By Ray O’Hanlon
It was the murder of a lawyer by the forces of law and order and it was alleged in a TV exposT by the globally respected British Broadcasting Corporation.
But immediate U.S. reaction to the BBC’s “Panorama” program detailing the story behind the 1989 shooting death of Belfast attorney Pat Finucane was confined to a couple of newspaper reports and a couple of statements calling for a full independent inquiry.
The New York Times carried a report the morning after the first part of the “Panorama” documentary, which was broadcast and seen in both Britain and Ireland on Wednesday night last week.
The second part of the documentary was broadcast Sunday night.
The Times report was headed: “Ulster Protestant Says British Police Urged ’89 Killing of Lawyer”.
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The Boston Herald reported details of the allegations outlined by “Panorama” in a report Sunday headlined: “BBC: Pro-Irish lawyer targeted.”
There were no reports by press time in major U.S. dailies such as the Boston Globe or Washington Post.
The New York-based Lawyers Committee for Human Rights said in a statement that the “Panorama” investigation had revealed disturbing new evidence of collusion in the Finucane case.
“This new evidence strengthens the already overpowering case for a public inquiry into Patrick Finucane’s murder,” Michael Posner, executive director of the Lawyers Alliance, said in a statement.
Fr. Sean McManus of the Washington, D.C.-based Irish National Caucus said in a statement that the “increasing exposure of the state-sponsored assassination of Patrick Finucane” was to be welcomed, “however late.”