Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Kingsmill: Man released pending report to PPS

A man arrested on Friday in connection with the Kingsmill Massacre investigation has been released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

The 59-year-old was detained in Newry by detectives from the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch.

It is the first arrest since the investigation reopened in May after police revealed fresh evidence into the 1976 atrocity had emerged.

On 5th January 1976, ten men were shot dead after the minibus in which they were travelling home from work, was stopped on a remote country road near Whitecross.

The sole Catholic in the vehicle was ordered to leave before the gang opened fire.  Ten men were killed instantly while Alan Black, the sole survivor, was seriously wounded.

Earlier this year a second inquest into the killings had just begun when it was dramatically halted with the revelation that detectives had matched a palm print that was found on the killers’ getaway vehicle.

Following Friday’s developments, Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy described the arrest as a “potentially positive development in pursuit of the maximum level of justice for the Kingsmill victims”.

“The families and sole survivor have waited forty years in their pursuit of maximum truth and justice for this brutal and barbaric crime,” Mr Kennedy said.

“The news that someone has been arrested in connection with Kingsmill must be seen as a potentially positive development. We must now wait and allow the police investigation to take its course.”

“It is my sincere hope that the police now have a realistic prospect of mounting a successful prosecution of some of those responsible.”

Following the man’s release, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Harrison said: “Our investigation into Kingsmill continues.”

He appealed to anyone with information to contact the PSNI’s legacy investigations branch detectives on the 101 number, or call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.