Michael D Higgins

Irish president Michael D Higgins visits pub bomb memorial
Michael D Higgins sees the memorial in Birmingham at the start of a three-day visit to England.

Irish president visits pub bombing memorial

The families of the Birmingham Pub Bombing victims met the Irish president - just two weeks before the fresh inquests into their deaths.

Michael D Higgins with families

In his first visit to Birmingham as Irish President, Michael D Higgins attended a ceremony for a new memorial to the 21 people who died in 1974.

Julie Hambleton and Michael D Higgins

Speaking about the memorial Mr Higgins said: "I wanted to pay tribute and offer the respect of memory and sympathy to all of the innocent victims and their families and I do so as the President of Ireland."

Micheal D higgins

He also praised the city's Irish community who became part of the "very fabric" of the city.

He remarked on the work of Irish men in the 1950s who "built so much in the region", including famous Birmingham landmarks such as the NEC events venue and the Spaghetti Junction road system.