Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham pub bombings: Families granted legal aid

Birmingham pub bombing
Image caption The families of the victims had been campaigning to get legal aid

Lawyers acting for eight families of victims of the Birmingham pub bombings say they have been offered legal aid funding.

The government had previously intervened to remove legal barriers that had barred the Northern Ireland-based firm from applying for funding.

The Legal Aid Agency confirmed the decision on Wednesday.

Inquests into the deaths of the 21 people killed by the IRA in November 1974 are due to resume later this year.

The government previously confirmed one legal aid funding application had been granted for Liverpool-based firm Broudie Jackson Canter, who represent some of the other victims' families.

A spokesman for KRW Law, which is representing the eight families, said: "[We] have been offered a contract to continue to represent our client and that this is in the best interests of the effective administration of justice.

"Financial eligibility limits for legal aid have been waived in this exceptional application."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Twenty-one people died and 222 were injured after bombs exploded in two Birmingham pubs

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It added they hoped to represent the families at the next hearing later this month and were "cautiously optimistic" they could move forward.

Speaking to BBC WM Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine died in the attack, said: "If there is everything that we would like which is to have equal funding as all the public bodies will have when they are legally represented at the inquest, then that will be exactly what we want."

No-one has been brought to justice for the 21 murders, although members of the IRA are believed to have been responsible.

Six men were arrested and later jailed, but claimed in court confessions were beaten out of them.

After two appeals the Birmingham Six, as they became known, were freed in 1991.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Six men were later jailed for the bombings

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