IRA victims will pull out of atrocity inquest without legal funds

22/11/74: The outside of the Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham.
22/11/74: The outside of the Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham.

A law firm representing the victims of one of the Troubles’ worst republican atrocities have said that they and their clients will fail to turn up at the renewed inquest into the bloodbath, unless legal funding is provided.

KRW Law LLP made the announcement on Monday, November 21 – exactly 42 years after the IRA blew up two pubs in the UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham.

The fresh inquest process is set to resume next Monday (November 28).

The crime – which cost 21 lives – remains unsolved.

The IRA has never admitted responsibility.

However, Dublin lawyer and ex-IRA man Kieran Conway has confirmed that the organisation was indeed responsible (although he has refused to help police by providing evidence).

In its statement today, KRW Law said it “has been both honoured and proud to represent eight families of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings”.

It described the fresh inquest into the crime as “a last opportunity to access truth, justice and accountability about the loss of their loved ones”.

It went on to say: ”KRW Law LLP have willingly engaged in negotiations with the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Legal Aid Agency in order to obtain public funding on behalf of our clients so that they can fulfil their right to effectively participate in the resumed inquests into the deaths of their loved ones.”

However, it adds that “our clients do not have state funded legal representation in order for KRW Law LLP to continue our work on their behalf at the resumed inquests”.

The statement concludes: “Our clients expect – and have a right to – both parity of funding with the Hillsborough families and for Equality of Arms with the other parties to the resumed inquests, in order for us to undertake the work required on their behalf.

“Otherwise both their seats and our seats in Birmingham next week will be empty, justice will not have been served and the opportunity to establish truth and accountability will be tragically lost.

“We hope that this can be avoided and that our clients can be given some assurance that public funding for their continued legal representation can be secured.”