Belfast Telegraph

Kingsmills massacre: Inquest into IRA murders of workmen in 1976 to take place next year

By Michael McHugh

An inquest into a the Kingsmills massacre almost 40 years ago will take place next summer.

Ten textile workers were shot dead near the Co Armagh village of Kingsmills in 1976 after masked IRA gunmen flagged down the minibus they were travelling home from work in.

Senior coroner for Northern Ireland John Leckey has announced that the inquest will commence on June 1 next year.

Relatives of one victim, John McConville, have written to Justice Minister David Ford, Mr Leckey and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) rejecting financial reasons for delay.

Chief Constable George Hamilton is addressing major funding cuts, and proposed prioritising keeping people safe over addressing the past. Money for investigating the past could be lost due to potential budget cuts of £88 million, the senior officer has said.

Records show the Kingsmills killers asked all occupants of the vehicle what religion they were. The only Catholic worker was ordered away and the 11 remaining workmates shot. One survived, despite being hit 18 times.

Injured Alan Black, now close to his 71st birthday, is a key witness.

A McConville family statement said: "Surviving such an atrocity and being told the delay is down to money is, in his own words, just not acceptable and causes further trauma for all concerned."

No one has been convicted of the murders.

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