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  1. Gerry Conlon - Alcatraz East Pigeon Forge › gerry-conlon

    Gerry Conlon Gerry Conlon was a member of the Guildford Four, a group of young men wrongly accused for an attack executed in the United Kingdom. On November 30, 1974, at age twenty, Gerry Conlon was arrested for an IRA pub bombing in Guildford, for which he was sentenced to life in prison.

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  2. The IRA's mainland campaign - Northern Ireland › northernireland › ira-mainland-
    • Historical Ira Terrorism
    • The Response to ‘Bloody Sunday’
    • The Purpose of The Campaign
    • The M62 Coach Bombing
    • The London Bombings
    • The Guildford and Birmingham Pub Bombings
    • Assassinations
    • The 1980s
    • The Brighton Hotel Bombing
    • The Deal Barracks Bombing

    The mainland campaign had historical precedents. As early as the 1880s, Irish Republicans called Fenians bombed several targets across Britain, including the Houses of Parliament. In the 1930s a group of militant radicals gained control of the IRAArmy Council. In January 1939, they issued a brief ultimatum to the British government, demanding the withdrawal of all British military personnel from Ireland. Their ultimatum was ignored and IRA leaders responded with a declaration of war. The militants responded by initiating their S-Plan: an operation to sabotage English infrastructure with stolen and improvised explosives. Between January and December 1939, IRA cells planted a total of 290 bombs in England. The S-Plan sought to create disruption, panic and fear rather than deaths or casualties. The bombers targeted electricity stations, railway stations, communications infrastructure, roads, bridges and government buildings. The campaign was wound back in August 1939 after an IRA bomb...

    The first significant attack on English soil during the Troubles was carried out by the Official IRA, acting in retaliation for Bloody Sunday. On February 22nd 1972, three weeks after the shootings in Derry, Official IRA volunteers drove an explosives-laden car into an unsecured army base in Aldershot, 40 miles southwest of London. The bomb was detonated next to an officers’ mess. No officers were nearby, however, and the blast killed seven civilian workers: five women, an elderly gardener and a Catholic chaplain. These civilian deaths were a political disaster for the Official IRA, which wound back its military campaign three months later. The more radical Provisional IRA had no qualms about attacking targets in England. It was also less concerned with incidental civilian casualties. In early 1973, the Provisional IRA sent 11 volunteers to operate undercover in London; this group included future Sinn Fein minister Gerry Kelly and sisters Dolours and Marian Price. On March 8th, thes...

    The mainland campaign aimed to increase pressure on Westminster by creating a climate of fear among ordinary Britons. It also exposed British civilians to the painful realities of Northern Ireland (as one IRA volunteer put it, “give the Brits a taste of the Troubles”). Another factor in the mainland campaign was the IRA’s shrinking capacity in Northern Ireland. By late 1973, British security forces held the upper hand in the Six Counties. The British Army, the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) were stronger in number, armed with better intelligence and alert to IRA tactics. Because of this, the Provisionals found attacking British military targets a more difficult proposition. Provisional IRA numbers had also been depleted by deaths, defections and arrests, while the group’s weapons and munitions stockpiles were shrinking. This forced IRA commanders to look for ‘softer’ targets. Most of the Provisional IRA’s mainland attacks were carried out using exp...

    On February 4th 1974, the Provisional IRA detonated a small bomb on a coach (bus) travelling on the M62 motorway. The coach was carrying off-duty British soldiers and family members, travelling from Manchester to military bases in England’s north-east. Unbeknownst to those onboard, a medium-sized bomb had been placed in the luggage hold by an IRA volunteer. The bomb exploded near Hartshead, Yorkshire shortly after midnight, as most onboard the coach slept. The blast tore the coach apart and killed 12 people, including nine soldiers and two children aged five and two. It was, at the time, the deadliest IRA attack on British soil. The M62 bombing outraged the British public, the media and the government, which rushed through anti-terrorism laws allowing the detention and deportation of suspected IRA members. No person was successfully brought to justice for the M62 bombing. Judith Ward, an English woman with a history of mental illness, confessed in 1974 and was imprisoned for 18 year...

    On June 17th 1974, a Provisional IRA bomb exploded in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament, rupturing a gas pipe and starting a fire. An IRA volunteer telephoned through a warning six minutes before the bomb exploded, allowing the area to be cleared. The warning meant that nobody was killed, though 11 people were seriously injured. Exactly one month later, the IRA detonated two bombs in London. The first exploded near a government building in Balham shortly before dawn; there was considerable property damage but nobody was injured. Later in the day, a bomb exploded at the Tower of London in an exhibition room filled with tourists. One person was killed and 40 others were injured, some losing limbs. These bombings led to increased security and surveillance at London landmarks, as well as an overhaul of police, emergency and bomb disposal protocols. The Provisional IRA continued to hit high profile targets in 1975, bombing Oxford Street (August 28th, seven injured), the London...

    Pubs frequented by soldiers were another preferred target for the Provisional IRA. On October 5th 1974 IRA volunteers detonated gelignite bombs in the Horse and Groom and Seven Stars, two pubs in Guildford, approximately 25 miles southwest of London. The first of these blasts killed five people, four of them military personnel, and injured another 65. The Guildford bombings are notorious for the miscarriage of justice that followed. In December 1974 British police arrested 11 people, including Gerry Conlonand Paul Hill, two young men visiting London from Belfast. The ‘Guildford Four’ and the ‘Maguire Seven’, as they became known, were interrogated, charged and convicted of the Guildford bombings. They were handed prison sentences ranging from four years to life. An investigation in the late 1980s revealed police had used violence and intimidation to extract confessions, as well as suppressing crucial evidence. Conlon, Hill and others still in prison were released in 1989, having ser...

