THE KINGSMILL MASSACRE INQUESTS: UPDATE
KRW LAW LLP is instructed by the family of John McConville who was murdered in the Kingsmill Massacre 5th January 1976 in which ten Protestant workmen were killed in disputed circumstances by the IRA. We are also instructed by the only survivor of the attack Alan Black, who was shot 18 times. The inquests commenced earlier this year.
Today the inquests – and our clients – will be informed of an important decision taken by the Director of the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) relating to forensic evidence produced earlier this year by the PSNI in the form of an historic palm print belonging to a suspect in the Kingsmill Massacre arrested by the PSNI in August of this year.
If the PPS have decided not to prosecute the suspect on the basis of the forensic evidence then the inquests will resume and the provenance of this new evidence and the subsequent PSNI investigation will become a core part of the proceedings in addition to the controversial role of On the Run (OTR) administrative scheme which impacted on that investigation.
If the PPS have not been able to make a decision to prosecute this will mean further delay in expediting these inquests. The palm print evidence has already been ‘missed’ twice by the PSNI and the investigation complicated by the OTR scheme and the reluctance of the Garda Siochana to contribute to this investigation despite the fact the palm print was found on a vehicle suspected of being used in the killings in the Irish Republic.
If the PPS decide to prosecute the suspect then that will mean the inquest proceedings will be stayed pending that prosecution, the result of which would not be certain given the complexity of factors in the case.
On Tuesday 13th December 2016 the family of John McConville and Alan Black accompanied by legal representatives met with the Northern Ireland Justice Minister Ms Claire Sugden. They discussed the serious concerns they have relating to matters concerning justice and the Rule of Law relating to the murders at Kingsmill and the attempted murder of Alan Black. Following the meeting Alan Black commented that
“We all know that it was the PIRA who pulled the triggers of the guns and killed my colleagues and almost killed me. But what bugs me is that the police action to date concerning the investigation makes me think that it is either sheer incompetence at play or the police are protecting an agent.”
Barry O’Donnell of KRW LAW LLP said:
“The investigation into the death’s at Kingsmill and the attempted murder of Alan Black has been beset by several serious assaults undermining the integrity of the investigation. The OTR scheme struck at the heart of the investigation and we will advance all legal routes to redress this matter.
In addition to this the Garda Siochana have had to be dragged to the table to disclose documents. We have previously issued pre-action legal procedures to ensure disclosure was complied with however we may have to revisit this and issue legal action to ensure compliance with Article 2 (the right to life) procedures relating to the investigation.
We are concerned at the lack of disclosure relating to the find of three weapons in the Irish Republic and used in the Kingsmill Massacre, which we consider is a violation of the investigatory obligations arising on the state when Article 2 has been violated. The day where we live in a society when the statutory bodies charged with upholding the Rule of Law can play fast and loose with what they retain in relation to murder investigations, is the day when the same statutory bodies do not investigate murder and citizens are given license to murder citizens. This is why we as lawyers must ensure full disclosure is ensured in this matter.”
Contact: Barry O’Donnell
KRW LAW LLP
3rd Floor, The Sturgen Building
9-15 Queen Street
Tel: 028 9024 1888
Fax: 028 9024 4804