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FAIR honours dead at Kingsmill Remembrance Service

Today families of the massacre victims at Kingsmills together with representatives from FAIR held a short remembrance service 29 years on from the slaughter that rocked the Protestant community. The crime, committed in the name of republicanism and calculated to strike terror into the hearts of law-abiding citizens, has left a wound that is still as fresh in the minds of relatives and friends as it was 29 years ago. The service was held not only as a fitting remembrance to those who died in the hail of gunfire, but also to assure those left behind that FAIR is unflinchingly committed to fighting for justice and bringing the murderers to book. This is the least of the recompense the families deserve.

FAIR has repeatedly called for investigations to be made into the murders, and has passed over information detailing what happened that night and who was responsible to the PSNI. Unfortunately, there is not the same level of interest in such cases when Republicans are top of the agenda. FAIR's assurances to the family included a renewed attempt to have the cases re-opened, suitable resources made available, and the thoroughness of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry applied to the investigations.

It is worthy of note that some of the weapons used in the Kingsmill Massacre were also employed in the murders of Breen and Buchanan. FAIR has reached the conclusion that the Irish Government has been purposefully dragging its heels over the Breen and Buchanan case and other IRA atrocities in the South Armagh border area. We believe that their inaction is due to an unwillingness to address the embarrassing issues that would arise once the cases are opened. A veritable can of worms would serve to discredit the Irish Government at a time when they seem to have as much stake in Northern Ireland as it's own citizens, and would no doubt lay a large portion of the blame at the Cabinet's door.

The collusion between Garda and the IRA was staggering considering that the Guards were the police arm of an international state, and nothing was done to tackle the conspiracies that were rife in the ranks. The cold facts bare witness to the devastation caused both by informers and conspirators in the ranks of the Garda, and by the use of the Republic as a safe haven for terrorists. Although senior RUC officers have praise for certain men within the ranks of the Guards, even they were aware of the 'bad apples' in various positions, and either were unwilling or powerless to remove them.

It is now clear that FAIR's various meetings with Dublin officials have been a fruitless exercise to date. As an organisation that represents those who have lost RUC, UDR and civilian dead we demand the answers that should have been given a long time ago. If there is no movement on these issues, FAIR together with relatives will picket the Justice Department in the Republic. Dublin ministers who venture north will also be confronted. Whilst they back SF / IRA claims of collusion on the British side, it is clear that they haven't cleaned their backyard in 80 years.

In the scheme of things, victims have fared worse than anyone, and have been pigeon-holed as second class citizens. The minority community in South Armagh has been disenfranchised -from genuine law and order but also Justice, that pillar on which all societies should be built. This 5th of January should be a reminder to us all of the atrocities committed for a corrupt and evil cause, of the urgent need for true redress to be made, and of the onus placed on us as ordinary, law-abiding citizens to ensure that justice, verifiable and fair, is done.


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