BBC News NI Special: Who Bombed Birmingham?


BBC News NI Special: Who Bombed Birmingham?

The 1974 IRA Birmingham pub bombings were one of the single largest losses of life in the Troubles. A self-confessed IRA bomb-maker offers an apology to the victims' families.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to BBC News NI Special: Who Bombed Birmingham?. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Here's Who Bombed Birmingham?

0:00:000:00:09

Irish Republicans stage an act of defiance.

0:00:090:00:12

This display was at the funeral of IRA man Michael Gaughan.

0:00:120:00:17

These pictures give a rare glimpse into the secret world

0:00:170:00:20

of the IRA in England.

0:00:200:00:22

One of these men was an active member of one of the IRA's

0:00:220:00:25

most notorious units.

0:00:250:00:28

This man has told us he was part of the IRA group that planned

0:00:280:00:32

and blew up two pubs in Birmingham in 1974,

0:00:320:00:34

killing 21 people - then the worst act of mass murder

0:00:340:00:37

carried out on British soil.

0:00:370:00:40

This is the same man 43 years later, walking through Dublin.

0:00:400:00:47

His name is Michael Christopher Anthony Hayes.

0:00:470:00:55

The IRA campaign may be over, but Mick Hayes clings to the uniform

0:00:550:00:58

of his paramilitary past.

0:00:580:01:05

He's been accused of being one of those who planted the Birmingham

0:01:050:01:08

pub bombs but has never faced charges.

0:01:080:01:10

He says he was an active volunteer in the city the night

0:01:100:01:13

the bombs exploded.

0:01:140:01:14

Tonight, he breaks his silence about his IRA past.

0:01:140:01:19

I take absolute, total collective responsibility -

0:01:190:01:24

and, yes, I feel justified in being part of any part of the IRA

0:01:240:01:28

that operated in England.

0:01:280:01:30

There was no intention of the IRA to kill innocent people.

0:01:300:01:33

That wasn't meant.

0:01:330:01:34

That wasn't done.

0:01:340:01:35

It wouldn't have been done, if that was the case.

0:01:350:01:40

Did you plant a bomb...

0:01:400:01:41

I'm...

0:01:410:01:42

..in the Tavern in the Town...

0:01:420:01:44

I'm not telling you, no.

0:01:440:01:46

..or the Mulberry Bush?

0:01:460:01:47

I'm not telling you.

0:01:470:01:48

My role? I was an active volunteer.

0:01:480:01:50

Strike England.

0:01:500:01:51

To bring the focus of the war...

0:01:510:01:53

to the attention of the English people.

0:01:530:01:57

In reality, bringing it to the attention of the English

0:02:040:02:12

people meant unleashing a vicious wave of attacks in the West Midlands

0:02:120:02:15

in the early '70s.

0:02:150:02:16

In a sustained campaign over 18 months, 50 bombs

0:02:160:02:18

and incendiary devices exploded.

0:02:180:02:21

On the 21st of November, as thousands of people were enjoying

0:02:210:02:24

a night out in Birmingham, the IRA attacked the city centre.

0:02:240:02:27

A bomb exploded in the Mulberry Bush bar at about 8:15.

0:02:280:02:33

Ten people were killed.

0:02:330:02:35

ARCHIVE: The force of one of the explosions was so great it

0:02:350:02:40

badly damaged a bus passing the street.

0:02:400:02:44

Minutes later, a second bomb exploded - this time at the Tavern

0:02:440:02:48

in the Town.

0:02:480:02:49

11 people died in the blast.

0:02:490:02:54

Altogether, around 200 people were injured.

0:02:540:02:59

Warnings were given, but they were too vague

0:03:000:03:02

and too late.

0:03:020:03:03

It wasn't until next morning, with more than 50 dying

0:03:030:03:06

and mutilated victims still in Birmingham's hospitals,

0:03:060:03:08

that people realised the full scale of the disaster.

0:03:080:03:12

Although it's more than 40 years since the bombs exploded,

0:03:120:03:15

the people of Birmingham have never forgotten what happens.

