An international conference to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the murder of human rights solicitor Patrick Finucane will be held at Trinity College in Dublin on Saturday, February 14, organized by the group British-Irish Rights Watch. The one day conference will start with the recollections of Finucane's wife Geraldine, followed by a series of lectures and discussions from prominent panelists on the issues of policing, inquests, detention, prisoners' rights, the intimidation of lawyers and collusion. Scheduled speakers at the all-day event include Inez McCormack, the former president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Clara Reilly, chairperson for Relatives for Justice; Mike Ritchie, director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice; Judge Peter Cory, former member of the Supreme Court of Canada and BBC journalist John Ware. At a fundraiser in aid of the conference in New York in January, Robert Dunne, the president of the Brehon Law society (an organization of attorneys with Irish ancestry) told the crowd that he would be calling on President Barack Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to support a full, independent, public inquiry into the murder, and that the fight would continue until it happens. The attack on Finucane remains one of the most controversial acts committed during 30 years of the Northern Irish conflict. Finucane was shot dead in front of his wife and three children by two masked men who entered his North Belfast home on February 12, 1989, when he was 39 years old. In 2003, the Stevens Report commissioned by the British government stated that the killing was perpetrated in collusion with members of the police force in Northern Ireland. In June 2007 the Public Prosecution Service said that no police or soldiers would ever be charged in connection with the murder. However, Finucane's wife Geraldine and other members of his family have continually called for an independent inquiry, even securing support from the House of Representatives, which passed a resolution calling for an inquiry in 2006.
Happy Earth Day! Ireland sure looks gorgeous from outer space