A botched warning call by the IRA caused or contributed to the deaths of 21 people killed in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, an inquest jury at the city’s civil court has concluded.
Two massive detonations caused what one witness described as “pure carnage”, ripping apart the packed Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs on the night of November 21, killing 21 and injuring 220 more.
The 11-member jury panel, which sat for almost six weeks and deliberated for almost five hours, unanimously determined that an inadequate warning call by the Provisional IRA, which carried out the attacks, cost the stretched police vital minutes.
They also found there were no failings, errors or omissions by West Midlands Police’s response to the bomb warning call, and further concluded there was no tip-off to the force, giving advanced warning the blasts were going to happen.
The six female and five male jurors concluded all the victims were unlawfully killed, following a direction from coroner Sir Peter Thornton QC.