Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Reavey and Kingsmills families still seeking justice 43 years on

As the 43rd Anniversary of two of the worst atrocities of the Troubles passed earlier this month, the families of the victims say they are still holding out for justice for their murdered loved ones. 

Reavey brothers John Martin (24), Brian (22) and Anthony (17) were gunned down in their Whitecross home by the Glenanne Gang on January 4,1976.  John Martin and Brian died instantly, with teenager Anthony succumbing to his fatal injuries almost a month after the shootings.  Brother of the men, Eugene Reavey, said his legal team has received new sensitive British Intelligence files which have convinced him that British Intelligence was involved in organising his brothers’ murders. 

Mr Reavey believes the new material will open up the case and could pave the way for securing historical Troubles murder convictions but he added that, as another anniversary passes, he is not seeking for those responsible to serve custodial time. “All I want is for those who did this to hold up their hands. I am not looking for anyone to do custodial time. They just need to do the right thing. They need to be named and shamed for what they did.” 

Meanwhile, Alan Black, sole survivor of the Kingsmill Massacre, says the stalling inquest into the killings of the 10 protestant workmen gunned down on their way home from work on January 5th 1976, a day after the Reavey brother murders, should be concluded instead of stalled by “excuses” regarding national security. Mr Black says the next inquest hearing could be his last as he has grown so frustrated by the quest for answers that he has accepted defeat.

The Bessbrook man says he has come to the conclusion that the coroner will continue to avoid delivering a verdict until most of the surviving relatives die. He has accused the authorities of playing for time and said it was “cruel and inhumane and brings shame to the coroner for allowing the State to take over.”

On the 43rd Anniversary of the Kingsmill murders he said little has changed and that the families are “totally disillusioned with the whole inquest process.”

The Kingsmill inquest is due to recommence on February 8 at the Belfast coroner’s court.