0:03:150:03:19

The original inquest didn't conclude, and it's scheduled

0:03:190:03:21

to reopen again this autumn - and the relatives are hoping it

0:03:210:03:24

will provide them with answers to their many questions.

0:03:240:03:29

The inquest is being reopened following a campaign by the victims'

0:03:290:03:33

families, who feel that they've been denied justice and that their loved

0:03:330:03:36

ones have been forgotten.

0:03:370:03:46

Julie Hambleton's sister Maxine was 18 when she died

0:03:460:03:48

in the explosion in the Tavern in the Town.

0:03:480:03:51

She'd gone there to invite her friends to her house-warming party.

0:03:510:04:01

My brother IDed Maxine...

0:04:010:04:06

My mother IDed Maxine...

0:04:060:04:07

and...

0:04:070:04:08

..the thought of knowing that our mum has that memory,

0:04:080:04:11

her last memory of her daughter, of her burned remains, haunts me.

0:04:110:04:14

She said that her hair...

0:04:140:04:16

..was melted in her face...

0:04:160:04:23

..and it was very difficult to...

0:04:230:04:31

..recognise her - and we've since found out,

0:04:310:04:33

because we had the postmortem reports, what her other

0:04:330:04:36

injuries were, and...

0:04:360:04:38

..that's so hard.

0:04:380:04:43

That is so hard.

0:04:430:04:44

And Maxine did nothing to no-one.

0:04:440:04:48

She was a really, really good sister.

0:04:480:04:52

She'd do anything for us.

0:04:520:04:59

And we love her.

0:04:590:05:00

We love her today as we did...

0:05:000:05:03

..the day we lost her.

0:05:030:05:07

Even at this late stage, the relatives had hoped

0:05:070:05:11

the reopening of the inquests would be an opportunity for them

0:05:110:05:15

to find out who was responsible for the act of mass murder.

0:05:150:05:18

Why is it so important for the perpetrators to be named?

0:05:180:05:21

If we allow people to come to any one of our cities and kill

0:05:210:05:25

with impunity, and never be brought to justice,

0:05:250:05:30

what sort of society are we leaving for future generations?

0:05:300:05:35

So, the perpetrator issue is seismic for us -

0:05:350:05:40

and it should be for everybody.

0:05:400:05:43

In the aftermath of the explosions, grief soon turned to anger,

0:05:430:05:46

and there were anti-Irish protests on the streets.

0:05:460:05:50

ALL CHANT AND SING.

0:05:500:05:57

Six Irishmen living in Birmingham were quickly

0:05:570:05:58

charged and wrongfully convicted.

0:05:590:06:01

Known as the Birmingham Six, some of them were coerced

0:06:010:06:04

into signing confessions after being mistreated in custody.

0:06:040:06:10

In 1991, their convictions were finally quashed by the Court

0:06:100:06:13

of Appeal - but only after they'd spent 16 years in jail for something

0:06:130:06:16

they didn't do.

0:06:160:06:19

Justice?!

0:06:190:06:21

I don't think them people in there have got the intelligence

0:06:210:06:24

nor the honesty to spell the word, never mind dispense it!

0:06:240:06:27

They're rotten!

0:06:270:06:30

So, if the Birmingham Six didn't carry out the explosions,

0:06:300:06:33

then just who did?

0:06:330:06:36

Five IRA men, all active in the West Midlands in 1974,

0:06:360:06:40

have been linked to the bomb attacks in Birmingham.

0:06:400:06:43

For years, one of the key suspect has been this man,

0:06:430:06:47

Michael Hayes.

0:06:470:06:49

In the summer of 1974, he was living in the Acocks Green

0:06:490:06:52

area of south Birmingham.

0:06:520:06:55

A self-confessed veteran IRA man, today he lives in Dublin.

0:06:550:07:01

We went in search of him to ask him what role he played

0:07:010:07:04

in the Birmingham pub bombs.

0:07:040:07:09

We met a number of times.

0:07:100:07:12

He said he'd need to clearance from senior Republicans

0:07:120:07:14

to speak to me...

0:07:150:07:18

..and then he finally agreed to talk openly,

0:07:180:07:20

in detail, about the Birmingham pub bombings.

0:07:200:07:25

Well, I'll put it like this.

0:07:250:07:29

Throughout the period of the campaign in the West Midlands,

0:07:290:07:33

I was active throughout the campaign.

0:07:330:07:35

I was active throughout the whole campaign in the West Midlands.

0:07:350:07:39

Yes.

0:07:390:07:41

So, what was your role in the Birmingham pub bombings?

0:07:410:07:47

I just told you, I was a participant in the IRA's activities in

0:07:470:07:51

Birmingham.

0:07:510:07:51

How clear can I make it?

0:07:510:07:53

Tell me about the bomb in the Mulberry Bush.

0:07:530:07:56

What type of bomb was it?

0:07:560:07:57

What type of bomb? In what way, what type of bomb?

0:07:570:08:01

It was a gelignite bomb.

0:08:010:08:02

Made of gelignite.

0:08:030:08:05

What size was it?

0:08:050:08:14

You're asking what the forensic details was?

0:08:140:08:16

I would suggest it would have been about 12 pounds.

0:08:160:08:19

And where was it placed in the bar? As I understand...

0:08:190:08:22

As I understand, it was placed under a table.

0:08:220:08:25

Repeating what I've heard. That's what I'm saying to you.

0:08:250:08:30

It's up to your viewers and yourself...

0:08:300:08:37

to interpret what I'm saying.

0:08:380:08:39

That's the only answer I can give you.

0:08:390:08:41

Tell me about the bomb in the Tavern in the Town.

0:08:410:08:44

The same. What can you tell me?

0:08:440:08:46

The same thing.

0:08:460:08:47

A repeat of the first one. As I heard.

0:08:470:08:50

A repeat of the first one.

0:08:500:08:51

Michael Hayes says his IRA career lasted more than 30 years,

0:08:510:08:54

broken only by a three-year prison sentence spent in the Irish

0:08:540:08:57

Republic.

0:08:570:09:01

IRA sources in Belfast describe him as "an operator".

0:09:010:09:04

Another former associate said he was "dangerous and ruthless".

0:09:040:09:10

When he arrived in England in the early '70s, he was already

0:09:100:09:13

an experienced IRA man.

0:09:130:09:16

The first bomb went off at 8:17.

0:09:160:09:18

Ten minutes later, at 8:27, the second bomb exploded.

0:09:180:09:29

Then, at 9:15, another undetonated device was discovered at Barclays

0:09:290:09:32

Bank.

0:09:320:09:32

It received a lot less coverage over the years.

0:09:320:09:35

As well as the two bombs that ripped through the Tavern in the Town

0:09:350:09:39

and the Mulberry Bush, the IRA planted a third device

0:09:390:09:41

in Birmingham that night.

0:09:410:09:43

It was left here on the Hagley Road.

0:09:430:09:45

It didn't explode, and reports at the time said only the detonator

0:09:450:09:48

went off - but Michael Hayes tells a different story.

0:09:480:09:51

I was an IRA man in Birmingham, yes.

0:09:510:09:53

On the night that the Birmingham pub bombs were planted?

0:09:530:09:56

Yes.

0:09:560:09:57

Yes, I was there in Birmingham.

0:09:570:09:59

And what was your role in the IRA in Birmingham that night

0:09:590:10:02

that the bombs were planted?

0:10:020:10:03

What was my role? I was a standby volunteer.

0:10:030:10:07

So what did you do that night? Take us through it.

0:10:070:10:10

I waited to see what was going to happen.

0:10:100:10:12

When we found out what had happened...

0:10:120:10:17

..we defused the third bomb on the Hagley Road.

0:10:170:10:22

Who defused it? I did.

0:10:220:10:33

We were horrified when we heard. 'Cause it wasn't intended.

