Sunday 18 March 2018

Ian Paisley snr urged to say sorry for murder slur

Emily Moulton

A man who was wrongly accused of masterminding one of the worst sectarian killings of the Troubles says he no longer holds any grudge against the man who tarnished his name — Ian Paisley snr.

Eugene Reavey said he also believed the former DUP leader — who used Parliamentary privilege in 1999 to accuse him of being involved in the horrific 1976 Kingsmills massacre — was fed a “dummy document”.

Yesterday, it emerged a Historical Enquiries Team report into the loyalist murders of Mr Reavey’s three brothers had exonerated them and their family of any links with the IRA.

It also cleared Mr Reavey of being involved in the Kingsmills massacre.

But now that his name — as well as his family’s — has been cleared the south Armagh man said it was time Mr Paisley did the “gracious” thing and apologise.

However, Mr Paisley said last night he wouldn’t comment until he had seen the report.

John Martin (24), Brian (22) and Anthony Reavey (17) were shot dead by the UVF at their home in Glenanne in January 1976.

Just 24 hours later, 10 Protestant workmen were taken from a minibus in the village of Kingsmills and gunned down by republicans in retaliation.

In 1999, Mr Paisley used a police file to name 20 men, including Mr Reavey, in the House of Commons. But the then Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan cleared Mr Reavey of any involvement soon after the accusation.

Despite this, Mr Reavey has spent the past decade campaigning to clear his name — and the past 30 years trying to clear his brothers’ names.

In 2007, the Reavey family received an apology from HET for their treatment by members of the security forces.

The document also confirmed that none of Mr Reavey's brothers were in the IRA.

Mr Reavey explained he then spent the next year-and-a-half examining the 2007 report before it was officially signed off.

He received the final report earlier this year, although he only revealed its existence yesterday.

“I don’t hold a grudge (against Dr Paisley),” he said.

“But I hope he is gracious and man enough to come out now and do the decent thing and apologise.”

Source: Belfast Telegraph

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