Kingsmill massacre inquest begins over murder of 10 protestants in 1976

Kingsmill massacre inquest begins over murder of 10 protestants in 1976

An inquest into the sectarian murder of 10 Protestant workmen by the IRA in the North 40 years ago will begin today.

More than five weeks have been set aside for the coroner's inquiry into the Kingsmill massacre.

The textile factory workers were ambushed as they travelled along the Whitecross to Bessbrook road in rural south Armagh on January 5 1976 - one of the darkest years of the Troubles.

Their minibus was stopped and those on board asked their religion by the gunmen.

The only Catholic was ordered to flee as the armed men, who were hidden in the hedges, opened fire.

The 10 men who died were John Bryans, Robert Chambers, Reginald Chapman, Walter Chapman, Robert Freeburn, Joseph Lemmon, John McConville, James McWhirter, Robert Samuel Walker and Kenneth Worton.

Father-of-three Alan Black, 72, was hit multiple times but miraculously survived.

The Kingsmill attack was claimed by a little-known republican paramilitary group considered to be a front for the supposedly-on-ceasefire IRA.

However, in 2011, the Historical Enquiries Team of independent detectives found the IRA had been responsible and had targeted the workmen because of their religion.

No-one has ever been convicted.

An original inquest in 1978 lasted just 30 minutes and recorded an open verdict.

In 2013, Northern Ireland's Attorney General, John Larkin, ordered a new coroner-led probe following a long campaign for justice by Mr Black and bereaved relatives.

Victims campaigner William Frazer said: "This has been a long hard road for the families of those murdered at Kingsmills - they have waited over 40 years to see any sort of inquest into the murder of their loved ones.

"The Kingsmills massacre was a brutal sectarian attack which shocked all decent people in Northern Ireland. The sheer sectarian brutality of this attack makes it one of the most notable terrorist acts in our troubled past."


More in this Section

Prisoners involved in five-hour hostage situation at Midlands PrisonPrisoners involved in five-hour hostage situation at Midlands Prison

Update: Kayleigh O'Brien has been found safe and wellUpdate: Kayleigh O'Brien has been found safe and well

Mayo council warns motorists of flash flooding risks in advance of yellow rain warningMayo council warns motorists of flash flooding risks in advance of yellow rain warning

€170m spent to put homeless families in emergency accommodation last year€170m spent to put homeless families in emergency accommodation last year


Lifestyle

Keep chomping on those carrots so your eyes will be in perfect working order for that prolonged annual gaze through the keyhole as Home of the Year returns for a sixth series next week.Home of the Year offers a good excuse for a bit of good-natured interiors voyeurism

They differ from the more prevalent oranges we eat because their flesh, and often the skin, is crimson or deep red in colour.Michelle Darmody: The best time of year to buy blood oranges

The annual Members Exhibition now underway at the Lavit Gallery in Cork features 92 works from 72 artists.The exhibition runs until March 7.Under the hammer: Your guide to upcoming auctions

There’s an oriental theme at the James Adam ‘At Home’ auction in Dublin, says Des O’SullivanAuctions: Sale full of eastern promise

More From The Irish Examiner