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Family appeal as Kingsmill inquest resumes

May 22, 2017

As the inquest into the Kingsmill massacre resumed last week, the family of one of the victims has appealed to those responsible to contact them.

The ten Protestant victims were shot dead while returning from work in January 1976, while Alan Black was the sole survivor of the attack despite being shot 18 times.  Now relatives of one of the victims – John McConville – have joined with Mr Black in an appeal to those behind the killings to contact them.  John McConville’s sisters Karen, Mandy and Tania have set up a confidential address where information can be sent, and say they just want the truth of what happened to their brother and are not interested in any potential prosecutions.

Making the appeal through the Irish News, Karen Armstrong said: “Maybe when people get older, as we all do, and we only have a certain amount of years, this changes attitudes, there are maybe regrets.

“Since the inquest started last week it’s amazing how many witnesses have spoken that have never been interviewed.  With the passing of time maybe someone will come forward with information.  No matter how small the pieces, there are people who can come forward and it’s anonymous as well.

“We are more interested in getting to the truth.  As far as prosecutions are concerned we think that basically too much time has gone by at this stage, so it’s mostly the truth we are hoping for,” she added.

To make contact with the family, all correspondence can be sent in confidence to: Suite 216, 21 Botanic Avenue, Belfast, BT71JJ; or alternatively, the Coroners Service can be contacted by emailing legacy@courtsni.gov.uk.

Meanwhile, DUP leader and former First Minister Arlene Foster met with some of the bereaved families.

Speaking afterwards she said the victims’ families had “endured over forty years of trauma” and deserve to know the truth about the killings.

Criticising the Irish government for the delay in releasing files on the killings, which has hampered the inquest process, she added: “Later this month it will be two years since Enda Kenny gave an undertaking that his government would cooperate fully and relevant documentation would be shared.  The DUP has demanded full disclosure and transparency from the Irish government in the talks process and will persist when they resume.”

Earlier in the week, the inquest heard details of the killings which caused distress to some of the families present in court and led to a short suspension of the hearing.

The court was also told that the IRA, using the cover name of South Armagh Republican Action Force, was responsible for the attack and the names of 13 suspects detailed in intelligence reports were revealed.  One report identified one of the suspects – referred to as S91 – to be connected to 46 murders.

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