BRITISH Army intelligence officers argued over whether Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams should be murdered by the gang who shot dead Pat Finucane.

Mural in Belfast

Secret intelligence documents released within a report on the murder of solicitor Mr Finucane suggest the army’s shadowy Force Research Unit (FRU) was encouraging UDA agent Brian Nelson to organise a murder plot. However, other sections of the intelligence services were fearful of the consequences of the army being connected to the killing of an MP. The intelligence report dated May 21 1987 notes that they were ” perturbed that FRU have paid insufficient regard to the wider implications of this operation”. It adds : ” If the attempt on Adams is to be repeated particularly before the general election ( and Nelson’s links to the army revealed )… then British intelligence and ( the government ) could face accusations of having conspired in the murder of a prospective MP with all the attendant adverse consequence.” The intelligence report author feared that FRU was pushing to ” re-enforce ” Nelson’s ” standing with the UDA “.

The army and the RUC halted the plan to place a bomb on the roof of Mr Adam’s car by increasing ” activity ” in the area. Mr Adams had survived being shot three times in a UDA attack three years earlier. Yesterday the family of Mr Finucane, above, dismissed Sir Desmond de Silva QC’s report. His widow Geraldine described it as ” a sham…. a whitewash…. a confidence trick “. Mrs Finucane renewed her call for a FULL PUBLIC INQUIRY into the murder of her husband in 1989. She said the British government had suppressed the truth and attempted to put all blame on dead individuals and disbanded organisations while exonerating ministers, serving officers and existing security agencies. ” Yet another British government has engineered a suppression of the truth behind the murder of my husband, Pat Finucane, ” Mrs Finucane said. ” At every turn it is clear that this report has done exactly what was required – to give the benefit of the doubt to the state, its cabinet and ministers, to the army, to the intelligence services and to itself. ”