Belfast Telegraph

Niece of man killed at Kingsmill pens moving post in response to McElduff video

By Claire O'Boyle

A student has written a heartbreaking blog about how Sinn Fein's response to the Barry McElduff Kingsmill stunt has caused untold pain to her family.

Becca Smith, whose uncle John McConville was just 20 when he was gunned down in the 1976 massacre, said Mr McElduff should have resigned.

"Barry McElduff has said sorry, but that means nothing without action," said Becca (21), from Banbridge.

"He also said he'd be happy to meet the families, but as far as my family is concerned we have no intention of meeting him.

"All we have heard so far are words. If he was truly sorry for the pain he's caused he would stand down. He still can."

Becca, who is studying youth work, says her mum Tania, John's youngest sister, has been left devastated by Mr McElduff's video.

"It's been very upsetting, and especially with the inquest situation ongoing, this is another thing to deal with," she said.

"It makes it very hard to look at Sinn Fein as a serious party when this is how they've dealt with something so awful.

"Three months paid leave is pathetic and insulting. They should have done more, it's not a punishment at all."

Becca, who hopes to work with young offenders in the future, said she did not find out about the horrific circumstances of her uncle's murder until she was a teenager.

"We grew up knowing Uncle John had died young," she said. "But it wasn't until five years ago I found out he was murdered in this horrendous way.

"I was devastated by it, of course, it's such a terrible thing to have happened to my family, but it didn't turn me to hate.

"For years and years my best friend has been a Catholic - Dearbhla Smyth. Even though something so awful happened to my family in the past, I know there's no difference between my Protestant family and Catholics. Everyone I've heard from on this, from every background, have been horrified by what Barry McElduff did. If somebody from the other side did something so hurtful the other way around I'd be embarrassed and ashamed of it too."

Belfast Telegraph

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