Northern Ireland

Kingsmills march to be postponed

the bullet riddled minibus near Kingsmills in South Armagh in which 10 Protestant workmen were massacred
Image caption The bullet-riddled minibus in which 10 Protestant workmen were massacred

A march commemorating 10 Protestant workmen murdered by the IRA at Kingsmills in 1976 has been postponed.

The march was due to take place this Saturday.

William Frazer of Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (Fair) said the march had been postponed in light of two recent bereavements and at the request of the Kingsmills families.

UUP MLA Danny Kennedy has welcomed the decision.

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

"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," he added.

"The decision not to march on Saturday does not in any way take away from the need to obtain clear answers as to who carried out the massacre at Kingsmills.

"There is still palpable hurt within the local unionist community.

"The recent report which was undertaken by the Historical Enquiries Team highlighted the need for many questions still to be answered.

"Only by discovering the truth will closure and healing be brought to the families who lost loved ones in this horrific tragedy."

Mr Frazer said the march would "still take place at a later date".

The Parades Commission had placed restrictions on the march which was to go through the village of Whitecross.

One of the organisers of the march, Pastor Barry Halliday, who had helped Fair plan the parade, last week claimed that he had been threatened.

Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy said there would be "relief" in Whitecross and the surrounding area that the march had been called off.

"The Kingsmill families have been commemorating their loved ones for years now without any objections so there was no need for a march," he added.

SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley also welcomed the announcement.

"I hope now that life in the area can continue in a spirit of community harmony without disruption," he said.

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