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Kingsmills families are to be given weapons history

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

A HISTORY of the weapons used in the 1976 Kingsmill massacre are to be given to the families of those killed.

The inquest into the atrocity has been stalled while police investigated new evidence, in the form of a palm print found on a van believed to have been used by the killers.

The latest development came at a preliminary hearing last Thursday, with the main inquest set to resume on May 15.

The PSNI will hand over the list, which will detail where and when any guns fired at Kingsmill were used both before and after the attack.

Some of the guns used were not found for years after the attack, which claimed the lives of 10 protestant workmen, and are linked to a lengthy list of attacks.

The coroner, Judge Brian Sherrard, has also made it clear that he will have to be satisfied that he has been provided with all relevant material in the possession of An Gardai Siochana, and outlined that he has written to the Gardai, with no response as yet.

Some families have said that they will cease co-operating with the inquest unless all such material is provided, and have already voiced dismay that only a small amount of information has been made available to date.

The coroner told the hearing that he would not be able to consider the inquest closed until all information sought had been obtained.

Relatives are seeking details from Irish police about the weapons used, intelligence and the getaway van driven by the gunmen.

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan cannot, however, direct an officer to give evidence to the inquest without new legislation being enacted.

“I am mindful of the need to ensure that the totality of the information that is being sought is provided," said Judge Sherrard.

“This matter will not be closed until I am satisfied we have taken the appropriate steps."

The preliminary hearing will reconvene next week, when it will consider Public Interest Immunity rulings relating to some documentation.

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