Families of IRA bombing victims seeking Irish support to 'shame' UK government into public inquiry
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Families of IRA bombing victims seeking Irish support to 'shame' UK government into public inquiry

THE families of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombing victims are pleading for support from the Irish government in order to try and shame the British government into launching a public inquiry into their deaths.

Justice4the21 campaigners were in Ireland this week, asking the government to back their call for an inquiry, and have described their meetings over the three days as positive, according to Birmingham Live.

Earlier this, an inquest jury in the UK found a botched IRA warning call led to the deaths of 21 people unlawfully killed in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings.

Though the IRA has never official admitted responsibility for the attacks, a former senior officer of the organisation confessed to their involvement in 2014.

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Two massive explosions ripped apart the packed Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs on the night of November 21, killing 21 and injuring 220 others.

The victims' families met with Simon Coveney in Dublin on Thursday and Irish President Michael D Higgins on Wednesday evening in order to try and garner support for their cause.

Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine died in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, gathers with other relatives of the victims of the attacks in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral

Julie Hambleton, sister of 18-year-old victim Maxine Hambleton, said the inquest left the families "with more questions than answers" and they now want a public inquiry.

She said that she hopes that public support from the Irish government will shame the British government into doing so.

"One would hope we could shame them into it but you can only shame them if they have a conscience. The proof is in the pudding as they say."

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Ms Hambleton added that the meetings in Ireland were positive but wouldn't confirm if they have supported their calls for an inquiry.

"The deputy Irish Prime Minister Simon Coveney has been generous, hospitable, supportive and sensitive," she said.

"They have given us time and respect and we want to give them the same respect. As such, we don’t want to discuss what was said during our meetings. They have been very supportive and we are going to stay in contact," Ms Hambleton added.

"They listened to us and hear us.. they have done more for us than our own British Government has. Our loved ones have been honoured by being remembered by them. It is something we will never forget.

"Our visit to Ireland has been monumental and we hope it makes a mark for all of the Irish people who live in the United Kingdom and to come out and be proud of being Irish and to come out and join us in our plight for truth and justice.

"The Irish hospitality we have experienced here has been second to none and on behalf of the families, we would like to thank Ireland as a country," she added.

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