Judge Brian Sherrard, who presided as Coroner over the inquests into the deaths of ten men who were shot and killed at Kingsmill in Co Armagh on January 5, 1976, delivered his findings in Belfast on Friday, April 12.

Sherrard said in his findings that on the evening of January 5, 1976, "a unit consisting of at least 12 members of the IRA drawn from South Armagh and North Louth stopped a minibus transporting 12 men from their work at Glenanne Mill to their homes in Bessbrook as it travelled along the Kingsmill Road.

"The IRA brought the minibus to a halt by pretending to be an army patrol. The men were ordered to exit the minibus and to line up against the driver’s side of the vehicle.

"The IRA identified the single Catholic in the group, Richard Hughes, and made him run from the minibus in the direction of Bessbrook.

"The remaining men were brought to the ground by an initial burst of shooting whereupon they were shot again to ensure that they were dead.

"The terrorists then left the scene.

"Only Alan Black survived the attack, albeit with life changing injuries."

The ten men who were killed at Kingsmill were Robert Walker, 46, Joseph Lemmon, 46, Reginald Chapman, 25, Walter Chapman, 23, Kenneth Worton, 24, James McWhirter, 58, Robert Chambers, 19, John Bryans, 46, Robert Freeburn, 50, and John McConville, 20.

Black, 32, survived after being shot 18 times.

Sherrard continued in his conclusion: "Shortly after the attack, the so-called South Armagh Republican Action Force claimed responsibility for it.

"That was a lie.

"The attack was carried out by the IRA operating under the authority of the Army Council which had, in April 1975, given wide authorisation to IRA units. It was sophisticated and complex, involving multiple individuals in its planning and execution.

"The attack, while ostensibly in direct response to the murderous attacks on the Reavey and O’Dowd families by loyalist terrorists on the evening of 4 January 1976, was not spontaneous but had been planned well in advance.

"The IRA failed to engage with the Inquest. There has been no acknowledgement by the IRA of the utter wrongness of the atrocity, its impact on those bereaved or the damage caused to the entire community.

"Kingsmill was an overtly sectarian attack by the IRA.

"It was mounted because the deceased men were Protestants and for no other reason.”

The inquest into the 1976 atrocity, considered one of the worst of The Troubles, began in May 2016. 

According to the PA, Black told reporters in Belfast on Friday after the findings were handed down: “What we need is a public inquiry.

"I would call on everyone that has a friend that got hurt to back us in getting this public inquiry because we’re never going to get the truth without it.

“This has been a Band-Aid, that’s all, and it has left us all so dissatisfied.”

A joint statement from the families of victim John McConville and Black on Friday said in part: “We will be considering the verdict and findings of the coroner in the following days.

“We intend to make representations to the Secretary of State (Chris Heaton-Harris) to demand a public inquiry.

“The demand for a public inquiry will be made in part due to the over-use of PII sanctioning that denied us the opportunity to effectively participate and engage in and provide the court with relevant submissions.”

According to the PA, Karen Armstrong, McConville's sister, said on Friday: “We are disappointed but not surprised that the PIRA would not participate in the inquest despite numerous pleas from the coroner.

“They were not prepared or honourable enough to confront their barbaric actions in the courtroom.

“This represents the blatant disregard they have to truth recovery.

“We hope this will be noted and considered by Sinn Féin.”

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Office told BBC NI on Friday: "We extend our deepest sympathies to the Kingsmill families.

"The coroner's findings confirm that this was a horrific terrorist atrocity, committed by the IRA, which had absolutely no justification.

"We hope the findings delivered today give some comfort to the families affected."

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Policing Spokesperson Gerry Kelly said in a statement on Friday: “The Kingsmill families are entitled to truth and justice.

“In 2014, the two governments and the main Assembly parties signed up to the Stormont House Agreement which included human rights compliant mechanisms to ensure all families can access truth and justice, through independent investigations and the continuation of judicial processes such as inquests, truth recovery and the legal system. 

“The British Government’s shameful Legacy Act is about closing the door on families ever getting truth and justice. 

“They should repeal it and fully implement the Stormont House Agreement in a human rights compliant manner.”