Belfast Telegraph

Brother of Kingsmill massacre victim condemns attack on memorial

By Mark Edwards and Rebecca Black

The brother of one of 10 Protestant workmen killed in one of the most infamous atrocities of the Troubles has condemned an attack on a memorial to the victims.

Wreaths and flowers left by families in memory of their loved ones killed at Kingsmill, Co Armagh, in 1976 were thrown on to the road and an Irish flag was nailed to the stone structure covering the memorial plaque.

It is the fourth time the memorial has been attacked since it was erected in 2013

Colin Worton, whose brother Kenneth was killed at Kingsmill, described those behind the attack as mindless.

"By mindlessly attacking the Kingsmill monument these cowards are continuing to honour what happened on January 5 1976. Until evil is condemned outrightly by every decent human being these sick events will still take place," he said.

UUP councillor David Taylor told the Belfast Telegraph he was made aware of the attack, which occurred overnight, on Monday morning and that a tricolour had been nailed to the memorial.

“I am truly appalled by this sickening attack on the Kingsmills Memorial," he said.

"The Kingsmills families have suffered enough anguish and pain over the last 42 years and it is clear that the perpetrators of this heinous crime have sought to further compound their heartache by carrying out such an action.

“It is truly horrifying that an incident so sinister in nature has taken place at the Kingsmills Memorial.  Unfortunately, however, this is not the first time that an attack has taken place at the site.

Cllr Taylor added: “My thoughts first and foremost are with the Kingsmills families who are understandably very distressed at this attack on the memorial. They should not have to contend with such despicable behaviour from those with a very obviously cruel and sectarian mind-set.

“I would appeal to anyone with information to report it to the Police. There is no possible defence or justification for this. The individuals who perpetrated this shocking crime must be brought to justice.”

Sinn Fein MLA Megan Fearon condemned those responsible for the vandalism.

The Newry and Armagh MLA said: “This was a despicable act designed to hurt the families of the victims.

“And those who placed a national flag on the Kingsmill monument clearly have no respect for the meaning of that flag which is about peace and harmony between the main traditions on this island.

“There is absolutely no place in our society for desecrations of monuments which commemorate those who died during the conflict.

“Monuments and memorials are important places in communities and should be respected.

“I would encourage anyone with any information about who was responsible for this disgraceful act to contact the PSNI.”

Police are treating the attack as a sectarian motivated hate crime and are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or who noticed any unusual activity in the area to contact police at Newtownhamilton Police Station on 101 quoting reference 246 30/07/18. 

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