Birmingham Pub Bombings: Why Justice for the 21 brought 21 silhouettes on a tour of the city

It is 47 years since 21 people were killed in two city centre pubs - yet no one has been brought to justice

21 silhouettes brought on a tour around Birmingham on the 47th anniversary of the Pub Bombings

Justice for the 21 brought 21 silhouettes on a tour of Birmingham, representing the victims of the two pub bombings over the weekend.

Victims campaigner Julie Hambleton, whose 18-year-old sister Maxine was killed, said: “We took them around Birmingham on Saturday - because on Saturday 47 years ago they were still alive.

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“We wanted to remind people that 21 Brummies were still alive 47 years ago.

“We took them to where the Mulberry Bush pub would have been and then to the Tavern in the Town, where my sister Maxine would have been.

“We lined them up outside West Midland Police’s HQ.

“One of our supporters suggested we lie them on the ground. People were stopping at asking us what we were doing. People were crying because the silhouettes were so powerful.

“People today still don’t know about it because the authorities kept it well and truly buried.”

Justice for the 21 bring 21 silhouettes to Birmingham landmarks to mark the 47th anniversary of the Pub Bombings in which 21 people lost their lives

Julie continued: “Inside St Philip’s Cathedral we had the silhouettes in front of the altar. It was so powerful.

“We took them down to the tree memorial where the Irish ambassador came to pay his respects as well.”

Why did Julie and Brian set up Justice for the 21?

Julie and her brother Brian started Justice for the 21 in 2011 to highlight the atrocity and seek justice for the victims.

They believe the UK government has failed them.

Julie said: “The Irish authorities have paid more respect to our families and the memories of our loved ones than any UK government.

“They’ve brushed it under the carpet until we’ve came along.

“This amnesty proposal is just the straw that broke the camel’s back for us.”

Justice for the 21 bring 21 silhouettes to Birmingham landmarks to mark the 47th anniversary of the Pub Bombings in which 21 people lost their lives

Julie said she was disheartened by the fact the Tavern in the Town site where her sister was killed hasn’t been closed down.

She said: “It’s something that grates on many of us that it really should be sealed and locked up. It’s a cellar so it could easily be closed down.

“It has changed hands a number of times. It was another pub, then a restaurant, then a Chinese buffet. It’s closed at the minute but only because there isn’t a tenant.”

She said: “It’s so disrespectful, it shows that money rules. It’s so crass, it’s quite sick really.”

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