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Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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04.01.07
Victims Remember Kingsmills Massacre

As victims reflect on the fact that it is now over Thirty Years since the atrocity of Kingsmills and they have yet to see justice the present debate on Republicansí entry to policing is put in perspective. We fear that the price to pay for Sinn Fein/IRAs support for policing will be too costly and will include a de facto Amnesty and Republican control of community level policing in areas such as South Armagh. We are also concerned that they will simply pay lip service to their commitments entering policing and justice as a dangerous fifth column whilst their dissident republican alter-egos can continue. As victims we require actions not words from Republicans and we demand them now.

As many families make plans for the New Year, we must all be mindful of those left bereaved by terrorism. The home shattered and the empty seat at a table serve as reminders of the evil deeds perpetrated in our land. January is a particularly difficult time for the community of South Armagh as we remember the Kingsmills massacre the worst such atrocity of the Troubles. It was the culmination of a sectarian campaign of slaughter perpetrated by the Provisional IRA in South Armagh, despite claims that they were on ceasefire. The sense of bereavement amongst victims is only matched by the sense of betrayal as it becomes clear as the archives are opened that the British government was in secret negotiations with the terrorists involved in the murder of our loved ones. The failure of the government to protect border communities from the PIRA is mirrored today as the government would still give us up as a prey to our enemy.

Indeed the furtive dealings between the government and terrorists led to a scaling down of security and a soft approach to terrorism, as the government tried to extend the so-called ceasefire. In actual fact the ongoing contacts and their impact on the government's policy to terrorism amounts to collusion, an issue we will be pursuing this year. It is in memory of the victims that we as a group pursue justice and we have been in contact with the Historic Enquiries team this week. The evidence links the murder gang responsible for Kingsmills to up to eighty other murders in the area, and this year will see the review of these killings.

We have also began a review of sensitive Cabinet Files relating to the period from both Governments and already the central role the atrocity played points to the fact that there was an official cover-up. Both states have many questions to answer in relation to the events and how they could have happened at a time when security should have been heightened, how a gang of dozens of terrorists could operate without detection on both sides of the border and how no one has yet to be brought to justice despite the fact that this was perhaps the biggest terrorist operation of its kind.

This week as the victims will meet to hold a memorial service at the site of the Kingsmills massacre, where they will commemorate the Thirty-First Anniversary of the murders. The Service will take place at 11.00 on Friday 5th 2007 at the site of the killings which is half a mile past the village of Whitecross. Unlike other years and due to the political uncertainty and failure to satisfy victims to date politicians will not be invited. The group feels that at the present time with the prospect of Sinn Fein/IRA in government and with control over victims issues our politicians have much work to do and many important issues to resolve before they can face the victims families.

 



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