Madden & Finucane
the clients guide
to the legal profession
Chambers and Partners have been publishing their
world-famous guides to the legal profession since 1990. The key to the success
of their legal directories and the validity of their awards is the in-depth,
unbiased research conducted by their team of highly qualified and experienced
researchers. View more
Madden & Finucane
the Madden & Finucane
and Pat Finucane
The Aisling Bursaries, launched in March 2000, are
an educational initiative between Belfast Media Group and West Belfast
Partnership. The Aisling Bursaries are designed to help students defray their
education and training costs.
Coroner grants anonymity to Jordan killers
17 January, 2002 --
In a controversial decision on Tuesday 15 January, Belfast coroner John Leckey
granted anonymity to all the RUC and British Army witnesses involved in the
operation that lead to the death of IRA Volunteer Pearse Jordan in November
In a statement, Peter Madden of solicitors Madden and Finucane, who represents
the Jordan family said "this is an incredible decision. The coroner himself has
admitted that no harm has ever come to members of the security forces whose
names have been known in court proceedings in Northern Ireland even at the
height of the Troubles. To grant anonymity to all security force witnesses, not
only those responsible for the killing of Pearse Jordan but also to the other
military witnesses, is unbelievable and hardly assures the family that they will
find out from the inquest about how and why their son was killed".
The coroner's decision comes just days after he instructed his office to begin
legal proceedings against the RUC/PSNI for failing to produce documents for the
inquest into IRA Volunteer Pearse Jordan.
The inquest into Jordan's killing has been repeatedly adjourned since it was
first brought before the Coroner's Court in January 1995. It reopened last
Wednesday, 9 January, for a preliminary hearing at which it was disclosed that
the RUC/PSNI have submitted just one file on the Jordan killing as evidence.
With the inquest proper due to be heard next month, the coroner's office is now
undertaking legal action against the RUC\PSNI.
Branding the RUC\PSNI refusal to submit their documents to the court "a
disgrace", Leckey went on to say the refusal was all the more surprising given
that he made a written request for the material and that the RUC\PSNI had given
him a written assurance that all documents would be disclosed.
Volunteer Pearse Jordan was shot dead by the RUC on 25 November 1992 on the
Falls Road. At the time of the killing he was unarmed.
Last year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the British
government in respect of the Jordan killing and awarded the Jordan family
£10,000 in damages.
The European Court also ruled in favour of the families of the Volunteers killed
in Loughgall and the widow of Anthony Hughes, a civilian killed in the British
Army fire in the Loughgall ambush in 1987.
In a third case, the European Court found against the British government over
the killing of Patrick Shanaghan by the UDA in June 1991.
In those cases, the Court ruled that Britain had infringed the human rights of
the families of those killed by failing to carry out a proper investigation into
The Court decided that the rule, which means that inquests in the Six Counties
can't compel witnesses to testify in person, is an infringement of the Human
Rights Convention. Despite that ruling, however, it is almost certain that the
inquest, if it does go ahead next month, will be conducted under present
Meanwhile, Jordan family lawyer Seamus Treacy has uncovered the existence of a
special unit within the RUC\PSNI in charge of disclosing RUC\PSNI files in
controversial court cases. Treacy said that it had now been established that a
separate disclosure unit was operating as part of the Special Branch.