Another killing, another retaliation
In yesterday’s Today in Law Enforcement History, we detailed the murders of two separate Catholic Families in County Armagh on January 4, 1976. The families were both involved in the politics of Northern Ireland and were targeted for that involvement by the Glenanne Gang.
It would not take long for the Catholic militants to retaliate for the slaughter. On January 5, 1976, members of the Provisional IRA, calling themselves the South Armagh Republican Action Force stopped a minibus carrying 12 workers from their textile jobs in Glenanne. The workers were removed from the bus and identified by the Action Force members. The one Catholic on board was allowed to go free.
The other passengers were lined up against the side of the bus. The killers opened fire with rifles, firing over 136 rounds. While the workers lay on the floor dying of their wounds, the gunmen reloaded and opened fire again. A man walked from body to body shooting each victim in the head.
Ten of the men died at the scene. Amazingly Alan Black survived. Despite being shot 13 times, including one graze wound to the head, he managed to crawl away from the scene. He was removed to the hospital and recovered after several surgeries.
One of the first Royal Ulster Constabulary officers on the scene was Billy McCaughey. McCaughey would later be convicted of a sectarian murder and would admit his involvement in the previous night’s murders.
The slaughter became known as the Kingsmill Massacre. No one was ever arrested for the slayings.
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