The mother of a Birmingham pub bomber has filed a lawsuit against a Belfast man and police.

The family of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings is bringing a civil suit against a Belfast man and police officers. Margaret Smith, mother of bombing victim Maxine Hamilton, has filed a civil writ against Michael Patrick Riley.

Ms. Smith is also filing a lawsuit against West Midlands Police Chief Constable Sir David Thompson, alleging that the force’s investigation was negligent and violated its legal obligations. This is the latest turning point in the long-running campaign for justice for the victims’ families.

On the night of November 21, 1974, two bomb blasts ripped through the Torn and Mulberry Bush Pubs in the town. It killed 21 people and injured more than 200.

Read more:King Kong is returning to Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games.

A third bomb failed to explode and was recovered, but was later lost by West Midlands Police. Mr Riley, now in his 60s, was arrested earlier in November 2020 under the Terrorism Act and was questioned by West Midlands police officers in connection with the pub bombings.

He was released unconditionally after a search of his home address in Belfast. Mr Riley has always denied involvement in the bombings.

Flowers laid at the memorial to the Birmingham pub bombings in Cathedral Square – November 21, the anniversary of the 1974 attacks that killed 21 people and injured 182.
(Photo: Graham Young / Birmingham Live)

His lawyer, Padraig O’Muirigh, said: “I can confirm that legal action has been taken against our client. Will be defended.

“My client has never been convicted of any crime in connection with the 1974 pub bombings.”

No one has ever been brought to justice for the attacks, which took place at the height of the IRA’s bombing campaign on British soil. Birmingham Six was convicted of involvement in 1975 and sentenced to life in prison, but was released 16 years later, when the Court of Appeal ruled in 1991 that his sentence was unsafe.

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Hotel in Town Pub.

The legal action follows a successful 2009 civil action by the families of the victims of the 1998 Omaha bombing in Northern Ireland.

However, it took Omag campaigners about six years to raise the £ 2 million they needed to fund their case – including سرکاری 800,000 in government funding.

The Hamilton family is applying for legal aid in Northern Ireland to raise funds for the proceedings, but will have to turn to donations if they fail.

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Maxine Hamilton.
(Photo: Handout)

A summons was issued last month to both the West Midlands Force’s Birmingham headquarters and Mr Riley’s lawyers. The writ has now been issued as the proposed new Northern Ireland Troubles (Inheritance and Reconciliation) Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament, will bar new civil claims relating to the difficulties.

Julie Hambilton, the younger sister of 18-year-old Maxine, said: “Our legal team in Belfast has sent a writ to Michael Patrick Riley to file a civil lawsuit against him. In addition, the Chief Constable of the West Midlands. Police David Thompson.

Ms. Hamilton runs the Justice4the21 group, which in recent years has urged authorities to conduct a public inquiry into the bombings, which have not yet been resolved.

Tragedy: Julie Hamilton, who lost her 18-year-old sister Maxine in a Birmingham pub bombing

He added: “The writ is to be sued in the High Court in Belfast for damages.

“This is the only step left for families like ours because successive British governments have refused to help families like ours in any other way to get justice. No, as was discovered. With the case brought by the families of the Omag bombing, who successfully prosecuted the murder of their loved ones. “

West Midlands Police have been contacted for comment.

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