Kingsmills inquest: ‘Who was the godfather?’ asks mother

Beatrice Worton
Beatrice Worton

A grieving mother told the Kingsmills massacre inquest on Thuesday that her hope is to discover who the “godfather” of the infamous bloodbath really was.

Beatrice Worton, 88, took the stand to confirm the details of 24-year-old massacre victim Kenneth Worton, her son.

She walked up to the stand with the aid of a walking stick, and swore on the Bible in a small, quiet voice.

See main story here, including links to Monday’s proceedings.
Mrs Worton described her son as a “lovely boy”, who used to work at Glenanne factory until eight or nine at night to support his family.

She had been making dinner when news of an attack on the minibus came over the radio. Then a neighbour came by and told her that her son was lying up the road.

“I couldn’t understand it,” she said.

When news of what had happened spread, she said: “My house was full – Catholics and Protestants. They’d all heard it.”

She said she was never visited by “a security person”, despite having been involved with the security forces herself in the past. She added that there had been no patrol that night, and that the road was “left clear for those fellows to be killed”.

She said she had never been able to bring herself to cry about the massacre.

“I just bottled it all up,” she said.

This continued until she read her own statement about the massacre, given years ago, on an iPad in the last few days.

She told the court that if she could speak to the killers, she would ask: “Why did they do it?”

She wondered if they would reply that they had been under orders to carry out the attack, adding: “I’d love to see who the godfather was.”

Also speaking was Shirley Norris, daughter of massacre victim Joseph Lemmon, 49.

On the day of the massacre, she had sent off her wedding invitations for a ceremony due to take place in about a month’s time.

“He was looking forward to giving me away,” she said.

“He was a gentle giant. He’d have hurt no-one. He’d have helped anyone. He didn’t deserve to go the way he did.”

Tearful, she continued: “We’d just like to know the truth, so my father can rest in peace. Because I believe he’s not resting in peace until the truth is out.”

The inquest is set to continue at 10.30am on Wednesday.