Naming Kingsmills murderers would be a posthumous tribute to Bea

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial
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Beatrice Worton died on Friday, at the age of 91.

She never saw justice, or even anything approaching truth, about the 1976 nakedly sectarian IRA massacre in which her son, Kenneth was slaughtered, along with nine other Protestants at Kingsmill.

But Mrs Worton, known as Bea, never gave up in her quest.

What dignity and determination she displayed, turning up even into her 90s at the inquest into that grievous crime, a hearing that is progressing so slowly (and which is getting precious little help from Irish authorities, a failure which is all the more repugnant, given the partisan and interfering nature of the current government in Dublin).

Mrs Worton endured a host of additional traumas.

Republicans named a playground — yes a playground — after the murderer Raymond McCreesh, believed to have been involved in Kingsmills.

She saw the SDLP in the area decline to oppose this insult, and an Equality Commission, that speaks out against unfair treatment of minority groups, initially fail to come down against the legitimacy of the naming — despite its goading and intimidating implications for the South Armagh Protestant minority.

She saw the former Sinn Fein MP Barry McElduff make a joke about Kingsmills, by balancing a loaf of bread on his head on the anniversary of the massacre, and then insisting it was just a freakish coincidence (albeit one that, in the absence of the date link to the atrocity, seemed to make little sense).

Mrs Worton saw Mr McElduff’s political career resume, in his recent election as a councillor.

She said that she wanted to see the Kingsmills culprits named: “Just to see who we have been mixing with all these years.”

What an appropriate sentiment. And if those murderers one day are exposed for sectarian, blood soaked folk that they are, it will be a posthumous tribute to her.