Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ian Paisley ‘peerage’ an insult, insists murder slur man

A man wrongly accused by Ian Paisley snr of masterminding one of the worst sectarian killings of the Troubles has called for the former DUP leader to be refused a seat in the House of Lords until he apologises for the slur.

Eugene Reavey issued a statement last night following reports that Mr Paisley is to get a seat in the House of Lords as part of the Birthday Honours list on June 13.

Mr Reavey said: “Nobody who has abused Parliamentary privilege should be given that privilege again in the House of Lords”.

The former DUP leader used Parliamentary privilege in 1999 to accuse the south Armagh man of being responsible for the Kingsmills massacre.

But last week Mr Reavey and his family were exonerated by the Historical Enquiries Team from any connection with paramilitary organisations or crimes. It also cleared Mr Reavey of being involved in the 1976 massacre.

Mr Reavey’s brothers John Martin (24), Brian (22) and Anthony Reavey (17) were shot dead by the UVF at their home in Glenanne in January 1976. Just 24 hours later 10 Protestant workmen were taken from a minibus in the village of Kingsmills, south Armagh, and shot dead by republican gunmen in retaliation.

Mr Reavey said he has written to Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg asking them to refuse any honour to Mr Paisley.

He said: “Ian Paisley abused Parliamentary privilege in 1999 to accuse me of setting up the Kingsmills massacre. He claimed he had police sources. The Historical Enquiries Team has explicitly refuted the charge that I, my murdered brothers, or any member of my family were connected in any way with any paramilitary organisation or any crime.”

A DUP spokesman declined to comment on the case last night.

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