Belfast Telegraph

IRA victims' families meet Garda ahead of Dublin protest

By Allan Preston

Victims of IRA violence will meet senior Garda officers today to discuss plans for a protest in Dublin.

They are calling on the Irish government to release documents it possesses about the 1976 Kingsmill massacre.

The Kingsmill atrocity saw 10 Protestant workmen gunned down by the IRA in rural south Armagh after their van was stopped as they travelled home from work.

Today's delegation to Dublin will be led by the south Armagh victims' campaigner Willie Frazer and will include a member of the Kingsmill families and other victims of republican violence from the area during the Troubles.

The Kingsmill inquest in Belfast paused earlier this month after the coroner Brian Sherrard was told a "fundamental" 1975 document with details on shared security information between the RUC and Garda may have gone missing.

Mr Sherrard said at the time: "These matters are of importance to our community as a whole, as well as to the interested parties."

He called on the authorities to "redouble our efforts" to locate the documents as "they seem to answer many fundamental questions about the nature of co-operation" between the RUC and Garda.

Mr Frazer has long argued the Irish government has failed to properly engage on the matter, with little or no movement on the outstanding legacy issues.

"Some would, unfortunately, suggest that a policy of non-engagement has been formed when it comes to dealing with legacy issues surrounding terrorist activity in the border region of south Armagh.

"Victims now feel they must travel to Dublin to highlight these concerns," he said.

He added that Dublin now had a window of opportunity to "right any wrongs" by releasing any historic documents of value and sending representatives to give evidence at the inquest.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said earlier this month it was his understanding all documents had been handed over to the coroner's office and he added that "no games were being played".

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