These inquests will provide answers to many questions about what happened in Birmingham on 21 November 1974.

But not the issue of greatest importance to the families of those who died: who planted the bombs?

Six Irish men were arrested shortly after the attacks and were declared guilty and sent to prison.

But they were the victims of what is regarded as the greatest miscarriage of justice in British criminal history.

The convictions of the group who became known as the Birmingham Six were overturned after they spent nearly 17 years in jail.

The real bombers have never been caught.

Families of the victims are angry that the inquests will not address the issue of who were the perpetrators.

Coroner Peter Thornton ruled that it would be unlawful for the inquests to identify those responsible.

"The families at least expected that the questions of who authorised, planned, constructed, carried and detonated the bombs that killed their loved ones would be subject to examination," explains Christopher Stanley, a solicitor representing ten of the families.

Their anger has been compounded by the fact that several journalists have publicly named a number of people they say were involved in the attacks.

In July 2017, a south Dublin man and self-confessed IRA bomb maker, Mick Hayes, told the BBC said he was part of the group responsible for the attacks.

"One of the public interest functions of an inquest is to allay rumour and suspicion and to restore confidence in the rule of law," Mr Stanley said.

"Media reports about who might have been responsible have intensified the rumours and suspicions surrounding these attacks so the families cannot understand why this key question will not be addressed."

There had been speculation that the families would boycott the inquests in protest at the decision not to attribute blame.

But Julie Hambleton, whose sister Maxine was one of those who died, says that would undermine years of campaigning for inquests to be held.

"It would be an insult to our loved ones and to all of those people who have supported us over the years," she told RTÉ News.

"These are not the inquests we wanted, but at this stage we have to make do and hope to achieve as much as possible."

The fact that the inquests will not address the issue of who was responsible for the bombs means the families know from the outset that they will not achieve full closure.

They, and their lawyers, say other avenues may be pursued after the jury delivers its verdict.

That could include civil legal action against individuals they believe were involved. They may also press for a public inquiry.

The one thing that appears certain is that the inquests will not be the end of the matter.

"This is not the end for us, it is the beginning," says Ms Hambleton.

"We have been fighting for justice for nearly 45 years and will continue that fight. We owe that to those who died."