Home News Man arrested in connection with Birmingham pub bombings

Man arrested in connection with Birmingham pub bombings

Birmingham Pub Bombings

A man has been arrested in connection with the murders of 21 people in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, West Midlands Police has said.

The 65-year-old was arrested in Belfast by counter-terror officers under the Terrorism Act.

In a statement the force said that: “The man was arrested under the Terrorism Act and a search of his home is being carried out.

“He will be interviewed under caution at a police station in Northern Ireland.”

Officers from West Midlands Police’s counter terrorism unit, working with police in Northern Ireland, arrested a 65-year-old man at his home in Belfast.

Two bombs planted in the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs also injured up to 220 others.

The bombings were one of the deadliest acts of the Troubles.

The arrest comes just a month after home secretary Priti Patel said she would look into calls for a public inquiry into the bombings.

Ms Patel also wanted to visit Birmingham to meet campaigners, including Julie Hambleton, who is a member of Justice for the 21 and lost her 18-year-old sister Maxine in the pub bombings.

In one of Britain’s most notorious miscarriages of justice, six Irishmen were arrested within hours of the blasts.

The men- Hugh Callaghan, Paddy Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power and John Walker- were convicted of the bombings and sentenced to life imprisonment.

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The men, who became known as the Birmingham Six, maintained their innocence and, after 16 years in prison, their convictions were deemed unsafe and unsatisfactory and were quashed. They were released.

Each of the men later received substantial compensation from the state.

Although the IRA was believed to have planted the explosives, it never claimed responsibility.

An inquest last year concluded the bombs were planted by members of the Provisional IRA, and that a warning they gave was inadequate. It also concluded there was no failing by the police.

Julie Hambleton, of Justice for the 21, called the arrest “the most monumental event” in the criminal investigation into the bombings since the quashing of the convictions of the Birmingham Six in 1991.

Julie also described the arrest as “overwhelming news” and “something we have been waiting a long time for”.

But she added: “Having this development – whatever happens – does not in any way lessen our desire for a full public inquiry to be held.”

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