0:10:330:10:35

I defused the bomb.

0:10:350:10:37

You personally? Yes, me personally.

0:10:370:10:41

Yes.

0:10:410:10:44

This is a picture of the third bomb.

0:10:440:10:51

While it would have undoubtedly provided important forensic evidence

0:10:510:10:53

on the real bombers, it no longer can.

0:10:530:10:56

Several years ago, the West Midlands Police confirmed

0:10:560:10:58

that they'd lost it.

0:10:580:10:59

You say that you defused the third bomb in Birmingham that night.

0:10:590:11:02

Yeah.

0:11:020:11:04

How were you able to do that?

0:11:040:11:06

What expertise or knowledge did you have that allowed

0:11:060:11:08

you to defuse a bomb?

0:11:080:11:11

Quite a lot. Quite a lot.

0:11:110:11:16

I specialised in explosives.

0:11:170:11:19

Mm...I knew what I was doing.

0:11:190:11:23

Explain what it means to say you were into explosives.

0:11:230:11:28

To construct a bomb.

0:11:280:11:31

To make a bomb. To make a bomb.

0:11:310:11:33

That's what I were into.

0:11:330:11:36

Clock timers - them days, we used clock timers.

0:11:360:11:39

Highly unstable.

0:11:390:11:41

That's the way it was done in them days.

0:11:420:11:45

Clock timers.

0:11:450:11:48

Batteries, clock timer, one detonator.

0:11:480:11:53

Commercial detonator.

0:11:530:11:55

Not electrical detonator, commercial.

0:11:550:12:00

And is that what the Birmingham bombs consisted of?

0:12:000:12:03

Yes, as I understand. Yes.

0:12:030:12:07

You see, that makes it sound like you did make the bombs.

0:12:070:12:10

I have no comment to make on that.

0:12:100:12:12

And you mustn't...think whatever you're thinking.

0:12:120:12:15

So you're saying that... You see....

0:12:150:12:17

You're being asked... I wasn't the...

0:12:170:12:19

You're being asked a simple question.

0:12:190:12:20

Did you make bombs that night?

0:12:210:12:23

I wasn't the only IRA man in the West Midlands.

0:12:230:12:27

There were other men there with me.

0:12:270:12:41

If people choose to believe that we've done this and done that,

0:12:410:12:44

that's what they want to believe, let them believe it.

0:12:440:12:47

VOICEOVER: Paddy Hill is one of the Birmingham Six.

0:12:470:12:49

Today, he lives in the Scottish countryside.

0:12:490:12:51

He says his life was destroyed by this miscarriage of justice.

0:12:510:12:54

It's ruined my life.

0:12:540:12:55

What do you call it...?

0:12:550:12:56

I don't know how to put it.

0:12:560:12:58

But nothing means nothing.

0:12:580:13:00

You know? Nothing means nothing.

0:13:000:13:01

I'm more at home with animals than I am with people.

0:13:010:13:06

You big daftie!

0:13:060:13:08

Good girl. Good girl.

0:13:080:13:13

Paddy Hill, too, wants the bombers named and hopes the inquest

0:13:130:13:16

will go even further.

0:13:160:13:17

I hope that they will show the truth, because the truth has

0:13:170:13:20

never been...been told.

0:13:200:13:24

I want them to show who made the bombs, who planted the bombs,

0:13:240:13:27

and I also want them to show what happened to us,

0:13:270:13:30

and what I want is for the truth to come out.

0:13:300:13:35

I have a different agenda than the families.

0:13:350:13:37

The families want to know who was responsible.

0:13:370:13:40

And of course, me, I want to know who was responsible for giving

0:13:400:13:43

the orders for us to be tortured and framed.

0:13:430:13:46

Silver?

0:13:460:14:00

Why didn't you walk into a police station and say "I know who did

0:14:000:14:04

this," in order to get the Birmingham Six released?

0:14:040:14:06

Now that is about a...

0:14:060:14:08

You'd want me to go in and give the names of other men?

