Jury Finds Botched Warning Call Led To 21 Deaths In Birmingham Pub Bombings

5 April 2019, 14:06

Rubble in the Mulberry Bush pub following the 1974 bombing
Rubble in the Mulberry Bush pub following the 1974 bombing. Picture: PA

An inquest jury has concluded that a botched IRA warning call caused or contributed to 21 deaths in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings.

Two bombs exploded in pubs in Birmingham city center on the 21st of November 1974, causing what one witness described as "pure carnage", killing 21 and injuring more than 200 people.

While bombs in the Mulberry Bush pub and the Tavern in Town in Birmingham detonated, a third bomb planted at a bank a mile away failed to go off.

An inquest jury sat through six weeks of evidence, and were tasked with completing a questionnaire listing their findings.

The jury unanimously determined that a warning call by the Provisional IRA was inadequate, and cost the police vital minutes. They found that West Midlands police made no failings, errors or omissions.

Earlier this week, the coroner, Sir Peter Thornton QC, instructed the jury in the case to return a verdict of unlawful killing. He said "This was murder in ordinary language and murder in law."

Following the jury's decisions, Sir Peter said that it "would be not right to leave the inquest without paying tribute to those who helped that dreadful night,"

He closed by saying."We always expect our emergency services, particularly the police and fire fighters to be there for us at the time of disaster and they were."

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