Northern Ireland news

Kingsmill massacre survivor to take legal action in a bid to have two IRA men suspected of involvement in the murders publicly named

The bullet riddled minibus at the scene of the Kingsmill massacre

THE sole survivor of the Kingsmill massacre is taking legal action in a bid to have two IRA men suspected of involvement in the murders publicly named.

Alan Black wants the High Court to order that the identities of the alleged perpetrators must be revealed at an inquest into the 1976 atrocity.

The move comes amid rumours that at least one of those connected to the killing of ten Protestant workmen was a British state agent.

That suspect, who has since died, was an ex-soldier linked to more than 30 murders in total, according to legal papers.

Mr Black (76) was shot 18 times and left for dead alongside the lifeless bodies of his ten friends after the IRA ambushed their minibus near Kingsmill, Co Armagh.

No-one has ever been convicted for one of the worst outrages committed during the Troubles.

An ongoing inquest into the shootings has heard two suspects linked to the massacre later received controversial on-the-run 'comfort letters', informing them they were not wanted by police.

The coroner overseeing the tribunal has so far declined to name those individuals, saying he would consider arguments on what was described as a "complicated" issue.

With the suspects currently referred to by ciphers, Mr Black has taken preliminary steps towards seeking a judicial review of that stance.

Explaining his reasons for the legal challenge, he expressed deep concerns at how the matter has been handled.

"I have a debt to pay to my pals, I have carried this survivor's guilt around for 44 years," he said.

Mr Black's lawyers insisted the identity of one suspect, S97, is already in the public domain.

According to Mr Black's legal team, the lack of investigation into allegations surrounding S97 has fuelled rumour and suspicion that he was working as a state agent.

Even though naming both suspects has not been ruled out, lawyers claim the current situation is causing distress to relatives of the Kingsmill victims.

The proposed challenge also centres on a decision to refuse Properly Interested Person (PIP) status to Mr Black at the hearing.

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