Kingsmills memorial march postponed

Published Wednesday, 22 February 2012
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The Kingsmills families have decided to postpone a planned march through the south Armagh village of Whitecross on Saturday.

Kingsmills memorial march postponed
Wllie Frazer during a memorial service after the Kingsmill Massacre (© Pacemaker)

They were due to remember the ten Protestant workmen who were ambushed and killed by IRA gunmen in January 1976.

The decision not to proceed with the planned event followed two bereavements.

FAIR spokesman Willie Frazer said: "At the request of the Kingsmills families the Walk for Justice and Equality to the site of the Kingsmill Massacre on Saturday 25 February has been postponed.

Mr Frazer said the march, which was restricted by the Parades Commission, will take place at a later date.

"Perhaps this postponement will give the nationalist community in Whitecross a chance to reconsider their stance and be more conciliatory in the future."

Last week, the parades watchdog allowed the controversial commemoration, whose route passes through the mainly nationalist village of Whitecross, to go ahead with restrictions.

In its determination it said only survivors of the massacre and two immediate relatives of those who were killed or injured in the attack could proceed along the route.

No placards, flags or banners were to be allowed.

Newry & Armagh Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy welcomed the postponement of the march, which he opposes.

"The people of the area did not want this march and there will be relief that it is cancelled," he said.

"Hopefully the organisers will reflect upon the tension they have created in the area with this application and desist from attempting to stir up emotions and divisions with a similar application in the future."

But Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin said the Kingsmills families had "no desire to either cause offence or division".

"These families simply want justice for the evil murder of their loved ones. Like many innocent victims across Northern Ireland they are understandably frustrated that no one has been brought to justice for this atrocity. I continue to support their right to have a peaceful and dignified walk where they can highlight this injustice."

UUP Newry and Armagh MLA Danny Kennedy has welcomed the decision to postpone the march.

"I very much welcome the decision by the parade organisers and the victims of Kingsmills not to proceed with the march on Saturday," he said.

"The decision was taken in the interests of community relations.

"I know that this decision was difficult and indeed painful for many however it is a huge gesture of goodwill and I wish to commend the organisers and the Kingsmills families in taking this step."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
5 Comments
seamas in belfast wrote (788 days ago):
Thank goodness this march has been cancelled. The Kingsmill massacre was an evil act visited upon wholly innocent victims. But is this the way to commemorate them, by humiliating and demonising a small catholic community? I grew up in North Belfast in the era of the Shankill Butchers. How should we commemorate their victims? A republican led march along the Shankill Road? Look at the furore that would cause. Look too at the hurt that would cause to the people of the Shankill Road. After all they didn’t murder anyone.
Ady in Tyrone wrote (790 days ago):
Not happy Wee Willie, unless you have a good contentious parade ? You have scavenged on the suffering of others for your personal agenda for too long.Be gone !
Colin in Belfast wrote (790 days ago):
Typical Take take take
Jimmy Mac in Montreal wrote (791 days ago):
Mr Fraser, Can you please move on... We are all haunted by the troubles, " both sides" have live through hell, as a result of the madness and sadness of those dark days. A time that tore friends and families apart. The only way forward is forgiveness and reconciliation not provocative, rallying. enough is enough, Willie, and nothing can change what happened back then. "Never again" is the best WISH that we can all, ' HOPE and PRAY,' for.
pj in ulster wrote (791 days ago):
yea right , lets not remind the republician community of their attrocities , only crimes against nationalists are allowed to be commemorated these days.
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