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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 January, 2005, 21:42 GMT
Guildford Four man meets Ahern
Gerry Conlon
Gerry Conlon is meeting Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern
A member of the Guildford Four has met Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern as part of his campaign to win a public apology from the British government.

Gerry Conlon met Mr Ahern in Dublin after receiving a private acknowledgement that he and his family suffered a miscarriage of justice.

Five people were killed when the IRA planted a bomb in the Horse and Groom pub in Guildford in October 1974.

The four jailed had their sentences quashed after doubts over evidence.

The Conlon family still live with the trauma of the terrible injustice done to all of their family 30 years ago
Mark Durkan
Mr Conlon's case was highlighted in the Oscar-nominated film In The Name Of The Father, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

The Irish director of In The Name Of The Father, Jim Sheridan, also met Mr Conlon in Dublin to sign the family's petition calling for a public apology from the British government.

Mr Conlon was one of four people initially detained after the Guildford attack, which claimed the lives of four soldiers and a civilian.

They and the Maguire Seven were later jailed in connection with the Guildford bomb and other bombings in Woolwich, south-east London.

Police evidence

Mr Conlon's father Guiseppe, who had a history of bronchial problem, died in prison in 1980 while serving his sentence.

A number of MPs, church leaders, journalists and legal figures raised concerns about the convictions.

In October 1989 the Court of Appeal quashed the sentences of the Guildford Four, and in June 1991 it overturned the sentences on the Maguire Seven.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan met Mr Ahern with Mr Conlon.

Mr Conlon said Tony Blair was the first premier with the strength of character to issue a public apology.

"Thirty-one years is a long time to suffer and my mother is getting on in years. Who knows how long she has left?" he said.

"She's heartbroken. We're all heartbroken. We need this to stop."

Mr Durkan said Mr Ahern assured the delegation he would raise the issue with Mr Blair at Downing Street on Tuesday.

"I believe Mr Blair is well-intentioned on the issue and will understand why the Conlon family needs closure for once and for all," said Mr Durkan.


SEE ALSO:
Guildford Four man meets victim's brother
13 Jun 00 |  Northern Ireland
Blair apologises to Guildford Four
06 Jun 00 |  Northern Ireland


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