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Taoiseach assures Kingsmill families that files will be released

During a visit to Bessbrook on Thursday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny met with relatives of the Kingsmill’s massacre victims, and its sole survivor, Alan Black, to whom he gave assurances that his government will release State files on the murders to the coroner.

At the meeting in the Town Hall, Mr Kenny spoke with the families of the ten Protestant workers who were shot dead at Kingsmill near Whitecross in January 1976.  They are seeking answers about security practices along the border at the time, and the role the Garda Siochána had in police investigations.  An inquest into the killings is due to open later this year.

Speaking afterwards, Colin Worton, whose brother Kenneth was murdered in the attack, said progress had been made.

“He [Mr Kenny] gave us assurances that anything that could be passed over to the Coroner would be, and that if it was too sensitive, then the Coroner or his representatives could travel to Dublin.  The meeting has moved things forward. Things are moving slowly, but at least they are moving,” he said.

DUP MLA William Irwin attended the event and welcomed Mr Kenny’s assurances that the information will be handed over but said it remained a concern that “it has taken sustained pressure to get to this stage.”

“The coroner has been waiting on this information for some considerable time and the delay is unacceptable, especially as we are dealing with what was without doubt one of the most heinous crimes carried out by the IRA,” Mr Irwin said.

“It is vital for the innocent victims of the IRA’s terror campaign that the Irish government are seen to actively step up and provide the necessary information requested in inquiries and ongoing investigations.”

Following the meeting, Mr Kenny laid a wreath at a memorial dedicated to the Kingsmill victims.