Earlier today representatives from J4the21, the campaign group representing the families of the victims of The Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974, met the leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster MLA, and will meet shortly with the leader of Sinn Féin, Michelle O’Neill MLA. The content of the discussions of these meetings is confidential.


J4the21 considered it necessary to travel from Birmingham to Belfast to meet with the leaders of the two main political parties in order to convey how we have been excluded from the process for Dealing with the Past and the Legacy of the Conflict in Northern Ireland.


J4the21 are at Stormont because our loved ones cannot be, we are their voice in what we now understand is a protracted, contentious process that Dealing with the Legacy of the Past in Northern Ireland has become.


Myth, rumour and unhelpful speculation will abound and attach itself to our loved one’s murdersunless we deal with these rumours and suspicions in our generational life time. We cannot allow rumours and myth to poison future generations and cause perpetual trauma to our families.


Now is the time to deal with these difficult issues and we will not allow these issues to be passed on to another generation.


Our demand is simple: that we have access to a human rights compliant mechanism to establish how and in what circumstances our loved ones died, without having to continually be campaigning for access to truth, justice and accountability which adds to our continuing trauma and causes further deep hurt and insult.


The day that the State allows impunity for murder by preventing its citizens from accessing such a truth seeking process on behalf of their loved ones is a dangerous day for a democratic society.


We therefore have engaged today in discussions in a spirit that we may get some measure of assistance in our quest for a human rights compliant investigatory mechanism into how and why our loved ones died.