Northern Ireland

Tributes paid to Birmingham Six member Hugh Callaghan following Belfast man's death

Hugh Callaghan (third from left) pictured with the other members of the Birmingham Six upin their release from prison in 1991.
Hugh Callaghan (third from left) pictured with the other members of the Birmingham Six upin their release from prison in 1991. Hugh Callaghan (third from left) pictured with the other members of the Birmingham Six upin their release from prison in 1991.

One of the Birmingham Six wrongly jailed over IRA bombings will be remembered as a man with "astonishing strength of character" following his death at the age of 93.

Hugh Callaghan, who was originally from Belfast, died last Saturday after being admitted to hospital in London with chest pains.

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He was among six Irish men wrongly imprisoned over the IRA bombing of two Birmingham pubs in November 1974, which killed 21 people and injured 182 others.

The Birmingham Six were convicted after false confessions were obtained by police who beat them while they were detained.

The six were exonerated in 1991 and released after spending 16 years in prison.

Upon release, Mr Callaghan remained in England, and in recent years lived in the Hackney area of east London with his partner Adeline Masterson.

Sally Mulready, who campaigned for the release of the Birmingham Six and who co-wrote Mr Callaghan's 1994 autobiography, 'Cruel Fate: One Man's Triumph over Injustice', said in a statement: “He was a man with astonishing strength of character. Despite the profound injustice he endured, he was not bitter or angry, but joyful and always ready to sing.”

An album featuring Mr Callaghan singing with the London-based Irish Pensioners Choir is set to be released this summer.