Belfast Telegraph

Birmingham pub bomb families call for fresh inquest

By David Young

Campaigners for victims of the Birmingham pub bombings will meet Home Secretary Theresa May this week to press for a new inquest into the deaths.

Bereaved relatives will also challenge the Government on claims a disclosure embargo on confidential state files related to the 1974 attacks has been extended to 75 years.

When the IRA bombs exploded in two city centre pubs in November 1974, 21 people were killed and 182 injured.

Six men wrongly convicted of the murders, the Birmingham Six, were released in 1991 after their convictions were overturned by the Court of Appeal.

But the inquest was closed without hearing evidence in 1975 after the guilty verdicts.

Campaign group Justice 4 the 21, which represents relatives of a number of the victims, are calling for a new inquest to be ordered.

Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine (18) was killed, said the 21 victims had a right to a proper inquest.

"What completely stumps us is the fact when the men were released, when their convictions were quashed, nobody stood up and said 'right, we've got to go back through the motions, we need to have a coroner's inquest, we need to have another investigation, we need to go above and beyond and go and look for the murderers'. Nobody did that," she said.

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