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Kingsmills survivor set to give evidence as inquest gets underway

May 23, 2016

Kingsmills survivor Alan Black is set to take to the stand on Wednesday as the inquest into the atrocity gets underway.

Mr Black was shot 18 times and left for dead alongside the lifeless bodies of his 10 co-workers, who were gunned down when the bus they were travelling in was ambushed near the village of Kingsmills on the 5th January 1976. No-one has ever been convicted of the murders, which were widely blamed on the IRA, even though the organisation never admitted responsibility.  Mr Black has always maintained that “agents of the state” were involved in the killings.

After more than 40 years of setbacks, political wrangling and a sustained campaign for justice from victims’ relatives, the inquest will finally begin today (Monday 23rd May), despite concerns expressed by some of the bereaved families that more than 1,300 pages of police and army intelligence material have still not been handed over.

Alan Black will take to the witness stand for the first time on Wednesday to give his account of the events of the horrific night. Commenting on the prolonged fight for justice and disclosure from the PSNI, the Bessbrook man  accused the police of continuing in their attempts to stall the inquest and said he believed the withholding of 1,300 pages of discovery were part of a ploy by the PSNI to “wait until the last minute in order to put another hurdle in front of the process.”

“These are 1,300 pages that need to be analysed and cross-referenced before we can go ahead,” said Mr Black.

“The police are still not co-operating, they are putting an impossible task in front of our legal team.  It is still the same ploy for them.  I am very suspicious of their actions.”

Judge Brian Sherrard, who presided at a preliminary hearing at Belfast Laganside Court has said however that anyone affected by the 1,300 discovery pages will not be called to the inquest until after June 13th and that he would look sympathetically on requests for additional time.

Meanwhile, an ambulance driver who attended the scene of the murders will take the stand today.  Sean Murphy will be called on the opening day of the inquest to give his eyewitness account of the horrific aftermath of the murders that he was called to on the fateful night of January 5th 1976.

The inquest into the Kingsmills massacre is expected to last around five weeks.

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