Priti Patel considers calls for a public inquiry into Birmingham pub bombings

Priti Patel considers calls for a public inquiry into Birmingham pub bombings that left 21 dead and 220 injured

  • Home Secretary signalled her desire to meet families of victims of 1974 atrocity
  • Five suspects named at an inquest into Birmingham pub bombings last year 
  • Patel is considering independent panel inquiry similar to Hillsborough hearing

Priti Patel is considering calls for a public inquiry to finally establish the truth behind the Birmingham pub bombings that left 21 people dead and 220 injured.

The Home Secretary has signalled her desire to meet the families of victims who have campaigned for decades to bring those responsible for the 1974 atrocity to justice.

It comes after five suspects – two of whom are still alive – were named at an inquest last year, which revealed a series of police blunders and concluded the victims were murdered by the IRA.

Ms Patel is considering an independent panel inquiry similar to the hearing into the Hillsborough football stadium disaster, which ruled that 96 Liverpool fans were unlawfully killed in a crush caused by ‘gross negligence’ by police.

Priti Patel is considering calls for a public inquiry to finally establish the truth behind the Birmingham pub bombings that left 21 people dead and 220 injured. Pictured: Firemen following the bombings in 1974

Priti Patel is considering calls for a public inquiry to finally establish the truth behind the Birmingham pub bombings that left 21 people dead and 220 injured. Pictured: Firemen following the bombings in 1974

A source close to Ms Patel told The Mail on Sunday: ‘She recognises the desire of the victims’ families and the wider community to see those responsible brought to justice.’

Relatives hope two alleged suspects – Michael Hayes and Michael Reilly – will face trial.

In 1975, six men, who became known as the Birmingham Six, were convicted over the blasts but their convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal 16 years later.

The attack saw two bombs detonate within minutes at the Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town pubs in Birmingham city centre in November 1974.

Many of the victims were young people. Last year’s inquest concluded that a warning call seven minutes before the first blast was ‘inadequate’ to prevent the huge loss of life.

The Home Secretary has signalled her desire to meet the families of victims who have campaigned for decades to bring those responsible for the 1974 atrocity to justice

The Home Secretary has signalled her desire to meet the families of victims who have campaigned for decades to bring those responsible for the 1974 atrocity to justice

West Midlands Police was also criticised for its bungled investigation into the Birmingham Six and its response on the night.

Mr Hayes, 71, lives in Dublin. Mr Reilly, 64, who was named by lawyers for the victims’ families as responsible for planting the bombs, served a ten-year sentence for conspiracy and causing explosions related to other IRA bombings.

He was last known to be living in Belfast.

Both men deny any involvement in the Birmingham attacks.

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk