30 May 2015Enda Kenny met Kingsmills relatives in Bessbrook on March 26A 80-year-old victim of the Kingsmills massacre has said the Taoiseach has broken promises he made two months ago to release Garda files on the atrocity.
Ten civilian workmen were murdered at Kingsmills in south Armagh by the IRA as they returned home from work in 1976.
The van used by the gunmen was stolen from Co Louth and the operation is understood to have been planned and executed from the Republic of Ireland.
May Quinn, whose brother Bobby Walker was one of those killed, said she was disappointed with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who came to Bessbrook on March 26 to promise the release of Garda files to the Belfast inquest for her brother.
“He promised he would have the files sent to us but what good is a promise if you don’t keep it?” she said. “It was just his way of getting off the hook.”
She said that BBC Panorama had reported on Thursday that the 1976 shootings took place in revenge for UVF murders the night before.
“But the HET report said that this was not true and that the Kingsmills shootings were planned many months beforehand,” she added.
Victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer welcomed the Taoiseach to Bessbrook on March 26. Weeks previously the Irish Department of Justice had persuaded him to cancel a controversial victims’ parade through Dublin, assuring him that the files would be released by the end of March.
“The Taoiseach has not fulfilled the promises he made to us in Bessbrook,” he said. “The excuses can only last so long. There are plenty of buses that victims can take down to Dublin.”
He questioned why Panorama did not mention Irish state collusion.
A spokesman for the Taoiseach said: “The Irish authorities remain in ongoing contact with the Northern Ireland Coroner’s Office and are anxious to ensure that records can be provided as soon as is possible in accordance with the law.”