Families of the 21 Birmingham pub bombings victims continue justice fight as hearings reopen 44 years later

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Families of the 21 Birmingham pub bombings victims continue justice fight as hearings reopen 44 years later



RELATIVES of the 1974 Birmingham bombings victims pleaded for the truth as the inquests resumed.
Twenty-one died in two pub blasts blamed on the IRA, and the hearings reopened yesterday after 44 years and a long battle by relatives.
Getty Images – Getty Relatives campaign for justice on the first day of the reopened inquest into the 1974 Birmingham bombings
But there was outrage that those believed to be responsible will not be named in the inquests.
Bombs ripped through the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town on November 21 but the killers were never brought to justice.
Paul Bridgewater, whose dad Paul Davis, 18, was among the dead, said before the hearings in the city: “The coroner has ruled out a lot of things but we want the truth really.”
Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine, 18, was killed, cried and said: “I’m more angry now than I ever have been because my sister is not here to be with us.”
Six men — known as the Birmingham Six — were wrongfully convicted and spent 17 years in jail before the convictions were quashed.
The terror attacks, which also injured 220, were Britain’s deadliest until the 7/7 London Tube and bus bombings in 2005.
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Coroner Sir Peter Thornton told the jury they would hear evidence security forces had forewarning.
But he said the question of who planted the bombs was for police, prosecutors and the courts.
The inquests, originally opened and adjourned days after the blasts but not resumed, could last six weeks.
PA:Press Association Remnants of the Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham, one of two pubs where bombs exploded
PA:Press Association Maxine Hambleton, 18, died in the bombings
PA:Press Association Victim Pamela Palmer, 19
PA:Press Association Desmond Reilly, 20, one of two brothers who died in the attacks
PA:Press Association Eugene Reilly, 23, who died alongside brother Desmond Reilly
PA:Press Association Stephen Whalley, 21, died in the blast
PA:Press Association Victim Clifford Jones, 51, of Handsworth
PA:Press Association Marilyn Nash, 22, was one of the 21 victims
PA:Press Association James Craig, 34, died in the pub blasts
PA:Press Association Victim Maureen Roberts, 20
PA:Press Association Jane Davies, 17, was one of the youngest victims of the attack
PA:Press Association John Rowlands, 46, was killed in the blast at the Mulberry Bush pub
Family handout Michael Beasley, 30, was a victim of the terror attack
Family handout Paul Davies, 17, another of the youngest victims of the attack
Family handout Lynn Bennett, 18, died in the blast
Family handout Victim Stanley Bodman, 47
Family handout Charles Grey, 44, victim of the terror attack
Family handout Anne Hayes, 19, lost her life in the Birmingham attacks
Family handout Trevor Thrupp, 33, was a victim of the attack
Family handout James Caddick, 40, died in the Birmingham terror attack
Justice4the21 campaign founder Julie Hambleton describes the moment she found out her sister Maxine had been killed in the 1974 Birmingham IRA bombings

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