Frustrated Kingsmills survivor renews plea to Dublin for evidence

Alan Black (left) shook hands with Enda Kenny in March 2015 after the taoiseach promised all information on Kingsmills would be disclosed
Alan Black (left) shook hands with Enda Kenny in March 2015 after the taoiseach promised all information on Kingsmills would be disclosed

The sole survivor of the Kingsmills massacre has issued a passionate plea to the southern authorities to hand over what information they hold on the gang behind the atrocity, as the inquest into the killings resumes in Belfast today.

Ten Protestant textile workers were gunned down during an IRA roadside ambush in south Armagh in January 1976.

The legacy inquest opened in May 2016 but stopped soon after when police belatedly matched a palm print on the getaway vehicle to a suspect. However, a decision was taken in February not to prosecute.

Sole survivor Alan Black met Enda Kenny in March 2015 when the taoiseach promised that all information held by southern authorities would be made available to the inquest.

The attack was planned from Co Louth and the gunmen fled back there afterwards. The top three suspects have also served sentences in the south for terrorism.

Four of the weapons were recovered in the south and the suspected getaway minibus was also hijacked from there.

But Mr Black said that two years after promises of full disclosure from Mr Kenny, no significant information has been released by Dublin. It is understood 90 pages have been released, 60 of which are newspaper clippings.

He met Irish Foreign Office officials in February, when one said to him: “You know maybe they [the Garda] have got nothing.” But Mr Black replied: “No, they have never made that excuse.”

Recent media reports have confirmed to him that substantial information is being held back.

“It is over two years in March that the taoiseach promised to hand all that stuff over. It is just ridiculous that it is two years later and they have sent nothing.

“They say that they can’t order anybody but what is to stop them volunteering somebody. If can’t order a Guard to come up why can’t they ask the Gardai for a volunteer?”

Last month relatives of some of those killed threatened to pull out of the inquest if Dublin does not cooperate.

A spokesman for the Irish government responded that it is “committed to cooperating fully with the coroner’s inquest into the murders at Kingsmills”, and that “significant evidential material has already been transferred” under specific legislative arrangements.

Every effort is being made at this time to facilitate further cooperation, he added.

• Inquest hearings are scheduled from today in Belfast until June 2.