Published Sunday, 02 December 2012
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