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First Minister meets Irish Foreign Affairs Minister over Kingsmills Massacre

First Minister Peter Robinson has challenged the Irish Government to ensure the Garda releases all files relating to the  Kingsmills Massacre – in which 10 Protestant workmen were killed – to the Senior Coroner’s office.

Mr Robinson, accompanied by Nigel Dodds MP and Arlene Foster MLA, met with the Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan tonight (Tuesday).

Commenting after the meeting, Mr Robinson said the Kingsmills families “deserve the truth about this horrific crime and, like all innocent victims, they deserve justice”.

The 10 men were ordered off their minibus on January 5, 1976, and lined up and shot. Only one man, Alan Black, survived.

He said: “Whilst the Inquest will only examine the circumstances of the atrocity and does not have the powers to arrest anyone, it is an important step towards closure for the families.

“Despite the Inquest being announced in 2013 and set up in 2014, the Coroner is still waiting on important documents from the Garda.

“Earlier this year the Irish Prime Minister told the Kingsmills families directly that information would be handed over to the Inquest within weeks. However, over two months have lapsed since that meeting and there is still no progress.

I appreciate the Irish Foreign Minister meeting us about this issue but I have left him in no doubt as to how unsatisfactorily I view the Garda’s approach.

“There should be full cooperation with the Coroner.

“It is time for answers regarding this hold-up and time for the documents to be released in the manner they were promised.

“The Irish government has a clear role in dealing with the past. This was proved when the Smithwick Tribunal established there was collusion between the PIRA and the Garda in the murder of two senior police officers.

“I want to see the full cooperation of the Irish government, as pledged in the Stormont House Agreement, with all inquiries. Anything less is unacceptable and will cause further hurt to victims.”

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