Irish Republican News · June 22, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Kingsmills victims may bring civil case
Kingsmills victims may bring civil case
kingsmills.jpg

Relatives of those who died in a gun attack at Kingsmills in south Armagh in 1976 may take a civil action against those they believe to be responsible.

The group of ten Protestant workmen were making their way home from a factory in Glenanne, south Armagh, when their minibus was ambushed by an armed and masked gang.

The Provisional IRA denied involvement in the attack, which followed the massacre of six Catholic civilians by loyalists the previous day.

Willie Frazer, from Families Acting for Innocent Relatives, said the families of those who died are considering civil court proceedings following a report on the atrocity by the police Historical Enquiries Team this week. The HET blamed the IRA for the attac and said it had been sectarian.

Frazer said: “It is possible this is an avenue we will take. There’s so much evidence that points the finger at those involved, not every one of them, but certainly four or five of them.”

Sinn Fein has said it supports the relatives in their pursuit of justice. The party spokesperson on victims Mitchel McLaughlin said other killings in the area also needed to be examined.

“I do not dispute the sectarian nature of the killings, it was entirely wrong and I have no problem in condemning what happened in Kingsmills,” he said.

“What happened was not an isolated incident, what about the six people who were murdered the day before?”

“The relatives of those killed in Kingsmills and the survivor are entitled to the truth,” he added.

“Our approach is that we would like all of those who subscribed to the conflict and killing, and that includes the British government, to come forward, give the truth and provide answers.”

Mr McMcLaughlin said he was prepared to accept the findings of an international reputable body that carried out an impartial truth process for everyone that had been involved in the conflict.

“I am prepared to accept the evidence if I have access to that independent process, I am prepared, even though I believe and have believed up to this point the denials by the IRA that they were involved in it,” he said.

“If someone has proof that the denial does not stand up to examination then I would be obliged to consider it as a republican and I would, because I do not believe republican principals permit people to be involved in sectarian activity,” he added.

“There are many incidences of disputed claims of fact so lets have the British government and all sides coming forward at the same time.”

LOUGHINISLAND REPORT DUE

Meanwhile, a key report into the RUC (now PSNI) investigation of the 1994 Loughinisland massacre this week is expected to focus on evidence that the police colluded with loyalist killers and missed opportunities to bring them to justice.

Six Catholics, including an 87-year-old were killed when the unionist paramilitary UVF sprayed the Heights Bar in the County Down village of Loughinisland with bullets in June 1994.

A report by the Police Ombudsman into the massacre is to be published on Friday. Ombudsman Al Hutchinson began his enquiries five years ago after the victims’ families criticised the RUC investigation.

The report was due to be published in March but has been beset by delays.

Mr Hutchinson is expected to look at claims linking at least one reputed informer to the murder gang.

Concerns about collusion were fuelled after it emerged that a police informer inside the UVF, codenamed ‘Mechanic’, had supplied the car used in the shooting.

Earlier this year an unnamed eyewitness revealed that the killers’ getaway car was found at the home of a serving member of the RUC, despite police claims that it had been destroyed.

UVF ACCUSED CLAIMS IMMUNITY

A court heard on Tuesday that a man charged with the separate UVF murder of a Catholic woman 38 years ago should not face trial because of a peace process deal.

Lawyers for Robert Rodgers have launched a legal bid to halt criminal proceedings against him for the killing of 19-year-old Eileen Doherty in Belfast.

A judge was told that senior government officials indicated that those -accused of conflictrelated offences would not be prosecuted without an admission of guilt.

Mr Rodgers’s legal team is now seeking notes from meetings between loyalist politicians and British officials in a bid to strengthen its case.

Ms Doherty was shot dead after getting into a taxi in September 1973. She was on her way home to the Andersonstown area after visiting a friend when the vehicle was hijacked.

Rodger’s lawyer said William ‘Plum’ Smyth, a former chairman of the PUP who took part in the talks, claimed loyalists, republicans, military and police were told they would not be prosecuted for offences committed be fore the peace deal was signed. Mr Devine pointed to the Bloody Sunday killings by British paratroopers in Derry and said a decision was reached not to prosecute any soldier.

District Judge Fiona Begnall reserved judgment on the application.

© 2011 Irish Republican News