New law could permit Gardaí to attend Kingsmill inquest

April 10, 2017

New legislation being considered in the South may allow Garda officers to give evidence at the inquest into the Kingsmill massacre, a lawyer has revealed.

Coroner Brian Sherrard is seeking intelligence and other information held by the Garda about the murders of the 10 Protestant workmen near Whitecross in 1976.  However, Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan cannot direct officers to give evidence without the introduction of new legislation.

Sean Doran QC said: “The attendance of a garda at legal proceedings outside the jurisdiction would have to be done properly under the auspices of a direction by the Commissioner, but the legal authority to give such a direction is absent and that is the reason why legislation is being considered to deal with this particular issue.”

The coroner is considering calling a Garda witness to help guide the inquest through any documents provided and although acknowledging the force’s willingness to help, he said he did not understand why the legal framework precluded an Irish police officer from appearing voluntarily.

The inquest is due to resume next month.