Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham pub bomb families crowdfund judicial review

firemen search through the wreckage after a bomb went off in Birmingham Image copyright PA
Image caption The bombs killed 21 and injured 222 people in Birmingham

Families of the Birmingham pub bombings victims have launched a crowdfunding campaign to challenge a ruling not to name the suspects.

Two bombs detonated in the city centre in November 1974, killing 21 people.

Coroner Sir Peter Thornton QC ruled in July the alleged perpetrators would not be named during new inquests.

Campaigners Justice4the21 said they "vehemently disagree" with the decision and hope to raise £10,000 to help launch a judicial review.

Birmingham pub bombings: What we know

Image caption At the time, the attacks were the worst terrorist atrocity on English soil

After the ruling, Sir Peter said: "The identity of perpetrators is not a question that an inquest is charged with answering."

But Justice4the21 spokesperson Julie Hambleton said without naming the bombers, "we may as well not bother having an inquest at all."

In a statement, the group said: "We do not believe justice can be served through an inquest that does not consider the core issues relating to the bomb makers, bomb planters and their associates and their actions.

"The only way we can challenge the coroner's ruling on the scope of the inquest is by going to the High Court. We vehemently disagree with [Sir Peter's] decision and need to challenge it."

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Media captionMichael Hayes said he was part of the group responsible for the bombings

Self-confessed IRA bomber Michael Hayes recently gave a BBC interview in which he accepted "collective responsibility" for the bombings but claimed he did not know who planted the Birmingham bombs.

Victims' families expressed disbelief that journalists could speak to Mr Hayes but it appeared the courts could not.

The money the families hope to raise will pay for the application and legal work required for a judicial review of the coroner's decision.

So far it has raised nearly £700.

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