Inquest opens into 1976 massacre of Protestant workmen

No-one has ever been convicted for the notorious Kingsmill massacre

Inquest opens into 1976 massacre of Protestant workmen

Alan Black (right), the sole survivor of the massacre, and Karen Armstrong (left), whose brother John McConville was murdered, stand outside Belfast Coroner's Court today | PA Images

An inquest in Belfast has begun examining the sectarian murder of 10 Protestant workmen gunned down by an IRA gang in 1976.

The workers had been travelling in a Ford Transit van near the town of Kingsmill, Co Armagh, when they were pulled over by men disguised as British soldiers.

The attackers, later found to have been provisional IRA members, lined up the group and asked each person to state their religion before shooting them.

One was allowed to leave because he was Catholic and another survived the gunfire.

The North’s Historical Enquiries Team concluded in 2011 that the men had been targeted solely because of their religion.

No conviction has ever been secured in the case.

DUP MLA William Irwin joined relatives of the victims as the inquest began today.

“Forty years have passed since the brutal murders at Kingsmill and for the families the pain is still as fresh as it was in 1976,” he said.

“It remains one of the most barbarous acts of the Troubles and one of the most painful aspects is that no one has been brought to justice.

“I would hope that this inquest can finally provide an opportunity for the families to receive the truth about what happened on that night."