Belfast Telegraph

Willie Frazer plans Kingsmill march in Dublin

By Michael Sheils McNamee

Victims campaigner Willie Frazer is planning a march in Dublin next month to put pressure on the Irish government over cooperation with the inquest into the Kingsmill massacre.

Mr Frazer on Friday morning will meet with An Garda Siochana at Droghada Garda Station in Co Louth to discuss details of the march, with the possibility that it will take place along O'Connell Street and make its way towards Irish parliament Leinster House.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Frazer said that the march was taking place as his group were "sick and tired of the Irish government lying to us".

"All we want is for them to fulfil their commitments. We are just going ahead with this, when the Taoiseach looks you in the eye twice, and promises, and so does the foreign affairs minister, and then ignores us," he said.

A day for the September march has not yet been finalised, and Frazer hopes that it will put pressure on the Irish government to provide documents he claims former Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he would hand over after a similar march was cancelled in 2015.

Willie Frazer's father was one of 10 Protestant workmen killed in the 1976 attack carried out by a group called the South Armagh Republican Action Force, believed to be a front for the Provisional IRA. The massacre is considered one of the worst sectarian incidents of the Troubles.

In 2006 Mr Frazer was at the centre of organising the Love Ulster parade on Dublin's O'Connell Street, which resulted in rioting and damage to public property. A planned parade for the following year was cancelled after a discussion between Mr Frazer and the then Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern.

In 2015 a similar parade was called off after the Irish government said it would hand over documents related to the inquest.

Mr Frazer also said that next month's parade is set to feature marching bands, some which had members killed in the Kingsmill attack.

Responding to comments made by Frazer, the Department of the Taoiseach issued a statement to the Belfast Telegraph saying:

"The Irish Government is cooperating fully, in accordance with the law, with the Coroner’s Inquest into the Kingsmill case in order to provide answers for the victims’ families.

"In line with this commitment, significant evidential material has already been transferred by the Garda Síochána to the Northern Ireland Coroner. This was made possible by the enactment of legislation designed to allow such a transfer to take place in the case of a non-criminal justice enquiry.

"The Irish authorities have continuously sought to cooperate with the Coroner and his legal team as part of an ongoing legal process.  Every effort has been made to facilitate further cooperation in respect of the Coroner’s requests to an Garda Síochána and there have been numerous meetings with the Coroner's legal team over the last year. 

"The Coroner's most recent request of 13 April 2017 was responded to comprehensively on 1 June 2017.  The Irish Government and the Garda Authorities remain keen to assist any further requests from the Coroner in accordance with the law."   

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