A Sinn Fein MP’s apparent mockery of the Kingsmills massacre has made a whole new generation aware of one of the “IRA’s worst atrocities,” the brother of one victim has said.
Colin Worton, whose brother Kenneth was one of 10 Protestant workmen gunned down in the 1976 mass murder, said Barry McElduff posing with a Kingsmills loaf on his head – on the 42nd anniversary of the atrocity – has backfired spectacularly.
“He was probably thinking that only a few of his cronies would laugh back at it, but now a whole new generation of people now know what the IRA did at Kingsmills,” Mr Worton said.
“The men on the bus believed the sole Catholic was going to get murdered and tried to shield him.
“That’s were the decency is in society – where people tried to protect somebody of another religion. That’s why I think this was one of the IRA’s worst atrocities, if not the worst.”
Bessbrook man Alan Black survived despite being shot 18 times and left for dead. He has told how the Protestant workmen tried to protect a Catholic colleague, fearing the gunmen who stopped their minibus were loyalist terrorists.
Mr Worton has rejected the MP’s online apology as “not a heartfelt” one, and said his family has no intention of taking Mr McElduff up on his offer to meet the Kingsmills families.
“My mother has made it clear that she wouldn’t appreciate any member of her family going to meet him. She is the head of five generations now so we have to respect her wishes.”
Mr Worton added: “If you look at his track record he does come out with things like that. He has even said in the past that [IRA hunger striker] Raymond McCreesh was more deserving of a Nobel prize than some of those who did get one.”
McCreesh is reported to have been in possession of a rifle used at Kingsmills when he was arrested months later.
Following the furore sparked by the brief video clip, Mr McElduff removed it from this Twitter page and posted an apology, saying it was never his intention “to offend anyone who has suffered grievously”.
A PSNI superintendent said: “Police have received a number of reports of a post on a social media platform, made by a local public representative. Inquiries are ongoing.”
DUP leader Arlene Foster said: “Shame on any elected rep who posted that inhuman video.”
On Sunday night a Sinn Fein spokeswoman told the News Letter that “the party leadership will be meeting with Barry McElduff tomorrow”.