Police must interview Hayes over Birmingham bombings say politicians and victims

Wreckage left at the Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham after the bombing in November 1974
Wreckage left at the Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham after the bombing in November 1974

Calls by politicians for Michael Hayes to be questioned by police following the admissions over the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings in his interview with the BBC have been reiterated by a Northern-Ireland based victims’ group.

The DUP, UUP, TUV, SDLP and Alliance Party have each called for police intervention following the admissions made by Mr Hayes.

A spokesman for Innocent Victims United, a Northern Ireland-based group who say they have an ongoing relationship with the families of those killed in the Birmingham bombings, have added their voice to those calling for Mr Hayes to be “brought in for interview by the authorities”.

The group’s spokesman, Kenny Donaldson, said: “If his remorse and repentance were genuine then this individual would formally speak to the authorities advising of his specific crimes as well as those of his fellow terrorists – an apology in the absence of a willingness to restitute for wrongs committed is worthless and does nothing other than further upset and cause pain to the families concerned.”

He added: “Michael Christopher Hayes must be brought in for interview by the authorities.”

His comments echo similar calls from politicians here for Mr Hayes to be questioned.

UUP MLA Doug Beattie, his party’s justice spokesperson, has said: “I call on the UK government to seek Michael Hayes’ extradition from the Irish Republic to face questions about his role in the Birmingham bombing. I also ask the Dublin government to commit to investigating these shocking admissions.”

Similarly, DUP MP Gregory Campbell said: “It is vital to know whether police will seek to interview Mr Hayes. The claims he has made must be tested and that can only be done under questioning from the police. It is an opportunity for Mr Hayes, if he was involved and truly wishes to apologise, to offer other information about the attacks.”

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly said: “I urge the PSNI to follow up on the comments made alongside the apology.”

TUV leader, Jim Allister MLA, said: “A European Arrest Warrant should be issued for his arrest.”

Alliance deputy leader, Stephen Farry MLA, also said: “There is now a need for police to follow up these comments and further investigate.”