On the evening of 21st November 1974 two Birmingham City Centre pubs fell victim to a devastating terrorist attack by the Irish Republican Army. The bombs were detonated on a busy Friday evening at 8:17 pm at the Mulberry Bush in the Rotunda and 8:27 pm at and the Tavern in the Town, resulting in 21 deaths and 182 injured.
In 1975 Richard McIlkenny, Johnny Walker, Gerry Hunter, Hugh Callaghan, Billy Power and Paddy Hill, were wrongly convicted for being responsible the bombings. In 1991 after pleading their innocence for 16 years, all 6 men (collectively dubbed “The Birmingham Six”) were cleared and released.
There have been no other prosecutions, nor a single arrest since those of the The Birmingham Six. Comparable with many unsolved cases, there are a plethora of conspiracy theories as to why the culprits have evaded being brought to justice.
Julie Hambleton’s sister Maxine is one of the 21 victims who sadly died in the explosions, she was just 18 years old. Julie has been leading a campaign for the case to be re-opened, the group is fittingly named Justice 4 the 21.http://www.justice4the21.co.uk/
This ruthless atrocity at its time was the worst act of terrorism ever executed in England. Today is the 40th anniversary and those who lost somebody that night have been plagued with the knowledge that nobody has been held responsible for the murder of their loved ones.
The victims, the family and friends, all those affected by the horrors of that night deserve better, Birmingham deserves better.
Our thoughts go out to the victims and all those affected.