Taoiseach’s fresh promises on Kingsmills files

Kingsmills survivor Alan Black (left) with Irish prime minister Enda Kenny during their meeting in March this year
Kingsmills survivor Alan Black (left) with Irish prime minister Enda Kenny during their meeting in March this year

Unionists have welcomed a commitment from Taoiseach Enda Kenny that files on the Kingsmills massacre will soon be handed over to the Northern Ireland coroner.

Earlier this week, lawyers for those bereaved by the 1976 murders in Co Armagh heavily criticised officials in Dublin for not releasing the Garda documents, more than two months after Mr Kenny publicly committed to the handover.

The atrocity, which was widely blamed on the IRA although the organisation never admitted responsibility, involved a cross-border element, with the vehicle used by the killers stolen and then dumped in Co Louth.

Speaking on Friday, Newry and Armagh MLA Danny Kennedy said: “Today I met in Dublin with Enda Kenny and I took the opportunity to raise with him the latest delay in the inquest.

“The taoiseach assured me that the legal obstacles are being dealt with as a matter of extreme urgency. At my request he rang Alan Black, the sole survivor or the atrocity, and gave him the necessary assurances that these matters would be resolved within a matter of days.”

Arlene Foster of the DUP said: “Issues such as the Smithwick tribunal and these documents relating to the Kingsmills massacre demonstrate the role that the Republic of Ireland has in dealing with the past.

“It is important that the authorities in the Republic acknowledge and accept that role.”

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness also attended the meeting with the taoiseach.

A party spokesman said Mr McGuinness “stressed the importance” of having access to information on the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings.