Those responsible for Kingsmill atrocity ‘uninterested in transparency’

Those responsible for the Kingsmill massacre are “uninterested in transparency” concerning their actions, a coroner has said.

Coroner Brian Sherrard said the “glaring omission” from the inquest into the 1976 killings was the absence of any evidence from those responsible.

He also said there had been no recognition from the perpetrators of the “utter wrongness” of the attack which claimed the lives of 10 Protestant workmen in 1976.

In one of the most infamous incidents of the Troubles, the men were murdered when their minibus was ambushed outside the village of Kingsmill, Co Armagh, on their way home from work.

Those on board were asked their religion, and the only Catholic was ordered to run away.

The killers forced the 11 remaining men to line up outside the van before opening fire.

Alan Black, who was shot multiple times, was the sole survivor.

The shootings were claimed by a little-known republican paramilitary group, used as a front for the on-ceasefire IRA.

No-one has ever been convicted.

Mr Sherrard delivered his findings in Belfast in the long-running inquest in Belfast on Friday.

At the beginning of his marathon ruling, he said: “The glaring omission in the inquest was the absence of any disclosure or evidence from those who caused the deaths.

“Unlike other legacy inquests which have examined the actions of the state in directly causing death, those responsible for the deaths at Kingsmill have not given an account either personally or through any organisation or any political party.

“Numerous calls to assist and provide answers were met with silence.

“Accordingly the inquest did not receive disclosure from any individual concerned in the attack, nor their organisation, nor their political representatives although expert evidence was given that records may well exist.”

Laganside court
The ruling was delivered at Laganside Courthouse in Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

He added: “Neither did the inquest hear evidence from the perpetrators regarding matters such as the motivation for the attack, its planning and personnel and its execution.

“There has been no recognition by any perpetrator or their organisation or political representatives as to the utter wrongness of the attack which served to end the lives of 10 men and to devastate the lives of untold others.”

Later in his ruling, the coroner added: “Many decades have now passed since the atrocity and no recognised organisation, much less any individual has admitted responsibility for it.

“The optimistic notion that admissions could spread from arrests without evidence has been tested now by time.

“Neither the organisation nor the individuals responsible have any intention of explaining it, much less being held to account.

“They are uninterested in transparency concerning their actions.”