Terrorists behind Birmingham pub bombings could be "named and shamed" at inquest

31 May

Terrorists behind the Birmingham pub bombings could be publicly named at an inquest more than 40 years after 21 people were killed in the IRA attack. 

At a pre-inquest review hearing yesterday, coroner Peter Hearing QC heard legal submissions from victims’ lawyers. 

Under current rules governing inquests people suggested of having criminal liability in evidence cannot be named in any conclusion by the coroner. However, Heather Williams QC, the lawyer for the family of Eugene and Desmond Reilly, two brothers killed in the Tavern in the Town blast, suggested that the identities could and should still be part of any possible evidence at the hearings, expected to start later this year.

Responding, Mr Hearing said: “They [the suspects] can be, as it were, named and shamed in the press without restraint?

“In practice they (those individuals) would have to be legally represented?”

Ms Williams replied: “That must be right.”

If named in the public hearings, coroner Mr Thornton has powers to make orders banning the reporting of that person’s identity.

Mr Thornton is expected to rule later on the scope of the inquests, including whether the issue of perpetrators is included.

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