Man released after arrest in connection with 1974 Birmingham pub bombings

Exterior of the Mulberry Bush, after the Birmingham pub bombing (Image: SWNS)

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A pensioner arrested and held in connection with the murders of 21 people at a Birmingham pub when it was bombed in 1974, has been released unconditionally.

Today marks the 46th anniversary of the atrocity, which left around 200 people injured – many of them seriously.

The 65-year-old man was arrested at his home near Belfast City Hospital on Wednesday morning.

He was held under the Terrorism Act at an address in Belfast by officers from West Midlands Police assisted by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, before being taken to the city’s serious crime suit at Musgrave Street PSNI station.

West Midlands Police said he was interviewed under caution and released on Thursday, after searches of his home were carried out.

Firemen survey the damage, and look for survivors in the Mulberry Bush
(Image: SWNS)

Interior of the Mulberry Bush pub
(Image: SWNS)

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Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell, head of Counter Terrorism Policing West Midlands CTU, said: “We are committed to finding those responsible for the terrible murders of 21 innocent victims almost 46 years ago.

“Let me assure families of the victims and the people of Birmingham that we’re working relentlessly to find the bombers and bring them to justice.”

The man’s lawyer, Padraig O’Muirigh, said his client had been questioned by West Midlands officers “in relation to a number of historic matters” before being released unconditionally.

A victim of the Birmingham pub was taken away by ambulance
(Image: SWNS)

The Tavern in a Town, after the Birmingham pub bombings
(Image: SWNS)

He said: “My client denies any involvement in the matters for which he was questioned including any knowledge of – or role in – the ‘Birmingham Bombs’."

The jury at the inquest into the bombings last year, concluded a botched IRA warning call on the night led to 21 people being unlawfully killed.

The victims
(Image: PA)

The victims were: Michael Beasley, 30, Lynn Bennett, 18, Stan Bodman, 47, James Caddick, 40, Thomas Chaytor, 28, James Craig, 34, Jane Davis, 17, Paul Davies, 17, Charles Gray, 44, Maxine Hambleton, 18, Anne Hayes, 18, John ‘Cliff’ Jones, 51, Neil Marsh, 16, Marilyn Nash, 22, Pamela Palmer, 19, Maureen Roberts, 20, Desmond Reilly, 20, Eugene Reilly, 23, John Rowlands , 46, Trevor Thrupp, 33 and 21-year-old Stephen Whalley.

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