TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said that he will reflect on his meeting with the families of the 10 victims and sole survivor of the Kingsmills massacre but he faced criticism afterwards for not apologising to them.
Families of the victims expressed disappointment after the meeting saying that Kenny told them he could not apologise for something that was carried out by the IRA in 1976.
The massacre occurred on 5 January 1976 when a group of textile workers were travelling home to Bessbrook in Co Armagh on a minibus that was flagged down by men in British Army uniforms.
The armed men were actually IRA volunteers who asked the occupants their religion before allowing one of them – a Catholic – to escape and then opening fire on the 11 remaining men, ten of whom died, one surviving despite receiving 18 gunshot wounds.
The sole survivor, Alan Black, was among those who met with the Taoiseach today at government buildings in Dublin along with Northern Ireland minister Danny Kennedy.
“I expressed my deep sympathy with the families for the indescribable loss they have suffered,” the Taoiseach said.
“I assured them that there is no hierarchy of victims, and that their concerns are every bit as important to me as the concerns of other victims and their families.
“I told them that the IRA was the common enemy of all of the people of Ireland, of all traditions, North and South, and that their campaign of violence was strongly resisted by successive Irish governments.”
He added that he would “reflect carefully” on what he had heard today.
BBC News reports that relatives invited Kenny to visit the massacre site in south Armagh but said they had hoped he would have apologised for the lack of security and resources put into the original investigation.
Families have called for a full public inquiry into the killings following a report by the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries Team last year.
This report found that the Provisional IRA was response for the murder which had been claimed as the work of the South Armagh Republican Action Force.