Kennedy comments as Coroner’s Inquest into Kingsmills Massacre re-opens

Newry Times News Posted by
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Community, Politics

Local UUP MLA Danny Kennedy has commented following the re-opening of the Coroner’s Inquest into the Kingsmills massacre.

The bullet riddled van that carried the innocent victims of Kingsmill

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 gunmen, 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.

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 disclosing 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.

Welcoming the formal reopening of the Coroner’s Inquest into the Kingsmills Massacre, Kennedy stated, “I attended the event this morning in support of the relatives, friends, campaigners and the sole survivor Mr Alan Black.

“I was encouraged by the remarks of the Coroner, Mr John Leckey and his willingness to try to ensure this process is expedited as quickly as possible, given that it is 38 long years since this dreadful atrocity took place. I hope all possible information will be made available to the Coroner to enable him to bring forward a finding as quickly as possible.

Kennedy added, “It is always important to remember that, as the HET Report concluded, the IRA was responsible for the slaughter of the 10 innocent Protestant workmen at Kingsmills, and Republicans must never be allowed to change that fact.”

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