0:14:080:14:11

To become an informer?

0:14:110:14:12

Let me tell you, my good man, I'd sooner die than become an informer.

0:14:120:14:16

I would sooner die in front of you than become an informer.

0:14:160:14:19

Why didn't you go in and admit your own role in whatever you did

0:14:190:14:23

or were involved in in order to try and give an opportunity for the six

0:14:230:14:27

men to be released?

0:14:270:14:31

And what purpose would that serve?

0:14:310:14:32

You think that would have helped the Birmingham Six?

0:14:320:14:35

Then you would have had the Birmingham Seven.

0:14:350:14:37

I would have been one of them.

0:14:370:14:41

VOICEOVER: Chris Mullin is the former MP for Sunderland South

0:14:410:14:43

and he was instrumental in the campaign to free

0:14:430:14:46

the Birmingham Six.

0:14:460:14:51

He's sceptical that the reopened inquests will meet the expectations

0:14:510:14:53

of the relatives.

0:14:540:14:54

Several of the perpetrators of the bombings are dead,

0:14:540:14:57

and of those that are still alive, I'm not aware of any evidence that

0:14:570:15:01

would enable them to be brought before a court of law.

0:15:010:15:04

Perhaps if one of them was to own up and put his thumbprint

0:15:040:15:07

on a statement, admitting responsibility, that,

0:15:070:15:09

of course, would change the whole dynamic.

0:15:090:15:32

Mick Hayes says he was arrested and questioned

0:15:320:15:34

by the West Midlands Police in 1974 about the bombings,

0:15:340:15:37

but was let go.

0:15:370:15:38

In 1990, Granada Television made a drama-documentary called

0:15:380:15:40

Who Bombed Birmingham?

0:15:400:15:52

In it, Michael Hayes was named as one of those who planted

0:15:520:15:55

the Birmingham pub bombs.

0:15:550:15:56

In 1990, Granada Television made a drama-documentary

0:15:560:15:58

about the Birmingham pub bombings.

0:15:580:16:00

Yes.

0:16:000:16:00

And they named you as one of the bombers.

0:16:000:16:02

Yes. Yes, they named me that, yeah.

0:16:020:16:04

I was named as such.

0:16:040:16:06

Not proven, but named.

0:16:060:16:17

How many people planted the bombs?

0:16:170:16:19

Two. Two.

0:16:190:16:20

And who were they?

0:16:200:16:21

I'm not telling you. Were you one of them?

0:16:210:16:24

I'm not telling you.

0:16:240:16:25

I mean, you were named in 1990 as being one of...

0:16:250:16:28

I know I was named, yes, I know I was named, yes.

0:16:280:16:31

I know I was named.

0:16:310:16:32

Did you plant a bomb in the Tavern in the Town and the Mulberry Bush?

0:16:320:16:36

I'm not telling you, no.

0:16:360:16:38

I'm not telling you. I'm not telling you.

0:16:380:16:40

So what was your role in the Birmingham bombings?

0:16:400:16:43

As I just told you, I was a participant in the IRA's

0:16:430:16:46

activities in Birmingham.

0:16:460:16:52

I was an active volunteer.

0:16:520:16:53

An active volunteer.

0:16:530:16:54

Did you plant the Birmingham pub bomb that killed 21 people

0:16:540:16:57

in November 1974?

0:16:570:16:58

Again, no comment.

0:16:580:16:59

Why won't you answer the question?

0:16:590:17:00

No comment. No comment.

0:17:000:17:07

I've been accused...I've been accused of a lot of things,

0:17:070:17:10

without one shred...one shred of forensic evidence,

0:17:100:17:12

without one statement made, without one witness

0:17:120:17:14

coming against me.

0:17:140:17:15

Not one.

0:17:150:17:25

But did you plant the bombs?

0:17:260:17:30

I was a participant in the IRA's campaign in England.

0:17:300:17:33

You are not answering the question.

0:17:330:17:35

Did you plant the bombs?

