In January 1985 I was appointed chairman and chief executive of the mill at Glenanne which was the workplace of the victims of the Kingsmills massacre.
I remembered hearing of this genocidal act nine years earlier whilst driving up the Springfield Road at 8am the morning after, having just landed from the Liverpool boat.
When I arrived at Glenanne I found a long established textile manufacturing operating solely in the highly competitive mattress ticking market. There was no product development and no search for new products and markets.
This I soon realised was because most of the workforce were family relations or very long term colleagues of the 10 victims, who all came from Bessbrook and were on their way home from work in the company minibus. The massacre had knocked the stuffing out them.
None of the victims had any connections within any of forces of law and order. They were people following their trade in a country textile mill, similar to the one I started work on in Yorkshire. The remaining workforce appeared to be still traumatised.
Now I find that the SDLP press office has issued an inadequate form of apology, in my opinion, in an obvious damage limitation exercise to put the SDLP Newry and Mourne councillors in a better light, despite the statements of Councillor Loughran, a new super councillor. These are the very same councillors who avoided the issue of voting on this matter in the council. This is in my opinion giving tacit support the naming of Raymond McCreesh Park. It must be remembered that this man was found in possession of an Armalite rifle forensically connected with the massacre victims. I understand that Mr Barry MciIlduff is on record as saying that McCreesh should be given a Nobel peace prize.
The Sinn Fein policy of claiming that this was a war between two legally constituted armies subject to the terms of the Geneva Convention is a complete and utter myth in an attempt of self-justification of their totally murderous policies and history. It is an attempt to justify their campaign of genocide.
Meanwhile, the Glenanne victims families await an inquest nearly 40 years after the event and have been denied compensation by the government, disregarding several letters to Lord Empey from the Prime Minister promising the pursual of the Libyans through the Foreign Office. This wants following up.
John K Lund,
Moira. Co Armagh