Minister meets group concerned at Kingsmill allegations
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews TD, today met a delegation led by the Chairman of the Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party, Dr. Rory O'Hanlon TD, of those concerned about the accusations made under parliamentary privilege by the DUP leader Ian Paisley in connection with the Kingsmill massacre in 1976. The delegation included four men recently named by Mr. Paisley in the House of Commons, Eugue Reavey, Thomas G. McVerry, Brendan Ferris and Peter McCann.
The Minister said "As statements made in the House of Commons are a matter of privilege, it is incumbent on all who enjoy this parliamentary privilege to act with responsibility and sensitivity, and with due regard for the implications for any individuals named under such privilege. This is, of course, especially the case in the context of Northern Ireland".
The Minister emphasised his deep concern at the serious implications for the individuals involved. He noted that the alleged basis on which these claims had been made had been refuted by the Chief Constable of the RUC when the Chief Constable met with some of the men on 10 February 1999.
The Minister believed that for all these reasons, the allegations should be fully withdrawn. He added that if reliable evidence existed regarding the perpetrators of this horrendous atrocity, it should be brought to the attention of the responsible authorities.