Northern Ireland news

Kingsmill survivor Alan Black asks what dirty secret are the security forces trying to hide?

Alan Black, the sole survivor of a sectarian massacre of 10 Protestant workmen in 1976 near the Co Armagh village of Kingsmill, outside Belfast Coroner's Court. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association 

KINGSMILL survivor Alan Black said he believes members of the security forces are attempting to hide a larger "dirty secret" behind the massacre.

Responding to revelations published in The Irish News, Mr Black agreed with claims made by Colm Murphy, a suspect in the 1976 sectarian killing of 10 Protestant workmen, that the republican is being sacrificed to cover up a bigger scandal.

"What dirty secret are they hiding?" he said. "I think it's something even bigger than what has happened before."

Last week, during the ongoing inquest, it emerged that forensic officers had found a match on the police database for a palm print found on the getaway van used by the Kingsmill killers. The Irish News revealed on Saturday the print belongs to Omagh bombing suspect Colm Murphy.

Mr Black questioned the timing of the revelation.

"Colm Murphy has been a known terrorist for the best part of 40 years, so why has this never come up before?" he said.

"It's just unbelievable. I'm just totally, totally baffled by it."

He added: "Tests have been run on that print seven or eight times over few years and they found absolutely nothing."

He expressed concerns that a positive match for the palm print was revealed in a bid to indefinitely delay the inquest.

"I really do feel that they are just waiting for us to die off," he said. "I thought that they would stop the inquest and then just put us in a drawer and lock it. And then if we ever asked when the inquest would start again, they'd just say it couldn't because there was an investigation."

Mr Black said he was unhappy with how the PSNI has handled the case.

"They haven't liaised with the families and they haven't liaised with me," he said.

He said he was appalled that at a meeting on Friday, senior officers told the families they could not discuss the ongoing criminal investigation.

"And then the next day The Irish News broke the story (that the palm print belonged to Murphy)," he said.

He added: "I am feeling very, very sore about this. I have to say if it weren't for The Irish News and our great legal team, I'd be feeling very let down now".

Murphy told The Irish News on Monday that the Provisional IRA had intended to 'ethnically cleanse' south Armagh of Protestants in the wake of the Kingsmill massacre.

Mr Black said the intention was well-known in the area at the time.

"Bessbrook was a Quaker village and Protestants and Catholics lived by the Quaker value of respect," he said. "They (the IRA) wanted to break that. But it didn't happen. Our neighbours are still our neighbours."

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: "The PSNI is acutely aware of the distress caused to the families of the victims in terms of both the new line of enquiry and the resulting media scrutiny, however, I would reassure them that we are committed to protecting the integrity of the investigation and the inquest at all times".

"All of the facts relating to this have been disclosed to the Coroner and we are continuing to engage with him. PONI (Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland) have also been made aware of these matters," he added.

"Given that the investigation and the Coroner's Court proceedings are ongoing we are not in a position to comment any further at this stage."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news