Wednesday 15 August 2018

Proportionate and appropriate, Ms McDonald? I don't think so

When the Kingsmill controversy arose last week, Sinn Fein showed its moral bankruptcy, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

TRAGEDY: The bullet-riddled minibus at the scene of the massacre of workmen shot dead by the IRA at Kingsmill, 1976
TRAGEDY: The bullet-riddled minibus at the scene of the massacre of workmen shot dead by the IRA at Kingsmill, 1976

Bea Worton is a stoic, as she has needed to be. Born in 1927 in Co Armagh, she was a housewife, mother and grandmother. A product of a non-sectarian school, she and her family got on fine with their Catholic neighbours.

And then The Troubles erupted, tribal hatreds were unleashed, loyalist and republican paramilitaries sought to outdo each other in brutality, and, on January 5, 1976, tragedy came to Mrs Worton.

Her son Kenneth had been one of the 12 workmen on a bus taking them home to Bessbrook from the Glenanne textile factory. There had been talk during that day of the latest horrifying local atrocity: the UVF attack the night before on the Reavey brothers of nearby Whitecross that had killed two and grievously wounded the third. So when their bus was stopped near Kingsmill and gunmen told Catholics to step forward, the two Chapman brothers, fearing for the only Catholic among them, each placed a hand on his arm to stop him doing so. However, when Hughes stepped forward the gunman told him to "Get down the road and don't look back" as they pumped 136 bullets into the 11 Protestants, 10 of whom died.

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