Long-overdue Justice in Kingsmill Massacre Inquest: IRA’s Involvement Exposed

Belfast, Northern Ireland – The atrocity at Kingsmill in 1976, one of the most horrific events during the Troubles, resurfaced in a recent inquest led by coroner Brian Sherrard. The massacre, which claimed the lives of ten workmen, was originally attributed to a lesser-known paramilitary group known as the South Armagh Republican Action Force. However, suspicions pointed towards the IRA, despite their supposed ceasefire at the time.

During the lengthy inquest, Sherrard criticized the IRA and its affiliates for their lack of cooperation, dismissing rumors claiming British Army Captain Robert Nairac’s involvement in the massacre as “utter fantasy.” He also highlighted the Irish State’s reluctance to acknowledge the role of the Irish border in the atrocity.

In the aftermath of the inquest, the sole survivor of the attack, Alan Black, along with families of the victims, urged for a public inquiry into the Kingsmill massacre. They expressed dissatisfaction with the coronial proceedings, arguing that vital questions remained unanswered.

The workmen were ambushed on their way home from a textiles factory by a gang posing as British soldiers. After identifying the sole Catholic worker and instructing him to flee, the perpetrators senselessly executed the remaining men. Despite being shot multiple times, Alan Black miraculously survived. To this day, no one has been convicted for the killings.

Sherrard vehemently disputed claims suggesting the IRA’s innocence, labeling it as a deceitful ploy. He emphasized the IRA’s direct involvement in the orchestrated sectarian attack, citing conclusive ballistics evidence linking the weapons used to previous IRA assaults.

The massacre at Kingsmill was perceived as a retaliatory response to earlier attacks on two Catholic families, though evidence indicated that planning for the assault predated these incidents. Speculations about Captain Nairac’s role were dispelled, with Sherrard confirming his innocence in the atrocity.

As the inquest shed light on various deficiencies in the police investigation and identified suspects who received controversial “comfort letters” during the peace process, Sherrard underscored the need to attribute accountability to those responsible for the brutal murders. Despite the investigation’s imperfections, he noted the challenging security conditions of south Armagh in 1976 and the elusive nature of the assailants.

Ultimately, the inquest served as a stark reminder of the unresolved trauma from the Troubles, emphasizing the imperative of seeking justice and closure for the victims and their families.