Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Kingsmill’s relatives to take High Court action against PSNI and Department of Justice

Senior legal counsel for the Kingsmill’s families has confirmed that they will take High Court action later this month against the Department of Justice and the PSNI for their failures to facilitate the inquest into the Kingsmill Massacre.

Kevin Winters said there were “serious concerns over the failure to provide papers for disclosure as well as the ongoing failures of the Gardai and the RoI Taoiseach’s office to make An Garda Siochana files available.”

The move comes as the inquest suffered yet another delay last week as sensitive files from An Garda Siochana failed to materialise, despite a promise made by Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a visit with the victims’ families in March that the Irish government would provide information to the coroner within two weeks.

The delay prompted a delegation led by First Minister Peter Robinson to meet with the Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan on Tuesday last in an attempt to ensure the Irish Government facilitates the release of all Garda files relating to the 1976 massacre of 10 Protestant workmen.

The men were gunned down at  Kingsmill near Whitecross in one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles. Only one man, Alan Black, survived the attack.

Newry and Armagh MLA Danny Kennedy has also pledged to engage with the Irish government to resolve the current delay.

Mr Kennedy, who has worked closely with the victims’ families to expose the truth behind the killings has said he would be putting pressure on the Irish Foreign Minister to make the information available to the Coroner and that the deadline for the next hearing of the 30th June must not be missed.

“It is vital that the commitments given by the Taoiseach during his recent visit to Bessbrook at my invitation are honoured in full,” he said.

“After nearly forty years of frustration it is the least the families and sole survivor Alan Black can expect.

“It would be totally unacceptable if the hopes and expectations of the families that were raised following the commitment given in Bessbrook were to be dashed.

“Senior politicians need to remember that they cannot play fast and loose with the emotions of victims.”

Alan Black has described the latest delay as “groundhog day” and said “the truth must be something awful for them to put so many barriers in front of the inquest.”  He revealed that Mr Kenny had told the families in March that they would have disclosure in two weeks but that it was clearly “only a politician’s promise.”

Mr Black appeared in a recent Panorama documentary on collusion in Troubles’ murders in which he voiced his fears that the authorities would let all the Kingsmill relatives “die off” before revealing the truth about the deadly attack.

In the wake of last week’s delay, Mr Black said “it is only right that action proceeds to the high court and further if needed.”