalist paramilitaries of her human rights lawyer husband, Patrick (Pat) Finucane. Pat Finucane was a solicitor who practised law in Northern Ireland, specialising in criminal defence work, including defending people charged with offences under emergency laws introduced by the British Government during the 'troubles'. On the 12th February 1989, Pat Finucane was shot and killed in front of his wife Geraldine and their three children during a family dinner at their Belfast home. Geraldine Finucane has spent the succeeding decades seeking the truth and persistently campaigning for a public inquiry into her husband’s murder which she concludes was part of a British Government policy of collusion between stage agencies and loyalist paramilitaries.
Her resolve to publicise and highlight the circumstances around Pat Finucane's murder, has saw her address world leaders nationally and internationally. She has spoken and testified before the United Nations, the United States Congress, the European Parliament, the European Commission and other human rights and political conferences, and parliamentary committees. In 1989, Geraldine Finucane and her family set up the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry/Londonderry; a non-party political, anti-sectarian human rights group advocating non-violent resolution that offers “support to any family bereaved as a result of the conflict on the island of Ireland.” In a 2015 speech on freedom and justice, she said of her journey to justice: “I will not stop until I achieve my goal but I hope that, one day, I will be able to stop, because I will have done what I set out to do. The campaign that my family and I have engaged in is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. The end I seek to achieve is a public, independent judicial tribunal of inquiry that will fully examine all of the evidence in my husband's case.”
This online archive consists of a selection of material that Geraldine Finucane generously donated to the Linen Hall Library as part of the extraORDINARYwomen project. It includes transcripts of speeches, statements, testimonies, and correspondence.