Michael Patrick Reilly was arrested on Wednesday (Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Our free email newsletter sends you the biggest headlines from news, sport and showbiz
Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email
The man being quizzed over the Birmingham pub bombings was raised in the city, it is claimed.
Michael Patrick Reilly, 65, was arrested early on Wednesday at his Belfast home.
But a source has said it is believed Mr Reilly, who was 19 at the time of the attacks, grew up in Birmingham.
The source said: “We believe he was raised in Birmingham and spent a significant part of his young life there.
“He certainly would have gone back and forth between England and Ireland over the years. It is believed he was living in the Digbeth area of the city in 1974 but eventually settled in West Belfast where he had family.”
Yesterday the pensioner was still being questioned. He was arrested under the Terrorism Act and taken to Musgrave Street police station in Belfast while searches continued at his address.
The Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham after one of the explosions
Sister of Birmingham pub bombings victim 'broke down at news of fresh arrest'
Mirror Politics newsletter – the e-mail you need to navigate a crisis-hit UK
The arrest came days before the 46th anniversary of the November 21 blasts which killed 21 at the Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs.
The bungled police inquiry which followed led to the wrongful convictions of the Birmingham Six. They were freed in 1991 after all charges were quashed.
At last year’s inquest, an anonymous ex-IRA volunteer named four men he claimed took part, three of whom are now dead.
Some 21 people were killed in the blasts
Man arrested in connection with murder of 21 people in 1974 Birmingham pub bombings
The fourth, Michael Hayes, now lives in Dublin.
When lawyers for the victims’ families put Mr Reilly’s name to the former volunteer, he denied knowledge of his involvement. Mr Hayes has always strongly denied anything to do with the Birmingham outrage.
Approached for a comment on the bombings for a TV documentary in 2018, his lawyer said allegations he was involved were “without any foundation”.