    As well as car bombings, the Provisional IRA carried out assassinations and assassination attempts against high profile individuals. In November 1975 gunmen shot dead Ross McWhirter outside his Middlesex home. McWhirter, a co-founder of the Guinness Book of World Records, was an outspoken critic of the IRA. At one point he suggested the compulsory registration of all Irish people living in England. In March 1979, Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) volunteers booby-trapped a car belonging to Airey Neave, a Conservative MP and adviser to Margaret Thatcher. The bomb exploded as Neave drove out of the parliament buildings in Westminster and he died shortly after. The highest profile assassination of the Troubles came five months later when the Provisional IRA murdered Lord Louis Mountbatten. A former governor-general of India, Mountbatten was an uncle of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and mentor to Charles, Prince of Wales. Mountbatten wa...

    The Provisional IRA detonated several bombs in London in the early 1980s. In October 1981, a bomb packed with six-inch nails exploded outside Chelsea Barracks. The blast and shrapnel killed two people, both civilian bystanders, and injured another 40, most of them soldiers. Two weeks later an IRA bomb was left in Wimpy’s, a popular hamburger bar on Oxford Street. A police explosives technician was attempting to defuse the bomb when it exploded, killing him instantly. One of the Provisional IRA’s most devastating attacks came on July 20th 1982 when its bombers targeted military parades in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. The Hyde Park shrapnel bomb exploded during the Changing of the Guard, killing four members of the Household Cavalry and seven of their horses. Two hours later, a bomb concealed beneath a bandstand in Regent’s Park also exploded, killing seven members of a military band and injuring dozens of others. Both bombs were timed to detonate during ceremonies, to ensure maximum...

    On October 12th 1984, the Provisional IRA detonated a bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. The hotel was hosting a Conservative Party conference attended by prime minister Margaret Thatcher, several government ministers and dozens of parliamentarians. The bomb, built with gelignite detonated by an advance timer, was planted under a bathtub by an IRA volunteer almost a month before the conference. The blast killed five people – a Conservative MP, two party officials and two wives – and injured 30 more. Thatcher, the target of the bomb, was awake when it detonated shortly before 3 am. Her bathroom was severely damaged but she was not harmed. A large section of the Grand Hotel was destroyed; it would not fully reopen until August 1986. Thatcher fronted the media the following morning and defiantly declared that “all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail”. The Provisional IRA responded by stating that “today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once – y...

    After the Brighton Hotel bombing, there were no significant IRA attacks in England for five years. On September 22nd 1989, the Provisional IRA revived the mainland campaign by bombing a Royal Marines music school in Deal, Kent. The blast destroyed a three-storey building, killing 11 men and injuring another 21. All were ceremonial musicians and several were teenage trainees. The Provisional IRA claimed responsibility for the attack, declaring the music school a legitimate military target. The murder of 11 young men – with no combat or infantry training and no military role except to play music – provoked outrage and condemnation. To date, nobody has been brought to justice for the bombing of the Marines barracks at Deal. Over the following year, the IRA carried out attacks on military personnel in Wembley (May 1990) and Lichfield (June 1990) that killed two men. In July 1990 IRA volunteers assassinated Ian Gow, a Conservative MP who embraced a hard line on Northern Ireland, routinel...

  3. Ched Evans is 'being treated like the Guildford Four', say ... › news › article-2839173

    Nov 18, 2014 · WRONGLY CONVICTED OF AN IRA ATTACK: THE GUILDFORD FOUR Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill, Carole Richardson and Paddy Armstrong served 14 years of a life sentence after they were wrongly convicted of the...

    • 2 min
  4. Jim MacKeith | Social care | The Guardian › news › 2007

    Aug 13, 2007 · When Gerry Conlon, of the Guildford Four, hit problems that were too hard to handle on his second night out of prison, it was MacKeith who drove in the night from Dulwich to north London to...

    • Gareth Peirce
  5. Northern Ireland glossary A-K › northernireland › northern

    Guildford Four The Guildford Four were four people wrongfully convicted of bombing two pubs in Guildford, England in 1974. Gerry Conlon was the most prominent member of the Guildford Four. Their convictions were quashed in 1989 after it was proved that police had tampered with or concealed important evidence.

  6. Apologising for the Atlantic Slave Trade - History ... › topic-ideas › history

    In a letter, Mr Blair acknowledged the "miscarriage of justice" which they suffered as a result of their wrongful convictions. Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Patrick Armstrong and Carole Richardson, were given life sentences for bombing public houses in Guildford, Surrey.

  7. Jimmy Savile | Padraig Colman › tag › jimmy-savile

    Gerry Conlon was one of the Guildford Four, who were convicted in 1975 for the IRA Guildford pub bombings of 5 October 1974. After their arrest, all four defendants confessed to the bombing under torture by British police. There was never any evidence that any of The Four had been involved with the Provisional IRA.

  8. Mercier Press - Authors › authors › sistersarahclarke

    She fought to clear the names of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six before belief in their innocence became widespread and was particularly involved in the case of Guiseppe Conlon, father of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four.

  9. under the umbrela

    In the name of the Father (Sheridan, 1993) is based on the autobiography of Gerry Conlon: ‘Proved innocent’. Conlon is one of the Guildford four which were accused and convicted for the Guildford bombing in1974. The case of Guildford four was proved as the miscarriage of justice in1989.

  10. Anarchist news from 300+ collectives 🏴 › bloody-sunday-talk

    The campaign to free them, like the campaigns to free the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, struggle to make it into the news. Freeing these men was a cause dear to the heart of the late Gerry Conlon. Being one of the Guildford Four he knew only too well the anguish of languishing in prison unjustly convicted while the world goes on as normal.

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