first_imgOne of those men, a self-confessed IRA bomb maker called Michael Christopher Hayes, gave a television interview earlier this year to say he was sorry that innocent people died in the blasts. Michael Christopher Hayes apologised to the families in a July 2017 BBC interview The 69-year-old who lives in south Dublin refused to say if he had planted any of the bombs, but told the BBC last month he was speaking out to give “the point of view of a participant”.He said he had been “accused of a lot of things, without one shred of forensic evidence, without one statement made, without one witness coming out against me.”Hayes has not been charged with any offences and no one has been convicted of the Birmingham bombings.The coroner’s decision that suspects would not be identified prompted some relatives to announce they would boycott the new hearings, scheduled for later this year.The families’ campaign said it was launching an appeal for public donations because applying for formal legal funding would take too long.Ms Hambleton said: “We fight for our loved ones, who aren’t here to fight for it themselves.”She added: “If they were alive and we were dead they too would be standing where we are standing.”We are now in a position to have to beg for the good people of this country to help us to raise money to fight this challenge in the High Court.”It is pivotal for us to have a judicial review, and appeal and challenge the coroner’s decision to exclude the perpetrators from this inquest. The Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham was one of two attacked on November 21, 1974.Credit:PA Julie Hambleton, whose elder sister Maxine was killed in the Tavern in the Town, said that without the prospect of naming the bombers, “we may as well not bother having an inquest at all”.A statement from the Justice4the21 campaign group said: “We do not believe justice can be served through an inquest that does not consider the core issues relating to the bomb-makers, bomb-planters and their associates and their actions.”Six Irishmen, known as the Birmingham Six, were wrongly convicted of the bombings and spent 16 years in prison before being freed in 1991.A ITV World in Action Documentary the previous year had named four of five men it said were responsible for the bombings. Michael Christopher Hayes apologised to the families in a July 2017 BBC interview File photo dated 22/11/74 of the outside of the Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham after a bomb exploded, as fresh inquests into the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings are to get under way amid a war of words between lawyers and the Government about legal funding Families of those killed in the IRA’s Birmingham pub bombings are crowdfunding a High Court challenge to try to overturn a coroner’s ban on naming the suspect bombers.Peter Thornton QC, one of the country’s most senior coroners, ruled out identifying the suspects at fresh inquests into the deaths of 21 people killed in the 1974 bombings.But families of the victims killed when blasts tore through two city centre pubs are now seeking a judicial review to widen the scope of the hearings. “Please, please, please, help us to raise the money.”She added: “We have four weeks to raise £10,000.”last_img read more