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Michelle O'Neill speaking to the media today in Belfast. Alamy Stock Photo

O'Neill 'sorry for every loss of life' in Troubles, says Kingsmill families deserve justice

The First Minister said that the Kingsmill inquest showed that the past needs to be dealt with “properly”.

SINN FÉIN VICE President Michelle O’Neill has said that the families of the ten men who were killed by the Provisional IRA at Kingsmill in 1976 deserve “truth and justice”. 

The First Minister made the comments after leaders from Unionist parties called for a public inquiry and criticised the “failure” of Sinn Féin to engage with the recent inquest into the killings. 

O’Neill once again said that she is sorry for “every loss of life throughout the conflict”, she added: “but my job as the leader of today is to build towards the future, is to try and help heal the wounds of the past”. 

The inquest into the Kingsmill killings concluded last week, it found that the shooting of the ten Protestant men who were travelling home from their work in Kingsmill, Co Armagh, was a “sectarian act” by the IRA. It also found that the killings were in part organised in the Republic. 

The coroner criticised the IRA and its political representatives for failing to engage with the inquest. 

O’Neill previously said that the week of the inquest’s conclusion was “very bruising”. 

She said that the inquest shows why the past needs to be dealt with “properly”. 

O’Neill then took aim at the UK Government’s Legacy Act, which she said would drive “a coach and horses through the desires, wishes and needs of all families”.

The First Minister added: “That includes the Kingsmill families who deserve truth and justice, who deserve a public inquiry, who deserve answers, but for my job as leader of today, I speak for Sinn Fein, I speak as First Minister in front of you today, I am sorry for every lost life including those in the Kingsmill disaster.”