Garda ‘still stonewalling’ over Kingsmills Massacre files after five years

A Garda witness must appear before the Kingsmills Massacre families to explain why after five years of requests, the files they have supplied to the legacy inquest contain nothing of substance, their lawyer has said.

Saturday, 9th March 2019, 6:00 am
May Quinn, sister of Kingsmill victim Rober Walker, attends a roadside service on Kingsmill road marking the 43rd anniversary of the shooting dead of 10 Protestant workmen by republicans at Kingsmill in South Armagh. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ten Protestant workmen were gunned down by the IRA near Kingsmills in south Armagh in 1976. The operation was reportedly planned and executed from the south.

Today the legacy inquest heard that the Garda had finally supplied files on the massacre.

However counsel for the families John Kane QC said the documents were of no value.

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In a letter to the coroner, lawyers for the families said the documents “do not include a single piece of Garda intelligence pre or post murders” and that “no explanation has been proffered for this glaring omission”.

The documents confirmed there was no Garda investigation of Kingsmills, despite the fact that Garda arrested suspects and seized weapons and a van used in the attack.

Mr Kane said the next of kin want to quiz a Garda witness to understand why no related documents survive.

“What existed there and why the failure now to come up with anything of substance?” he asked.

He asked the coroner to press for the completion of a special Irish bill to allow Garda to give evidence to the inquest, which was drafted in 2017 but appears to have stalled.

“Paper is being used in this case to stonewall the relatives of the deceased,” Mr Kane said.

Counsel for the coroner said the Northern Ireland Office had failed to reply to repeated requests for a witness to discuss two suspects with on-the-run letters.

But counsel for the PSNI said he would provide alternative contacts which might help.