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Woolwich pub blast deaths brushed over, survivor claims

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Fred Westmoreland was left with permanent injuries after the terror group blew up the King's Arms, Woolwich on November 7, 1974 (stock image)

Fred Westmoreland was left with permanent injuries after the terror group blew up the King's Arms, Woolwich on November 7, 1974 (stock image)

Fred Westmoreland was left with permanent injuries after the terror group blew up the King's Arms, Woolwich on November 7, 1974 (stock image)

An ex-soldier who survived an IRA pub bombing in London which claimed the lives of two men has said their deaths have been "brushed over" and forgotten nearly 50 years later.

Fred Westmoreland was left with permanent injuries after the terror group blew up the King's Arms, Woolwich on November 7, 1974.

The explosion injured 35 people and claimed the lives of Alan Horsley (20) and soldier Richard Dunne (42).

The attack was one of a series of pub blasts carried out in England by the IRA at the time. It occurred a month after five people were killed in Guildford and two weeks before the Birmingham pub bombings, which killed 21.

The former Army man, who lost part of a leg and his hearing in one ear, was speaking after the BBC revealed that the inquest into the atrocity was never completed.

Mr Westmoreland, now a Conservative councillor in Wiltshire, said: "Those who died deserve serious attention be given to what happened to them."

The inquest was brought to a close after two of the wrongly-jailed Guildford Four were falsely convicted of murdering Mr Horsley and Mr Dunne.

However, inquests have resumed into the Birmingham and Guildford attacks.

Mr Westmoreland said he has mixed feelings about an inquest into the 1974 London attack, but concedes that loved ones of those killed may feel differently.

"To me it's done, but I believe those who died deserve that serious attention be given to what happened to them, although it's 50 years ago," he said. "I believe someone would want to acknowledge Mr Horsley's death. It was all brushed over and very quickly everyone forgot about him."

Kenny Donaldson, spokesman for Innocent Victims United, said victims had the right to lobby for a fresh inquest.

"It is absolutely understandable that survivors would continue to have questions concerning the pub bombing," he said.

Belfast Telegraph