0:17:350:17:37

I'm giving you the only answer I can give you.

0:17:370:17:40

The only one that I can give you.

0:17:400:17:42

I will leave it to your viewers, your editorial staff,

0:17:420:17:45

whoever they are, to work out what I'm saying.

0:17:450:17:47

Again, I take full collective responsibility for all operations

0:17:470:17:50

carried out in the West Midlands.

0:17:500:17:51

I take collective responsibility for every IRA operation carried out

0:17:510:17:54

in England, let alone Birmingham.

0:17:540:17:58

So you are taking responsibility for the Birmingham pub bombs?

0:17:580:18:10

I will accept responsibility for them.

0:18:100:18:12

As collective responsibility, that's what I will accept.

0:18:120:18:14

That's what I will take.

0:18:140:18:16

Michael Hayes was not operating alone as part of the Birmingham IRA

0:18:160:18:19

on the night of the bombings.

0:18:190:18:21

One of his associates with this man, Mick Murray.

0:18:210:18:23

He was in the dock along with the Birmingham six but faced

0:18:230:18:26

lesser charges and got a nine-year sentence for bomb-related offences.

0:18:260:18:35

What was Mick Murray's role the night of the Birmingham pub

0:18:350:18:39

bombs?

0:18:390:18:39

He phoned the warning.

0:18:390:18:40

As I understand.

0:18:400:18:41

He phoned the warning.

0:18:410:18:42

He phoned the warning.

0:18:420:18:48

And, obviously, he was too late with his warning.

0:18:480:18:50

There was a valuable eight minutes lost if my memory serves me correct.

0:18:500:18:54

Mick Murray was also named in the Granada TV documentary

0:18:540:18:56

and died in 1999.

0:18:560:19:01

The programme also identified Seamus McLoughlin -

0:19:010:19:03

known as Belfast Jimmy, a native of Ardoyne -

0:19:030:19:06

as the man in charge of the Birmingham IRA at the time

0:19:060:19:09

of the attacks.

0:19:090:19:12

He had a paramilitary-style funeral three years ago.

0:19:120:19:17

The fourth man was Jimmy Gavin, he's buried in the IRA's,

0:19:170:19:20

Republican plot in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

0:19:200:19:22

On returning to Ireland after the Birmingham bombings,

0:19:220:19:24

Jimmy Gavin served a life sentence after he murdered a man

0:19:240:19:27

in Dublin in 1977.

0:19:270:19:32

James Francis Gavin was a prominent member of the IRA in Birmingham...

0:19:330:19:36

..so far as I'm aware, though he never told me this

0:19:360:19:39

and he too is dead.

0:19:390:19:47

The bombs were collected from his house.

0:19:470:19:48

Whether he was one of the planters or not, I don't know.

0:19:480:19:52

He made bombs.

0:19:520:19:52

He made up bombs.

0:19:520:19:56

He was a volunteer - an explosives volunteer.

0:19:560:20:03

He was a bomb maker?

0:20:040:20:05

Yeah.

0:20:050:20:05

Did he make the Birmingham pub bombs?

0:20:050:20:10

I've no comment to make.

0:20:100:20:12

So you and Jimmy Gavin, as he was known, worked together

0:20:130:20:16

as two IRA bomb makers in Birmingham in the early '70s.

0:20:160:20:19

We were both into explosives, yes.

0:20:190:20:20

High explosives.

0:20:200:20:21

We were both explosives men, yeah.

0:20:210:20:30

The final suspect has never been publicly identified.

0:20:300:20:32

While the name of the fifth member of the gang has been kept secret

0:20:320:20:39

for 43 years, the impact of what the IRA did that night,

0:20:390:20:42

is felt to this very day.

0:20:420:20:44

The relatives of the victims have always wanted the names

0:20:440:20:46

of the suspects to be disclosed at the inquest.

0:20:460:20:50

But just last week, the coroner ruled their identities won't be

0:20:500:20:53

discussed, a blow to the families - who have called his decision

0:20:530:20:57

a whitewash.

