Calls for Kingsmill march re-routing

Published Tuesday, 14 February 2012
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Nationalist politicians are calling for a controversial march in south Armagh to commemorate the victims of the Kingsmill massacre to be re-routed.

Calls for Kingsmill march re-routing
Wooden crosses mark the site where the shooting happened in 1976. (© UTV)

Ten Protestant workmen were shot dead by gunmen who ambushed the bus they were travelling in on their way home from work on 5 January 1976.

Eleven armed men - who used the cover name of the South Armagh Republican Action Force - forced their victims to reveal their religion before lining them up and shooting them.

The victims' Group FAIR has organised what they are calling a 'March for Justice' to commemorate the deaths 36 years ago.

But there have been claims it is aimed at stirring up sectarian tensions, as its route would take it through the mainly nationalist village of Whitecross.

Sinn Féin and the SDLP stood stand side-by-side during a meeting with the Parades Commission to discuss the matter in Belfast on Tuesday.

Dominic Bradley, SDLP MLA, said: "I think the local residents feel community relations here have been coming along and this march would be detrimental.

"We had a meeting Friday past attended by a couple of hundred residents and they were very clear that in their view this is not helpful."

Conor Murphy, Sinn Féin MP, said: "There is no history of a march through Whitecross.

"But there is no issue with the people who lost loved ones in Kingsmill commemorating that, it has happened every year since without opposition."

However Willie Frazer has denied the claims against the planned march.

"The families are behind this," Mr Frazer told UTV.

"We decided for the good of the community there would be no bands, only banners with the names.

"We are going simply as victims who have suffered over the past 40-odd years to raise awareness of what happened.

"All we are asking for is equality and justice, nothing more and nothing less, but we are not looking to demonise the Catholic community."

The Parades Commission is expected to give its ruling by Wednesday at the latest.

© UTV News
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18 Comments
Mark O in Londonderry wrote (988 days ago):
I don't like the way Republicans vilify Willie Frazer. I wouldnt be his biggest Fan but he is a man who had 5 members of his family murdered by the IRA. He is entitled to his opinions as a victim, is he not? I hope those calling on Willie and Co to "take their oil" and "move on" repeat that call next time, say The Ballymurphy Families appear in the news. Also off note is a Death threat issued against a Protestant Pastor for being involved in this March. Republicans cockroaches are alive and well and still doing all they can to add insult to Injury, something they have always done. Let these victims of the IRA March For Justice or are Marches for justice just for Republicans? I wonder if the Cockroaches will Protest? Wouldnt put it past them!
OldSod in Fermanagh wrote (989 days ago):
I can sympathise with the families of the victims, it must feel as if history is gradually being rewritten, to the favor of Sinn Fein and the IRA. It must also sometimes feel as if there is a hierarchy of victims, where they are being left behind. The murder of their loved ones was in some ways more shocking than even Bloody Sunday, due to the sectarian motive and cold execution, but they will never achieve the cause celebre or media attention the Bloody Sunday families received (they in turn should not be begrudged for this). But they should not entertain the likes of Willie Fraser, who does their cause more harm than good. I would be embarrassed to have him speak on my family's behalf. All decent people are disgusted with what happened to your families, irrespective of their religion or politics.
justice in lisburn wrote (989 days ago):
i think it is rich from john who claims about the expense of such a parade and the police presence.this is coming from the same group who demanded a full enquiry into the bloody sunday at a cost of 200 million pounds with the for knowledge that there was never going to be a prosecution from the enquiry. now that is what i call a waste of money just to have some one say sorry the familys have as much rights as anyone else to ask for a parade
remember the innocent in armagh wrote (989 days ago):
i think it is rich that sinn fein and the sdlp are trying to block a parade to commemorate familys who lost loved ones in the troubles . if the IRA and the UVF and another host of paramiltarys wouldnt have went round and murderd innocent people we would have no need for a parade . The familes have more rights than the terrorists to remember the dead they are the real suffers in the troubles and are trying to be brushed out of the way shame on sinn fein shame on the sdlp
victim of loyalist murder attempt in belfast wrote (989 days ago):
Willie needs to boost his media image and will, as ever, use ANYTHING or ANYBODY to achieve that. He has made a career for himself out of the suffering of others. The Kingsmill relatives do'nt help their case by being associated with this latest stunt.
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