Dublin challenged to cooperate over Kingsmills

Ten protestant work men were shot dead by the Provisional IRA
Ten protestant work men were shot dead by the Provisional IRA

The Irish government has been challenged to deliver on promises of disclosure regarding its role in the Troubles - and hand over files on the Kingsmills Massacre.

In the News Letter this week Dublin rejected claims that the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) requires much less disclosure on its role in the Troubles than is required of the UK - yet Dublin also promised full co-operation after the SHA is enacted. But later this week a Belfast inquest heard that Garda have still not supplied any files on the 1976 Kingsmills Massacre by the IRA despite almost a year of requests from the coroner in Belfast.

Yesterday Kenny Donaldson of victims group Innocent Victims United said: “Let’s set aside that the Dublin government appear to have signed up to a lower level of accountability than the UK Government within the SHA. In the case of Kingsmills they aren’t even delivering upon the diluted form of accountability that they did actually agree to.”

University of Ulster politics lecturer Dr Cillian McGrattan added that it now appears that the Irish government is “rolling back on promises made in September 2013 by the then Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore to ‘acknowledge’ unionist concerns about the past and ‘investigate’ outstanding crimes relating to its jurisdiction”.

But the Irish Department of Justice responded last night that Kingsmills was an operational matter for the Garda, subject to legal advice. The Garda is “anxious to co-operate to the fullest extent possible” a spokesman said, but is also conscious of legal obligations regarding disclosure, he said. The Garda has met the Coroners Service for Northern Ireland and the PSNI, he said, and is seeking to support them “to the fullest extent compatible” with their legal requirements, he added.