Birmingham pub bombings: Victim's sister confronts ex-IRA boss live on radio

The sister of a Birmingham pub bombings victim has confronted a former IRA boss live on radio.

Julie Hambleton's 18-year-old sister Maxine was among the 21 people who died in the twin blasts in 1974.

She reacted furiously when she heard Kieran Conway, the former head of IRA intelligence, say those who planted the bombs were not murderers and were "relatively blameless" as people "who participated in a just war".

"I think the man's delusional," Ms Hambleton responded, during the confrontation on the BBC's Today programme.

Firemen search through the debris. Credit: PA Wire

"I wonder if one of his own kids was killed beyond description where all their skin had been stripped off their body, they've got no legs, they've got no arms, you can't recognise them by their face because their injuries are such that they have already been partially cremated.

"How dare he make such horrendous statements over the airwaves."

She demanded the "gutless" bombers give themselves up.

She also told the programme she had deliberately avoiding having children because she would not be able to bear the trauma of losing one.

Julie Hambleton, sister of Maxine Hambleton. Credit: PA Wire

The attacks are widely acknowledged to have been the work of the IRA but those responsible have now evaded justice for over four decades.

The only men to be prosecuted - the Birmingham Six - had their convictions quashed in 1991.

A coroner will later rule on whether the inquest into the deaths of the victims will resume.

Paddy Hill, one of the Birmingham Six, told ITV News on Tuesday that a full inquest was the only way to uncover the truth about the atrocities.