The sole survivor of the Kingsmills massacre has said he doubts the gunmen will ever be brought to justice.
Alan Black said was disappointed by the decision not to prosecute a man whose palm print was allegedly found on a suspected getaway vehicle, but he said he understood and accepted there was insufficient evidence.
Mr Black was shot 18 times in the hail of bullets that killed 10 of his work colleagues on the outskirts of the south Armagh village of Kingsmills in 1976.
No-one has ever been convicted over the sectarian attack.
Reacting to the Public Prosecution Service’s announcement that no case would be taken against the man whose print was allegedly found on the stolen green Bedford van, Mr Black said he had “mixed feelings”, noting that the move will clear the way for a long-delayed inquest to resume.
“I am disappointed obviously that no-one has been held to account,” he said.
“Having said that, I got a very detailed document from the PPS this morning and I can see why they didn’t take it forward, because they can’t place the minibus at Kingsmills, so then the palm print becomes surplus.”
A dearth of Garda and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) records in regard to how the van was forensically handled upon discovery was understood to be a key factor in the PPS’s decision.
The stalled inquest into the killings was adjourned last year when the palm print was matched on a police database. It is now set to reconvene. The coroner’s probe has been additionally hampered by difficulties in obtaining Garda files.
“The guards have been less than helpful, to be honest, and the police (in Northern Ireland) not much better, to be honest,” Mr Black said.
“We have a great legal team behind us so hopefully they will get answers.
“I have mixed feelings. I fully accept the PPS’s decision not to go forward with it, while I am disappointed no-one has been held to account.
“Having said that, it allows us to go ahead with the inquest and that means that we’ll get answers at the inquest.”
He added: “There’s never going to be justice for Kingsmills, because there is no will to go after anyone.
“I don’t really believe there will be justice but hopefully we will get some answers from the inquest.”