Police fine relatives of IRA pub bombing victims

‘Justice for the 21’ campaigner Julie Hambleton

Julie Hambleton (and five other relatives) whose 18-year-old sister Maxine was murdered by the IRA in the 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombings, has been given a £200 fine by West Midlands Police, for allegedly breaking the Government’s Covid lock-down laws, by attending a memorial to the 21 killed in the IRA attacks. Julie (and the others) have refused to pay the fines and will have their day in court.

The memorial was attended by hundreds of “Justice for the 21” supporters last November in Birmingham. After a cavalcade through England’s second city, Julie said she asked her supporters to disperse and go home.

However, West Midlands Police – the very same Police Force that bent over backwards to help the Communist Black Lives Matter protesters last year, pathetically “bending the knee” to a career criminal and abuser of women (George Floyd) – issued her and the other five with fixed penalty notices, saying that they were “proportionate and necessary”!

Their lawyers had asked for the fines to be annulled given the ‘sensitivities’ and the fact that they were attending a ‘carefully planned’ event, but West Midland Police force has refused, meaning the six will now end up in court.

Birmingham’s Tavern in the Town pub after the IRA bomb exploded

Twenty-one mainly young people from Birmingham, having a night out in the city centre, were killed by the IRA and another 220 injured when devices exploded within minutes of each other in two city centre pubs (The Tavern In the Town and the Mulberry Bush) on November 21, 1974.

West Midlands Police, wasted millions of taxpayers’ money, by arresting the so called “Birmingham Six” – members of the IRA’s Birmingham Brigade, who were later found guilty of the 21 murders in 1975.

However, their convictions were eventually overturned after one of Britain’s worst miscarriages of justice. One of H&D‘s Patrons, the late Jock Spooner – who was working in Birmingham that evening (driving his taxi) – many years later told us that it was common knowledge in the city, amongst the Irish community, that the “Birmingham Six” did not carry out the bombing, as for one thing the IRA’s “Birmingham Brigade” was pretty useless, and spent most of their time “talking big and drinking in Digbeth rather than fighting the British”.

And it was in fact the IRA’s much better organised “Coventry Brigade”, that carried out the bombings.

Birmingham IRA men wrongly convicted for the 1974 bombings, actually committed by their Coventry ‘comrades’

In November last year, families and campaigners organised an event to mark the 46th anniversary of the bombings and to highlight the Justice for the 21 campaign. England was in the second national lockdown at the time.

Beforehand, Julie, who has led the families’ long fight for justice, worked with a team from West Midlands Police to ensure traffic disruption was at a minimum and that the event complied with Covid regulations. Which by all accounts it did. On the day, hundreds of supporters in cars and vans and on motorbikes took part in a cavalcade which threaded its way through Birmingham, ending up outside the West Midlands Police HQ at Lloyd House.

There, several people from the convoy started to gather. Julie said she went over to the group – who were all wearing face masks – to thank them for their support and ask them to disperse. Subsequently, West Midlands Police issued six penalty notices, of £200 each.

The 21 victims of the Birmingham pub bombings

Julie said: ‘My summons talks about “without having a reasonable excuse”, implying I have done something wrong by remembering my sister who was blown up in the biggest unsolved mass murder in criminal history.’

In a letter confirming the intended prosecution, temporary assistant chief constable Chris Todd – an active “anti-racist” and a big supporter of Black Lives Matter – said he was satisfied the action was ‘proportionate and necessary in these circumstances’. He went on: “The matter would be pursued through ‘standard criminal justice proceedings’.”

When Julie and other five relatives eventually appear in court, we expect a massive turnout of support, not just from Brummies but from from Patriots and Loyalists nationwide. We must show West Midlands Police, that they can’t and won’t get away with this persecution of relatives’ families.

It’s more than 46 years now since the IRA blew up the two Birmingham pubs and murdered 21 of our people, yet West Midlands Police are still no closer to arresting, yet alone convicting anyone for the atrocity. The West Midlands Police should hang their heads in shame.

Comments are closed.

  • Find By Category

  • Latest News

  • Follow us on Twitter