Belfast solicitor John Finucane to be nominated for Lord Mayor of Belfast

John Finucane
John Finucane

Belfast solicitor John Finucane, son of murdered human rights lawyer Pat Finucane, has been nominated by Sinn Féin to be the next Lord Mayor of Belfast.

Mr Finucane, a partner at Finucane Toner Solicitors, was elected to Belfast City Council as a Sinn Féin candidate in the Castle District Electoral Area in this month’s local elections.

He previously ran for election as the Sinn Féin candidate for the Westminster constituency of Belfast North in the 2017 snap election, but was around 2,000 votes short of victory.

Mr Finucane, alongside other members of his family, has long campaigned for the UK Government to hold an inquiry into his father’s 1989 murder amid allegations of British security forces colluding with loyalist paramilitaries.

Ex-Prime Minister David Cameron previously acknowledged “shocking levels of collusion” after the UK Government published the results of a review conducted by Sir Desmond de Silva in 2012, but cut campaigners have rejected that review as a “sham” that fell short of a full public inquiry.

Councillor Ciaran Beattie, Sinn Féin group leader on Belfast City Council, announced that Mr Finucane would be nominated by the party to serve as Lord Mayor (or Ard Mhéara) next year.

The position, which is elected on a yearly basis and typically rotates between the parties, is currently held by Sinn Féin’s Deirdre Hargey.

Councillor Beattie said: “John Finucane, who was recently elected to Belfast City Council, is a fearless defender and promoter of human rights and social justice and will ensure the rights of all are promoted and upheld.”

Mr Finucane added: “I am honoured to have been selected by Sinn Féin for nomination to be the next Ard Mhéara of Belfast.

“I am grateful to those who have elected me and to my party colleagues who have nominated me for this position.

“If elected, I will build on the legacy of Deirdre Hargey and put human rights and social justice at the heart of my term in office; standing up for the rights of all.”