Kingsmills atrocity: ‘Those who killed dad 43 years ago today cannot hide from God’

Kenneth Worton
Kenneth Worton

The daughter of one of the 10 fatal victims of the Kingsmills Massacre, which took place 43 years ago today, has said the “ultimate sentence for those responsible is yet to come”.

Racquel Brush, daughter of Kenneth Worton, made the remarks in a statement to the News Letter coinciding with the anniversary of the bloodbath, for which nobody has ever been punished.

Beatrice Worton (left), mother of Kingsmill victim Kenneth Worton, and his daughter Racquel Brush, attending a roadside service marking the 42nd anniversary of the shooting dead of 10 Protestant workmen by republicans at Kingsmill in South Armagh

Beatrice Worton (left), mother of Kingsmill victim Kenneth Worton, and his daughter Racquel Brush, attending a roadside service marking the 42nd anniversary of the shooting dead of 10 Protestant workmen by republicans at Kingsmill in South Armagh

Though the IRA have never claimed responsibility for the gun massacre of the Protestant workmen, its members are widely held to have orchestrated it. An 11th Protestant victim survived being riddled with bullets, and a Catholic man was spared.

Inquest proceedings into the murder, which began in February 2014, have so far made little progress.

Mrs Brush – now aged 46, but aged three at the time of the massacre – said: “Many are aware of the location Kingsmills, associated with the Kingsmills massacre one of the worst terrorist atrocities to ever occur during the period commonly known as the Northern Ireland troubles.

“For me the 5th of January, 1976, is more than a statistic, more than an awful event which forms part of our traumatic history – it’s the day I lost my father. He was cruelly murdered by the Provisional IRA.

“For 43 years there has been an empty seat at our family dining table, an emptiness in our home; happy events overshadowed by the one person who remains missing.

“My two children never grew up knowing their grandfather. They will someday come to learn the awful truth of how he died.

“My dad wasn’t political, he wasn’t sectarian. He was a working man, grafting hard to provide for his young family.

“It gives me comfort to think that my father may have been one of the men who shielded the sole catholic thus was his character.

“My mother was left widowed. She struggled, but managed to survive. I say simply Kenneth Worton did not deserve to die.

“I pose a simple question: what did his death achieve? What did any single death achieve for any ideological or political cause?

“Northern Ireland is as polarised as ever. Sinn Fein continue their separatist agenda, dividing neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend, Christian against Christian – divisive political ramblings as dangerous as the bullets that murdered my father and many others.

“As a victim, a Unionist victim I want to hear Sinn Fein denounce violence. I want to see them accept the hurt and trauma that the IRA’s campaign caused.

“They issue moral platitudes, speaking of equality and respect, meanwhile they continue to support the naming of McCreesh park, commemorating terrorists and retraumatising victims. The forked tongue approach isn’t fooling anyone.

“Our family live with the peace that we may have been failed by the authorities and courts of this land, but the ultimate sentence for those responsible is yet to come.

“God will pass his judgment on those who carried out the Kingsmills Massacre.

“The families of Kingsmills did not seek publicity, my father didn’t choose to be a statistic or name in history, the IRA by their actions on the 5th January 1976 chose to make our family name public.

“I will continue to speak out, I will continue to seek Truth and justice, I encourage others to do likewise – don’t let the memory of the innocent die.”

There is to be a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial to the dead at the scene of the atrocity in south Armagh today at about 10.45am.