Kingsmills relative gives cautious welcome for Dublin plan to help legacy inquests

Colin Worton's brother Kenneth was one of 10 Protestant workmen shot dead in the Kingsmills massacre in 1976
Colin Worton's brother Kenneth was one of 10 Protestant workmen shot dead in the Kingsmills massacre in 1976

The brother of one of the 10 men shot dead in the Kingsmills massacre has given a cautious welcome to an announcement that the Irish government will introduce a new law to assist legacy inquests in Northern Ireland.

The Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Bill was one of a raft of laws announced by Irish government chief whip Joe McHugh as he set out the legislative programme for autumn/winter 2018.

It will allow Irish police to give evidence to inquests in Northern Ireland.

Members of the Garda are currently legally prevented from giving evidence in Northern Irish courts.

Mr McHugh said the legislation will help relatives of victims in their search for the truth.

Colin Worton, whose brother Kenneth was one of the 10 Protestant workmen killed by the Provisional IRA in 1976, said: “I would cautiously welcome this announcement, as anything that comes from the Irish government should be welcomed, but it is late in coming.

“Hopefully we do get more cooperation from the south, we think they will have more to give to the inquest. But we will see whenever it is implemented.”

It is believed the Kingsmills gunmen fled across the border afterwards.

A van believed to have been used as a getaway vehicle was recovered by the Garda and there was a cross-border police investigation.

The new law is expected to be passed by next spring.

The Kingsmills inquest opened in May 2016, and so far there have been more than 30 sessions.