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Kingsmills massacre: Relatives of men killed meet Secretary of State Theresa Villiers

Ms Villiers told the families she was surprised that a palm print from the getaway vehicle was matched after 40 years.

By Rebecca Black

Published 08/07/2016

Mrs Lemmon's husband Joseph was among 10 textile factory workers murdered when their minibus was ambushed
Mrs Lemmon's husband Joseph was among 10 textile factory workers murdered when their minibus was ambushed

Relatives of several of the ten workmen murdered in the Kingsmills massacre have met Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

The men were shot dead by the IRA on January 5, 1976 after their minibus home from work was pulled over on a remote country road in south Armagh.

No one has ever been convicted in connection with the shootings.

A second inquest has been taking place into the atrocity.

However proceedings were halted in June following the matching of a palm print which was found on the gun men's getaway vehicle.

It is due to resume in September while the PSNI investigate the new lead.

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On Friday the families met with Ms Villiers, and said she has promised to help them secure a meeting with PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton.

Relatives of the ten men killed at Kingsmills meet Secretary of State Theresa Villers
Relatives of the ten men killed at Kingsmills meet Secretary of State Theresa Villers

Colin Worton, whose brother Kenneth was among the ten Protestant workmen killed, said Ms Villiers told them she was surprised that the palm print had been matched.

"She understood how we felt," he said.

The families were accompanied by victims campaigner Willie Frazer.

He described the meeting as "constructive".

"The Secretary of State advised that she was surprised when news of the discovery came to light, she has spoken with the Chief Constable already in relation to the investigation but has committed to speaking with him again requesting he meet the families as soon as possible," he said.

"As Mrs Worton was also present we raised the issue of McCreesh park in Newry highlighting the fact that the equality commission has reassessed its findings.

"We have requested she speak with the SDLP requesting on our behalf that they support a motion changing the name of the park, it's in no ones interested to see this issue dragged out neither the rate payers of Newry Mourne and Down council or the local community.

"We made it clear that it was not acceptable for a children's park to remain named after a terrorist which is continuing to cause distress to the Kingsmills families.

"There was a number of other issues discussed, we believe the meeting was mutually beneficial we continue to keep open channels of dialogue and thank the Secretary of State for her time and committed."

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