Kingsmills inquest: News Letter quoted to support calling IRA witness

Sean
OCallaghan
Sean OCallaghan

Contact will now be made with a former IRA mole in a bid to see if he can offer anything to the ongoing Kingsmills inquest.

Neil Rafferty, a barrister representing most of the victims’ families, said that Sean O’Callaghan’s name had appeared in some newspapers on Sunday, and in the News Letter on Monday.

Mr Rafferty proceeded to quote from the News Letter report.

The paper had managed to reach Mr O’Callaghan – an IRA man turned informer for the Irish authorities – who had said that while he did not have first-hand knowledge of the massacre, having resigned from the group the previous year, he was “happy to help”.

He said he had learned details of who was behind the slayings from others in the organisation after he later re-enlisted.

He had told the News Letter that he would “wait for someone to contact me officially and explain what it is they want me to do”.

Addressing coroner Brian Sherrard, Mr Rafferty said that the court had heard “very eloquent evidence of three women today”, all of whom had voiced a desire to learn why the massacre happened.

While Mr O’Callaghan may have no direct knowledge “his movement in circles at the time” would have left him in a position to obtain “hearsay” evidence.

The coroner said he will ask his officials to contact Mr O’Callaghan to take an initial statement.

He also agreed that lawyers be given the chance to ask victims’ family members to see if they had any specific questions to pose to him.

After he has been spoken to, “then I think we can collectively make a decision as to whether Mr O’Callaghan would be a useful witness”.

The coroner said he was “happy to keep an open mind about this”.