Kennedy welcomes Taoiseach’s commitment to discuss Kingsmills
The Kingsmill Massacre took place on 5th January 1976 and although denied to this day by the Provisional IRA, many have attributed the carnage to them, despite an organization calling itself the ‘South Armagh Republican Action Force’ claiming responsibility. Twelve men were on a minibus from work in Glenanne going to Bessbrook when stopped by republican militants, masquerading as a British army checkpoint.
The occupants of the mini bus got out and lined up against it, assuming they were being checked and searched by the British Army, UDR or RUC. However, one of the gunmen ordered Richard Hughes – the only Catholic on the bus – to step forward and immediately the eleven remaining Protestants feared they were dealing with a loyalist paramilitary group intent on killing the only Catholic and thus they tried to stop him from admitting his religion.
However the lead gunman told Hughes to leave the area immediately and “don’t look back”. The eleven remaining Protestants were shot, with a total of 136 live rounds being fired in less than a minute, with only one man, Alan Black surviving, despite his 18 gunshot wounds.
Speaking to Newry Times, the Newry & Armagh representative said; “Last Friday in Dublin I had a one to one meeting with the Taioseach Enda Kenny and raised the Kingsmills Massacre. I am pleased to report that Enda Kenny has now given a firm commitment to meet with me and representatives of the families and that a preparatory meeting with a senior Irish Government official from his office will take place in the very near future.”
Kennedy added, “This is a welcome development and I look forward to meeting with both the Taoiseach’s office and Enda Kenny himself in order to highlight the unresolved issues which the families of ten innocent men still feel very strongly about after 36 years.”
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