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Guildford pub bombings inquests to resume 40 years after suspension, coroner rules | UK News

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The inquests into the 1974 Guildford pub bombings should resume more than 40 years after they were suspended, a coroner has ruled.

The IRA bombings killed four soldiers and a civilian.

Surrey Coroner Richard Travers said those affected by the blast and the public were “entitled” to have the attack “formally explored in open court and in proceedings which are untainted by allegations of impropriety or misconduct”.

Five died in the Horse and Groom pub explosion
Image:
Five died in the Horse and Groom pub explosion

The resumed inquest would not have the scope to explore who was responsible for the bomb, the composition of the explosive device or any claims police lied during the trial of the so-called Guildford Four, the coroner added.

The families of victims, survivors, and those wrongfully imprisoned over the attack have campaigned to see the hearings reach their conclusion.

Civilian Paul Craig and soldiers Caroline Slater, 18, William Forsyth, 18, John Hunter, 17, and Ann Hamilton, 19, died in the explosion at the Horse and Groom pub, a popular spot for soldiers.

The Seven Stars, the second pub targeted by the IRA on October 5 1974, was evacuated and no serious injuries were sustained.

No one was seriously injured in at The Seven Stars pub
Image:
No one was seriously injured in at The Seven Stars pub

The original inquest proceedings were suspended when the so-called Guildford Four – Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson – were convicted over the bombings in 1975.

Handed life sentences, their convictions were overturned in 1989.

Their case became one of the best-known miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

A pre-inquest review will be held at a later date.

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