Kennedy welcomes Taoiseach meeting
The Ulster Unionist Assembly member for Newry & Armagh, Danny Kennedy MLA has given his reaction to the meeting held in Dublin last Thursday between the sole survivor and relatives of the victims of the Kingsmills massacre and Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.
Kennedy, who set up the meeting on behalf of the Kingsmills group, said he was pleased that the meeting had taken place to enable the Taoiseach to hear at first hand the story of what Kennedy described as a ‘barbaric atrocity’ in which ten innocent Protestant workmen were murdered returning from their work at Glenanne factory on January 5th 1976, and to listen to the impact the murders had on the families involved.
Mr Kennedy said Enda Kenny had listened with courtesy and respect, and had indicated a willingness to meet with the group again, perhaps in Bessbrook and South Armagh itself.
However, Mr Kennedy said there was some disappointment that Mr Kenny had not at this stage issued a statement of apology or acknowledgement at the failure of previous Irish Governments and security services to deal effectively with the ‘terrorist threat from the IRA’ which had enabled that organisation to wage a war “of ethnic cleansing proportions” against the Unionist population and security services in Northern Ireland.
Kennedy said it had been a long and detailed meeting. “He has outlined his initial position and we are not in complete agreement with that,” he said.
“Nevertheless, we are prepared to continue to have dialogue. We’re clear that he’s not apologizing, and nor are we asking him to apologise for the actions of the Provisional IRA, but we do believe that there were failings in the political and security system that allowed events such as Kingsmills to take place, and for that, we think that the Taoiseach should make a public acknowledgment and apology.”
Kennedy indicated his full ongoing support to the Kingsmills families in their campaign for maximum justice and acknowledgement, and he paid tribute to their dignity and determination even after 36 years. Kennedy also acknowledged the help and support the families have received from the South Armagh Victims’ organisation FAIR, who also attended the Dublin meeting.
Mr Kennedy was also accompanied in Dublin with his Party colleagues, Cllr Andy Moffett and Cllr David Taylor.
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