Kingsmill memorial desecration treated as hate crime
The Kingsmill memorial has been damaged in what police are treating as a sectarian motivated hate crime.
Flowers placed by the families of those killed in the massacre were desecrated in the overnight attack, and a tricolour was nailed to the memorial.
The incident has been roundly condemned by politicians from across the divide.
Ulster Unionist councillor David Taylor said he was “truly appalled” at the attack, adding: “Families should not have to contend with such sickening behaviour”.
And Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin branded those who vandalised the memorial as “the lowest of the low”.
Sinn Fein MLA Megan Fearon condemned those responsible and described it as a “despicable act designed to hurt the families of the victims”.
The Kingsmill massacre saw 11 Protestant workmen shot by the IRA in January 1976.
Alan Black was the only man to survive the atrocity - one of the most notorious incidents of the Troubles due to the sectarian natured of the attack.
South Armagh victims campaigner William Frazer branded the attack “sickening beyond comprehension” and said those responsible “need to reflect on their actions and search their conscience”.
He continued: “The families are devastated yet determined, they will not be intimidated, those responsible have nothing to offer society, they need to reflect on their actions and search their conscience, what do they plan on gaining from desecrating this memorial.
“Is this the united Ireland that Sinn Fein have to offer? Is this the equality Protestants can come to expect, memorials desecrated the memory of our loved ones tarnished?”
Colin Worton, whose brother was killed at Kingsmills, said he placed the blame for the desecration of the memorial “squarely at the feet of Sinn Fein-IRA”.
He added: “They honour terrorists and glorify their past, the worse the atrocities were, the greater the praise seems to be.
“Sinn Fein-IRA want their republican supporters to do likewise and keep the memory alive, so by mindlessly attacking the Kingsmill monument these cowards are continuing to honour what happened on January 5, 1976 , until evil is condemned out rightly by every decent human being these sick event’s will still take place.”
Police have appealed for information.