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Taoiseach to meet families of 1976 Kingsmill Massacre victims

Ten men were killed when they were taken from a minibus and shot in 1976, apparently merely for being Protestant.

This Ford Transit minibus was carrying 16 people home from work when the IRA staged fake checkpoint and opened fire on its Protestant passengers.
This Ford Transit minibus was carrying 16 people home from work when the IRA staged fake checkpoint and opened fire on its Protestant passengers.
Image: PA Archive

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY will this afternoon meet with the families of a Provisional IRA massacre in south Armagh in 1976, who were found by a later inquiry to have been targeted solely based on their religion.

The families of the ten people murdered in the Kingsmill Massacre will meet the Taoiseach at Government Buildings later this afternoon.

The ten people were among 11 who were travelling home to Bessbrook, Co Armagh on a minibus after work when the bus was stopped by men wearing British Army uniforms apparently carrying out a routine search.

After seeking to identify any Catholics among the group of 16, the officers – who were actually disguised IRA volunteers – opened fire on the 11 Protestants, killing ten of them. The eleventh, Alan Black, received 18 gunshot wounds but survived the attack.

A group called the South Armagh Republican Action Force claimed responsibility for the attack, though a report from the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries Team published last year found that this was a front for the Provisional IRA, using an alternate name in order to distance itself from the attacks while it was in secret talks with the British government.

The families of the ten victims have campaigned for a full public inquiry into the killings following last year’s report.

Next month Kenny will meet a delegation of IRA victims from border areas, led by Northern Ireland’s enterprise minister Arlene Foster of the DUP – a move which is expected to lead to renewed calls for an apology from the Irish government for its role in the tensions of the Troubles.

Read: Families of 1976 Kingsmills Massacre victims demand public inquiry

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Gavan Reilly

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