Victims’ Dublin march off after Irish pledge on IRA files

A parade by IRA victims in Dublin in 2006 was marred by violence
A parade by IRA victims in Dublin in 2006 was marred by violence

Victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer believes assurances from the Irish government that it will supply files on IRA suspects to the Kingsmills massacre inquest this month – and has cancelled a related parade in Dublin as a result.

The news emerged after a delegation from Markethill victims’ group FAIR met senior officials in the Irish Department of Justice (DOJ) in Dublin on Monday.

FAIR spokesman Mr Frazer had organised a parade for some 300 people in Dublin on March 28 to highlight what many unionists feel is the failure of Dublin to come clean on its role in the Troubles.

Victims have been highlighting the failure of Dublin to supply any files on IRA suspects behind the 1976 Kingsmills massacre to an inquest in Belfast, despite a year of requests by the coroner.

It is understood the south Armagh attack, in which 10 Protestant workmen were murdered, was planned and executed from Co Louth.

A previous parade by IRA victims in Dulin in 2006, also led by Mr Frazer, made international headlines when Dublin-based protestors attacked the march and gardai.

Mr Frazer said Monday’s meeting in Dublin lasted two hours and that DOJ officials have committed to supply documentation to the Belfast coroner by March 27.

“We said ‘that is all well and good but we have heard all this before’. But they promised by March 27 that our coroner will receive documentation,” he said.

“We will not be expecting all the information this month, especially if there are going to be legal proceedings – so as not to jeopardise any possible future trial.”

But if the coroner is not satisfied with progress on the next inquest hearing on March 27, he added: “We will just be letting them know the day we are coming for the parade – about a week later.

“We also asked how would we expect to have any faith in the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) if they cannot come up to the mark on this one inquest?

“I said it is not just the Kingsmills inquest resting on this but the SHA also, as far as victims go.”

The campaigner said Dublin DOJ reocognised that the Kingsmills gunmen were linked to many other murders and that they promised to supply evidence on this.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said that he would join FAIR in Dublin for a future meeting with the Irish Justice Minister, though a date has not yet been set.

The Irish DOJ confirmed that officials had a meeting on Monday morning with representatives of the FAIR group and held “a useful discussion on issues related to victims”.