Kennedy welcomes Attwood apology over Kingsmills Memorial

Newry Times News Posted by
Monday, June 24th, 2013

Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy has welcomed the apology from the Environment Minister Alex Attwood following a letter issued by the Planning Service demanding the demolition of a memorial to the victims of the Kingsmills Massacre.

Kennedy, who represents Newry & Armagh and who has worked closely with the Kingsmills relatives, said, “The Kingsmills massacre in 1976 shocked not only Northern Ireland but much farther afield. The sectarian massacre of ten Protestant workmen by the IRA remains a stain on south Armagh.

“These victims and their families deserve a fitting Memorial, and I was extremely concerned when I learned that a letter had been issued by the Planning Service which described the existing memorial as an “unauthorised development” and demanding it be removed by the 9th July.

The UUP MLA continued, “I understand that a planning application is currently being prepared on behalf of the Kingmills Memorial Committee for this location.

“And this morning I contacted the Environment Minister Alex Attwood seeking a meeting, and asked him to take no action until the land on which the current memorial stands has transferred ownership and the Planning Application has been received.

Kennedy added, “I am pleased that he has indicated that he will delay enforcement action, has apologised for the issue of the letter and I trust that common sense will prevail.”

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