Belfast Telegraph

DUP calls on Sinn Fein to clarify support for Birmingham bombers prosecutions

Victims of the Birmingham pub bombings (Birmingham Inquests/PA)
Victims of the Birmingham pub bombings (Birmingham Inquests/PA)

DUP MP Gavin Robinson has asked Sinn Fein leaders Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill whether they support the Birmingham pub bombers being brought before the courts.

In response, Sinn Fein pressed for mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the Troubles to be implemented by the Government.

On Friday, an inquest jury found that a botched IRA warning call prior to the bombings caused of contributed to the deaths of the 21 people killed in the 1974 atrocity.

A further 220 were injured in the two blasts at the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs.

Following an almost six-week inquest, an 11-member jury found that an inadequate IRA warning cost the police vital minutes in evacuating the area.

The families of the victims have now called on the West Midlands Police to bring those responsible to justice.

DUP MP Gavin Robinson called on the Sinn Fein leadership to "explain their position on justice for the families".

“This was a heinous act of terrorism on innocent people. My heartfelt sympathies are extended to the families and I trust this inquest has brought some truth for them. 21 people died and over 200 were injured by those who planned and planted the bombs," he said.

"Whilst Michelle O’Neill has met the Birmingham families, the Sinn Fein leadership should explain their position on justice for the families. Do Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald condemn the Birmingham bombers and do they support the bombers being brought to justice?”

In response, a Sinn Fein spokesperson said: "Sinn Fein has met with the Birmingham families and extended our sympathies to those killed and injured.

"All victims of the conflict and their relatives are entitled to access to the truth about what happened to their loved ones.

"Mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the conflict were agreed in the Stormont House Agreement  in 2014 by the two governments and the political parties.

"Six months have now passed since the end of the public consultation on those mechanisms so the British government should stop delaying their implementation and set up the legacy structures."

West Midlands Police Chief Constable described the pursuit of any suspects in connection with the bombings as "a very active investigation".

Asked if, as was suggested in the inquest, the Good Friday Agreement had blocked any realistic prospect of bringing the killers to justice, he said it would not "prevent" that process.

"This is simply about the evidence. The criminal investigation will take the direction it is going to take," he said.

"We will bring people to justice within our ability to do that. I don't see anything in terms of any political arrangement that prevents us carrying out that enquiry."

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