0:20:570:20:58

I lost my father in the Birmingham pub bombs.

0:20:580:21:00

For me, I want to know who done it.

0:21:000:21:03

There was a lot of speculation about who may and who may not have

0:21:030:21:06

done it and I go through my daily life, I'm a Brummie,

0:21:060:21:16

I still spend a lot of time in Birmingham and I never quite know

0:21:160:21:19

who I'm standing next to and I may well be standing next to the person

0:21:190:21:23

that killed my father.

0:21:230:21:33

You were ashamed?

0:21:330:21:34

Yes.

0:21:340:21:34

I'm deeply ashamed.

0:21:340:21:35

Not ashamed of the IRA's role...

0:21:350:21:36

..but ashamed of the fact that such things had to happen.

0:21:360:21:39

The IRA has never formally claimed responsibility or apologised

0:21:390:21:42

directly to the families for the 1974 pub bombings in Birmingham.

0:21:420:21:45

But Mick Hayes says he is sorry.

0:21:450:21:47

My message is as it has always been.

0:21:470:21:49

My apologies and my heartfelt sympathy to all of you for

0:21:490:21:52

a terrible, tragic loss that you've been put through.

0:21:520:21:54

And for all these years you've been trying to find closure,

0:21:540:21:57

I hope at last God will be merciful and bring you closure.

0:21:570:22:06

And I apologise not only for myself, I apologise for all Republicans

0:22:060:22:09

who had no intention of hurting anybody and sympathise with you.

0:22:090:22:24

Would an apology mean anything if someone was to say,

0:22:240:22:26

look, I am sorry, it was a mistake, we didn't mean it.

0:22:260:22:30

No!

0:22:300:22:33

No, no, no, no.

0:22:330:22:37

No.

0:22:370:22:38

No, it would be insulting.

0:22:380:22:39

You've murdered 21 people and all you've got is "sorry"?

0:22:390:22:42

What about, "I did it, I'm handing myself in."

0:22:420:22:44

That might help.

0:22:440:22:45

An apology?

0:22:450:22:46

Please, don't insult us.

0:22:460:22:52

Do you have a clear conscience?

0:22:520:22:53

Very much so, yes.

0:22:530:22:55

I can sleep at night-time.

0:22:550:22:56

Yes, I do.

0:22:560:22:57

Because I'm not a murderer.

0:22:570:23:00

I'd like them to grow some balls and come forward and say,

0:23:000:23:04

"I did it and I'm prepared to serve the time "for the heinous crime

0:23:040:23:07

I've committed."

0:23:070:23:08

No more, no less.

0:23:080:23:14

But why don't you just come clean on your role

0:23:140:23:17

in the Birmingham pub bombings?

0:23:170:23:18

I gave you an answer.

0:23:180:23:20

I didn't tell you an untruth.

0:23:200:23:22

I gave you an answer.

0:23:220:23:30

Why don't you answer the question?

0:23:300:23:31

It's the only way I can answer you.

0:23:310:23:34

That's the only way I can answer you.

0:23:340:23:36

You can think what you wish.

0:23:360:23:38

As the viewers will think, as the people who read

0:23:390:23:44

this will think.

0:23:440:23:45

You must think as you wish.

0:23:450:23:46

The coroner has ruled he won't allow the names of the suspects to be

0:23:460:23:50

discussed at the forthcoming inquests.

0:23:500:23:51

The relatives say that they are well used to setbacks

0:23:520:23:54

in their quest for justice.

0:23:540:23:55

Unless the coroner's decision is overturned,

0:23:560:23:57

what you've just heard could be the fullest account anyone will hear

0:23:570:24:00

about one of the largest unsolved mass murders ever carried out

0:24:000:24:03

on British soil.

0:24:030:24:10

The 1974 IRA Birmingham pub bombings were one of the single largest losses of life in the Troubles. A self-confessed IRA bomb-maker says he was part of the group that planned and carried out the attacks and offers an apology to the victims' families.