Northern Ireland news

Families welcome positive meetings with political leaders

Relatives of some of the 21 people who died in the Birmingham pub bombings.

Families whose loved ones died in the IRA's 1974 Birmingham pub bombings have said meetings with the leaders of the two main political parties at Stormont had been "positive" and that issues raised had been "taken on board".

Families of five of the 21 victims who died in the bombings were in Belfast yesterday to meet with DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill.

Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O'Neill said: "We welcome (the) opportunity to engage with the Birmingham families and we listened closely to their concerns.

"Sinn Féin extended our sympathy to the families of those killed and injured in the Birmingham bomb.

“Sinn Féin said that all victims need to be treated with equality and dignity and respect.

"We have consistently supported all families in campaigns for inquests which are compliant with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. We will also support the Birmingham families in this regard.

“We uphold the right of all families to seek deserve maximum disclosure about how their loved ones died.

“The best way of achieving that is through the implementation of the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House."

Following the DUP meeting, party leader Arlene Foster said; "It was a privilege to meet with the families and to support their quest for truth, justice and accountability.

"Those who planted the bombs in Birmingham are responsible for taking the lives of 21 innocent people and the families deserve support in their drive for full justice. The families are pursuing a number of avenues in their campaign and they were assured of the DUP's support in those efforts.

"We have committed to following up on the issues raised and I look forward to that ongoing relationship", she added.

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