Belfast Telegraph

Irish court could be used to give evidence at Kingsmill inquest

A garda could give evidence on what the force knows about the Kingsmill shooting via an Irish court, the foreign affairs minister said.

Legislation is planned in Dublin to enable special cooperation with the long-running inquest in Northern Ireland as bereaved relatives seek the truth about the sectarian IRA attack.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the proposed law would not cover those serving at the time of the atrocity and called on the southern authorities to disclose more information.

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

May Quinn, whose brother Bobby Walker was driving the minibus bringing the workmen home, said: "They have made promises to us before - let's make sure that they fulfil them this time."

The Irish authorities have handed over 30 documents plus newspaper clippings but bereaved relatives insist there must be more.

Ms Quinn said she remembered her sibling's callous killing every day.

"I look at my brother's photo every morning in the hall.

"If I knew who did it, that is what I want to know, who did it, name them and shame them."

Some relatives have threatened to boycott the inquest over what they claim is a lack of cooperation by the southern authorities.

Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said all related documents in possession of the Garda had already been handed over to the inquest.

He met some of the families and the DUP leader in Armagh on Tuesday evening.

"What we are looking at now is passing new legislation in Ireland to allow an Garda Siochana to actually give evidence in an Irish court in relation to an inquest in Northern Ireland, which is very new, I am not sure that it has been done before.

"I think it is certainly evidence of the fact that the Irish Government want to be as helpful as we can.

"The families that have lost loved ones have been through a torturous period in terms of trying to get to the truth and I can promise that the Irish Government wants to assist them in every way we can."

Mrs Foster said the proposed law mirrored legislation taken in the Omagh bombing civil case so that serving guards will be able to give their evidence to a High Court judge.

"But of course that does not solve the problem of those people who were serving nearly 42 years ago and that is the difficulty."

She said there was a "dearth" of documents disclosed so far, with 60 out of 90 being newspaper cuttings.

"Is it really credible to suggest that that is all the documentation that is held?"

Beatrice Worton's son Kenneth was murdered.

She said: "I want action. I am coming 90 in September and I want to see something done."

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