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Brother of Kingsmill victim Kenneth Worton hails courage of the Quinn family

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Colin Worton from Markethill in county Armagh who lost his brother Kenneth in the Kingsmill atrocity. Pic by Peter Morrison

Colin Worton from Markethill in county Armagh who lost his brother Kenneth in the Kingsmill atrocity. Pic by Peter Morrison

Kingsmill

Kingsmill

Kenneth Worton

Kenneth Worton

Colin Worton from Markethill in county Armagh who lost his brother Kenneth in the Kingsmill atrocity. Pic by Peter Morrison

The brother of one of the 10 workmen murdered by the IRA in the Kingsmill massacre more than 40 years ago said he has nothing but admiration for the family of Paul Quinn.

Kenneth Worton (24) was one of the victims in the 1976 sectarian atrocity in south Armagh.

His brother Colin Worton said he supports the Quinn family, from Cullyhanna, for refusing to back down.

But he fears their continued pleas for Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy to retract comments in which he branded Mr Quinn as a criminal will fall on deaf ears.

Mr Quinn (21) was beaten to death in October 2007, with every major bone in his body broken.

For 13 years his parents Breege and Stephen Quinn have sought answers, their grief compounded by comments from Mr Murphy, then an MP, who claimed their son was involved in criminality and smuggling.

Kenneth Worton

The couple welcomed an apology from the new Stormont Finance Minister on Wednesday, but said it did not go far enough.

They say they need Mr Murphy to publicly retract the comments, which have torn their family apart, and called for his resignation.

Mr Worton said he knows only too well the hurt that can be caused to families.

"One person has the power to ease 13 years of hurt for a grieving family," he said

"You're not human, you have no compassion if you can't see that.

He knows who he talked to after the murder of Paul Quinn and if Sinn Fein are to be believed when they say they stand for truth and justice, then he has to give the names of those he says he talked to the PSNI or the gardai. Colin Worton

"Conor Murphy should give the Quinn family the words they long to hear. Then he should step aside gracefully, but I don't think he knows the meaning of that word." Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald and deputy leader Michelle O'Neill have both said publicly this week that Paul Quinn was "no criminal", something Mr Murphy has so far failed to do.

"Everyone could see the effect the torment of the Quinn family had on the audience when they spoke on television. How could you fail to be moved by that?" Mr Worton added. "It's well documented Conor Murphy joined the IRA during the hunger strikes. He was sentenced to five years in prison for IRA membership and possession of explosives.

Kingsmill

"He knows who he talked to after the murder of Paul Quinn and if Sinn Fein are to be believed when they say they stand for truth and justice, then he has to give the names of those he says he talked to the PSNI or the gardai.

"Do the right thing. But since when has Sinn Fein done the right thing when it doesn't suit them to do so? I have heard the apology from Conor Murphy and it's only coming from the teeth out. They are masters at what they do. They spin us, the victims, and their own supporters along. In the end the victims get nothing.

"We've been through exactly the same thing."

In January 2018 Sinn Fein MP Barry McElduff upset the families of those killed in the Kingsmill massacre when he tweeted a video of himself balancing a Kingsmill loaf on his head on the anniversary of the atrocity.

It was only when the sole survivor of the attack, Alan Black, appeared on RTE television that the families received an apology.

Mr McElduff, who said he did not intend to cause offence, resigned as MP. He was re-elected as a Sinn Fein councillor last May.

Mr Worton added: "When he pulled his stunt two years ago it was public opinion that finally made Sinn Fein force Barry McElduff to resign. That's the only thing Sinn Fein will listen to.

"Unless opinion is turned against them they will sit back and do nothing, no matter what hurt that causes to families. And look at Barry McElduff now. He's back on the political ladder and no doubt will soon start climbing it again.

"Sinn Fein seem to be the only party who can weather these storms and they don't seem to care about the effects on the families.

"Breege and Stephen Quinn are only one couple who have suffered. There are so many more who are too scared to speak out. Many more have had the fight drained out of them.

"Given south Armagh's history, Breege and Stephen have shown such courage in 13 years of fighting for their son.

"I have nothing but admiration for them."

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