Northern Ireland news

Memorial service marks Kingsmill massacre anniversary

Staff Reporter
06 January, 2016 01:00

A MEMORIAL service marking the 40th anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre was yesterday held at the site in south Armagh where 10 Protestant workers were shot dead.

The men died after the minibus they were travelling in was stopped as they made their way home from work on January 5 1976.

The victims were ordered from the vehicle by armed men and a Catholic co-worker was told leave the area.

The sole survivor of the attack, Alan Black (72), said yesterday the killings should be remembered.

He was shot 18 times and left for dead alongside his friends' bodies. He said he hopes a new inquest will shed some light on the killings.

"I want to know is why was it done; who did it; and what did they think it would do for their cause?" he said.

"It just baffles me."

Mr Black said he is still keen to get answers.

"It was brutal what was inflicted on us," he said. "Ten completely innocent men taken out and brutally murdered," he told UTV.

"This time of year, I go into countdown mode -- I look at the calendar and at the clock and think to myself 'the boys have only five days or five hours or five minutes to live', right up to the time of the ambush.

"But, I want to see a bit of truth and justice. For the boys, but mostly for the families who are still searching for the truth."

The attack took place close to where Catholic brothers John Martin Reavey (24) and Brian Reavey (22) were shot dead a day earlier by the UVF's Glenanne Gang.

A third brother, Anthony (17), died weeks later from his injuries.

Within minutes of the Reavey murders three members of the O'Dowd family were killed near Gilford by the same gang.

The Kingsmill attack was later claimed by a group calling itself the South Armagh Republican Action Force, which claimed it was in reprisal for the Reavey and O'Dowd murders.

A 2011 Historical Enquiries Team report found the IRA was responsible for Kingsmill.

No one has ever been convicted for the attack and a brief inquest in 1978 recorded an open verdict.

Mr Black said he felt no real efforts were made to find those responsible.

"It is my opinion that there was a cover up," he said.

"I really hope the cover up started after it happened but I am beginning to suspect they knew it was going to happen and they allowed it to happen.

"I have had a lot of time to think and it's the only thing that makes any sense.

"No one was ever convicted and they are not looking for anybody."

06 January, 2016 01:00 Northern Ireland news