Birmingham Pub Bombings

The 1974 bombing of two pubs in the city of Birmingham, England, thought to be the work of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), killed 21 people. This attack caused more fatalities than any of the other attacks on English soil during the 30-year struggle.

Since the late 1960s, conflict had been raging in Northern Ireland between the province's Roman Catholics, who wished Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic of Ireland, and the province's Protestants, who wished it to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Armed paramilitary groups that had sprung up in both communities were prepared to use violence to protect themselves and achieve their ends. The largest armed organization on the republican, or nationalist, side (i.e., claiming to represent Catholics) was and is the IRA. By the start of 1974, the leaders of the IRA had come to believe ...

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