Northern Ireland news

Guildford pub bombing family asks for inquest delay as they seek funds to pay lawyers

The Horse and Groom pub in Guilford was targeted in an IRA bomb in 1974. Picture from Press Association

The family of a woman killed in the 1974 IRA Guildford pub bombings has asked a coroner to delay her inquest while they seek funds to pay their legal team.

Ann Hamilton (19), whose parents were from Belfast, was one of five people who died in attacks at the Horse and Groom and Seven Stars pubs, that also left 65 injured.

Eleven people - the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven - were wrongly convicted.

Ms Hamilton's family has been refused legal aid for a resumed inquest.

After a select committee said relatives should be supported, family lawyers KRW Law made a fresh request for funding.

The Ministry of Justice said it was considering committee recommendations.

Two police forces, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the coroner have barristers in the inquest, but the Hamilton family does not.

Cassandra Hamilton said her sister had been a British soldier and asked why other government bodies such as the Army or MoD had not fought for her by providing support.

The government has previously said that coroners could ask questions for families but Ms Hamilton said her family had built up a rapport with KRW Law, a Belfast-based firm.

"We have never spoken to the coroner," she said.

"He doesn't know how strongly we feel. He's never been there when we've broken down."

Ms Hamilton told the BBC she was just two when her older sister died.

Her parents were originally from Belfast but had moved the family to England because of the Troubles.

She said her father did not want Ann to become a soldier.

"Dad was dead against it, and then 18 months after Ann got killed, my dad died of a broken heart," she said.

"He felt he'd failed by bringing her over here. He blamed himself."

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