Sarah Conlon - Guildford Pub Bombings

Guildford Pub Bombings

The Guildford pub bombings occurred in 1974, when an IRA unit planted bombs in two pubs in Guildford, Surrey, and the resulting explosions killed four soldiers and one civilian, and injured 50 others. The investigation into the bombings led to the arrest and conviction of Gerard Conlon, Patrick Armstrong, Paul Hill and Carole Richardson, an Englishwoman; dubbed as "the Guildford Four". The four were jailed for life in 1975 for the bombings, and each served 15 years in jail before their convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal. This was due to an extensive inquiry carried out by Avon and Somerset Police into the original police investigation. The inquiry found that the way the confessions of the four were noted were seriously flawed, concluding that the notes taken were not written up immediately and that officers may have colluded in the wording of the statements.

Giuseppe Conlon, Sarah's husband, was convicted in 1976 along with six members of the Maguire family (the seven being dubbed the Maguire Seven) of running an IRA bomb factory in North London, on the basis of forensic evidence. Each was sentenced to up to 14 years in jail, served their sentences, and with the exception of Giuseppe Conlon who died in 1980, were released. The Maguire Seven's first appeal, in 1977, was turned down, but a later appeal, prompted by the release of the Guildford Four, found that test kits used to detect traces of explosives had been contaminated. In 1991, the Court of Appeal quashed their convictions after it was ruled the original evidence against them was unsafe. On 9 February 2005, then Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a public apology to the Maguire Seven and the Guildford Four for the miscarriages of justice they had suffered, saying that he was "very sorry that they were subject to such an ordeal and such an injustice", and that "they deserve to be completely and publicly exonerated."

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Guildford Pub Bombings - The Guildford Four
... The bombings were at the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. 1974 the police arrested three men and a woman, later known as the "Guildford Four" ... Paul Hill Patrick Armstrong Carole Richardson They were falsely convicted of the bombings in October 1975, and held in prison for fifteen years, during which Gerry Conlon's father ...