Unionists hail ‘courageous’ 88-year-old who took on McCreesh play park name

88-year-old Bea Worton, whose son was killed in the Kingsmill massacre, pictured outside the High Court in Belfast
88-year-old Bea Worton, whose son was killed in the Kingsmill massacre, pictured outside the High Court in Belfast

Unionists have strongly welcomed a court decision paving the way for a judicial review into the naming of a playground after IRA man Raymond McCreesh – and praised the bravery of the 88-year-old woman who has led the case.

The DUP’s William Irwin, Assembly candidate for Newry and Armagh, was the sole politician with the Worton family on Friday at the court case in Belfast.

He said the outcome was a “great credit” to Beatrice Worton, dubbing her “a very strong and courageous woman”.

Following the case, he said: “Mrs Worton, who herself has suffered greatly at the hands of the IRA, deserves the greatest respect for taking forward this action and that is why I felt it was vital that I stood with her today at the High Court.”

Long-standing loyalist victims campaigner Willie Frazer said: “People told us that this could not be done but we have proved them wrong. But it takes an 88-year-old grandmother to stand up and be counted to make the difference.”

Barrie Halliday, advocacy manager for Families Acting for Innocent Relatives, said: “This is a good outcome and will give innocent victims some confidence. Everything can be challenged if you have the will to do so.”

TUV South Down Assembly candidate Henry Reilly said: “It is telling that in the new Northern Ireland it is left to a grandmother who has suffered at the hands of the IRA to mount such a case.”

He added: “The whole saga stands as a monument to the inadequacy of the Equality Commission. In spite of several years of correspondence with the council, the Commission chose to ultimately take no action on the decision to name a child’s play park after an IRA gunman.”