Kingsmills massacre memorial vandalised

Published Sunday, 02 December 2012
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A memorial dedicated to 10 Protestant men killed by the IRA in the 1976 Kingsmills massacre has been vandalised.

Kingsmills massacre memorial vandalised
The memorial, which is under construction, was vandalised on Friday afternoon. (© UTV)

Police have confirmed that sectarian graffiti was scratched into plaster at the memorial on Friday.

The monument on the Kingsmill Road has been erected in memory of the victims, who were shot dead near Bessbrook, Co Armagh, in an ambush while travelling home from work in a mini-bus.

Still under construction, workmen returned from taking a break on Friday afternoon to find that the letters IRA had been etched into the cement they had laid.

Beatrice Worton, who lost her son Kenneth in the atrocity, visited the scene on Sunday.

"To come up and see it disfigured like that. The people are sick, they really are," she said.

"They couldn't even leave a bit of cement alone without writing over it. Terrible."

Her son Colin added: "These men were totally innocent, they were harmless, they were defenceless yet people don't have the respect to leave a monument alone."

Danny Kennedy, Ulster Unionist MLA for the area, has expressed his disgust at what he described as an "act of intimidation."

He has called on Republican representatives to step up to the mark and condemn the incident without equivocation.

"I am absolutely appalled by the attack on the Kingsmills Memorial," he said.

"I think it is deeply regrettable, a very nasty incident and I think Republicans will really have to show more tolerance when it comes to the erection of memorials to incidents such as Kingsmills which was the murder of 10 entirely innocent Protestant workmen in January 1976."

Mr Kennedy continued, stating that "most people will feel offended at the desecration of a memorial which is being created to remember one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles."

The Stormont Minister has claimed that the memorial's workmen also experienced sectarian intimidation while building at the site.

He said those responsible "ought to be ashamed of themselves."

Sinn Féin councillor Turlough Murphy said that the targeting of the memorial had come as a shock.

"In my own area, people think that it is a disgrace that it has happened. There is no justification for it - it doesn't further anybody's cause," the Newry and Mournes politician continued.

"You know, by tomorrow or the next day when this is old news to the rest of the people, the only people left to pick up the pieces are the loved ones of those the memorial represents.

"I'm hoping the criminal damage that has been done can be fixed up quite quickly," he added.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who noticed any unusual activity in the Kingsmills Road area on Friday is asked to contact police.

Police are particularly keen to speak with the occupants of a silver coloured Volkswagen Bora seen in the area at approximately 4pm.

© UTV News
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31 Comments
Paul in Co. Down wrote (627 days ago):
Not only that, but just last night the SDLP and Sinn Fein have voted to officially name a children's play area after an IRA gunman with a weapon linked to the Kingsmills massacre. Truly disgusting, but what is even more disgusting is how the media have completely ignored this story. Could it be that they don't want to portray their darlings in the SDLP in a bad light?
Linda in NI wrote (628 days ago):
This is a memorial to 10 innocent Protestant workmen slaughtered as they returned home from work, this memorial is funded by the families themselves the same people that the government and republicans wished would just shut up & go away. There were horrific murders on both sides but the Protestants will never have millions spent on public enquiries or trials to convict those who committed the crimes. Republicans also committed horrendous atrocities against their own community yet nationalists vote them into councils and stormont so dont lecture Protestant about past wrong doing when you are prepared to overlook this.
Iain in Belfast wrote (628 days ago):
Conair, this isn't some kind of point scoring exercise. Ryan, the reason why some people have a go at you is fairly simple as you spend most of your time on the utv website having a go at anything that is unionist. So they find you a little hard to believe and please spare me and everyone else here the boring history lessons you enjoy so much. At times like this you do like to come out with the crocodile tears but it won't be too long before you are going on about the evils of anything that's not republican.
Darren in Co.Down wrote (628 days ago):
@Ryan the Republican. You have completely misquoted James Craig, as Catholics often do. What he actually said 0n 24th April 1934 was, "The hon. Member must remember that in the South they boasted of a Catholic State. They still boast of Southern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast of is that we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State." My problem Ryan, is that Protestants have never voted IN NUMBERS for a political party arm in arm with a terrorist organisation, whether that be the 70's DUP/UR, PUP/UVF, UDA/UDP. IRA/SF enjoy the backing of the majority of Catholics in N.Ireland, which only indicates to the Protestant population that they support the actions of the IRA and it's leaders who now sit at Stormont.
conair in belfast wrote (628 days ago):
This attack has to be condemned without hesitation and the tiny amount of bigots on both sides need to realize they are not wanted...And to you unionist/loyalist posters in case you forgot the 10 innocent work men were killed in response to the murder of 2 family's by people from within your community..Both cowardly sets of murders where wrong..But those with blue tinted specs need to face up and acknowledge that members of your community were responsible some horrific killings as well as republicans.
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