Terror witnesses ‘leaked to member of public’

Pastor Barrie Halliday
Pastor Barrie Halliday

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson says that “serious questions arise” from allegations that information about terror witnesses supplied to police ended up with a member of the public in south Armagh.

Mr Donaldson said that the lives of potential witnesses may have been put at risk and called for a thorough investigation after a south Armagh pastor was confronted regarding the information.

Bessbrook pastor Barrie Halliday, who works closely with Markethill victims’ group FAIR, said he was confronted with the details some months ago by an angry member of the public.

“I was coming out of a shop in when an individual approached me,” he said.

“What he said left me in absolutely no doubt that he knew who at least some of the fresh witnesses are who have come forward regarding the Kingsmills massacre.”

“The information had been given to Historical Enquiry Team (HET) officers only a few days before and it seemed as though everything had been reported back to this individual.”

The IRA killed 10 Protestant workmen at Kingsmills in south Armagh in 1976 as they travelled home from work.

Nobody has ever been charged with the atrocity.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said that “serious questions arise” from the allegations.

“There is still a climate of intimidation and fear surrounding potential witnesses, and placing their details in the public domain would put lives at risk,” he said.

The MP added it is “vital” that the pastor’s allegations are pursued.

A police spokesman said: “It would be inappropriate to comment as there are ongoing legal proceedings.”