The only survivor of what has been termed ‘the Protestant Bloody Sunday’ is apprehensive and pleased about the opening of an inquest into the Kingsmills massacre in Belfast on Monday.
The IRA gunned down 10 Protestant workmen near Kingsmills in south Armagh in 1976 as they made their way home from work.
Alan Black was among those riddled with gunfire, but miraculously survived.
He told the News Letter: “We have fought long and hard to get here and it has finally arrived. There is a bit of apprehension but this is what we have fought for.”
Mr Black doubts that justice for those murdered is in any way realistic. However, he wants the maximum truth to be revealed in the four to six weeks the inquest will sit.
He added: “The last contact I had with the police about the massacre was in my interview three weeks after the shooting in 1976. I have had no contact with them ever since – and nor have the other families.”
He also expressed concern that 1,300 pages of intelligence material has not yet been released to his legal team and will only be made available some way into the inquest.
“How are we meant to get through 1,300 pages while coping with the day to day matters of the inquest?”
PSNI ACC Drew Harris told the families that he was putting together a team to analyse intelligence on all the shootings in south Armagh by the gang involved and arrest them, Mr Black said.
“However, he later performed a u-turn on this and walked out of a meeting with the families when they asked him for an update.”
Victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer said Mr Harris was initially enthusiastic about identifying and apprehending suspects but a year later said they could not be located.
“So we put down evidence in front of him to show where some of them were. He then got up and walked out and we have not seen him since.”
Mr Black said the RUC said in 1976 they knew all the gunmen and would arrest them in weeks – but this never happened.
“HET came to my house and were talking freely about three suspects that they were going to name – but they never did it.”
It has been confirmed two suspects have On-The-Run letters, but he suspects many more have them.
“The only thing that makes sense to me is that a paid informer was involved and he is being protected.”
The PSNI said that as the issues were the subject of ongoing legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.