Belfast Telegraph

Government vows to co-operate with Kingsmill massacre inquest

The Government has insisted it will not stymie efforts to find closure for Kingsmill massacre victims.

Ten Protestant textile workers were gunned down during an IRA roadside ambush in South Armagh in January 1976.

Relatives of some of those killed have threatened to pull out of an inquest if legal authorities in the Republic do not co-operate.

They are seeking details from the Garda about the weapons used, intelligence and the getaway van employed by the gunmen.

A statement from the Justice Department said: "Any suggestion that there is an unwillingness by the Irish government to assist the inquest or stand in the way of closure for the victims' families would be unfounded.

"The Irish government has given its commitment to co-operate to the greatest extent possible, within the law, with the inquest and, in fact, has taken unprecedented legal measures to facilitate that co-operation and to deliver upon its commitment."

It said the Government took the "unprecedented" step of producing domestic legislation to facilitate legal co-operation with the inquest.

"This legislation facilitated the transfer of significant evidential material by An Garda Siochana to the Northern Ireland coroner.

"The Irish authorities have continuously sought to cooperate with the coroner and his legal team as part of an ongoing legal process."

The factory workers were travelling home from work when their minibus was stopped.

They were asked their religion then lined up on a country road and shot dead in a sectarian attack blamed on the IRA.

Only one man, Alan Black, survived despite being shot 18 times.

Victims' relatives are seeking more details from the Garda.

However, Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan cannot direct an officer to give evidence to the inquest without new legislation.

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