1989 – After serving 15 years in prison, the “Guildford Four”: Gerard ‘Gerry’ Conlon, Patrick ‘Paddy’ Armstrong, Carole Richardson and Paul Hill are released in what is considered to be one of the biggest-ever miscarriages of justice in Britain.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

On 19 October 1989, Gerry Conlon stormed out of the Old Bailey in London, with his sisters Bridie and Ann, and delivered an extraordinary, impromptu speech that has become iconic in recent Irish history:


“I’ve been in prison 15 years, for something I didn’t do. Something I didn’t know anything about. I’m a totally innocent man – I watched my father die in a British prison for something he didn’t do. He is innocent, the Maguires are innocent, let’s hope the Birmingham Six are next to be freed.”

Conlon, who died in June 2014, had his wrongful 1975 conviction for the Guildford pub bombings quashed that day, along with Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong, and Carole Richardson.

Conlon’s father Giuseppe, who had been in ill-health even before his wrongful conviction, died in prison in January 1980.


Paul Hill, speaking in 1994 after his wrongful conviction for the murder of a British…

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