Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/816/18829

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 June 2014

Gerry Conlon: Fighter against state injustice

Gary Mulcahy, Belfast Socialist Party

The death of Gerry Conlon in Belfast has been met with mass sympathy across the world as people are reminded of the British capitalist state's vile injustice against the Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven.

Conlon and three other Irish immigrants were arrested by police following the IRA bombing of a pub in Guildford in 1974 resulting in the deaths of four British soldiers and one civilian. Without any evidence of any involvement in the bombing, the Guildford Four were tortured and coerced (including threats against family members) into signing confessions while in custody.

Conlon later wrote that they may have been able to withstand the beatings and not confessed if the Prevention of Terrorism Act (1973) had not extended detentions from a maximum of 48 hours to five days. This repressive legislation was passed in response to the IRA's individual terrorist campaign.

The consequent trial was rigged from the start with key evidence and alibis exempted in court. During sentencing, Judge John Donaldson - once a chairman of the Federations of University Conservative and Unionist Associations - regretted that he could not sentence the four to hanging before handing them life sentences.

The Maguire Seven were unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment on the false allegations that they had handled explosives connected with the Guildford bombing. This Maguire Seven included Patrick "Giuseppe" Conlon, father of Gerry, who died after 12 years in prison aged 64.

Throughout the 15 years that the Guildford Four remained in prison, many organisations ranging from trade unions and socialists to human rights groups campaigned for their release.

Incredibly, a statement issued by four IRA men on trial in 1977 which made it clear that the Guildford Four had nothing to do with the bombing and were completely innocent was ignored. It took 15 years before the Guildford Four were freed after a consistent and determined campaign by the prisoners, their lawyer Gareth Pierce and their supporters.

Despite Tony Blair's public formal apology in 2007, a 75 year immunity order remains on the case - itself an indication of how high up the chain of power the corruption and injustice went. Judge Donaldson was awarded and promoted to the Head of the Appeal Court.

Up to his final weeks, Gerry Conlon tirelessly campaigned against cases of state injustice and also publicly supported struggles of working class people across Britain and Ireland.

His fight and that of the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven should be a reminder to all working class people that the capitalist establishment, including the political and judicial elite, are willing to use grotesque methods against anyone they deem a threat.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 25 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

10 July: All out to end poverty pay

Western hypocrisy as Iraq disintegrates

Blame the profit system not its victims!

NHS: The world's best - but for how long?

Miliband - the emperor with no clothes

Poverty Britain

Them & Us


Socialist Party review

Thomas Piketty: The new Marx?


International socialist news and analysis

Hong Kong: Pro-Beijing newspaper attacks socialists

Israel: Nationalist thugs assault CWI members


Socialist Party workplace news

How can Unite lead fight against cuts?

Reinstate Bryan Kennedy!

Unison conference: members call for united action

GMB members question Labour link

Safety Glass strikers demonstrate their strength

National Museum Wales strike

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

People's Assembly demo shows anti-austerity anger

South Yorkshire 'Freedom Riders' attacked by police

Fighting for young people in Blackwall and Cubitt Town

Victory! York socialists win university letting agency

Tottenham: Stop fascist attacks

Winning recruits for socialism

Tax dodgers feel the heat


Readers' comments

Supermarket price wars

A day in the life of a supermarket worker


Socialist history

When Thatcher unleashed her attack dogs


Obituary

Gerry Conlon: Fighter against state injustice


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 June 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Ireland:

triangleBrexit theatrics continue

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: Northern Ireland and the impact of Brexit

triangleNorthern Ireland: Campaign mounts over historic sexual abuse allegations cover-up

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - 50 years since British army entered

triangleAusterity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence

State:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: The state - a warning to Corbynism

triangleCatalonia independence movement two years on

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: Is the state neutral in society?

IRA:

triangleBrexit and the border in Northern Ireland - will there be a return to the 'Troubles'?

triangleNorthern Ireland, August '69: 'Battle of the Bogside' and British troops on the streets

Capitalist:

triangleFilm review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions

Belfast:

triangleHarland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

16/10/19

Trotskyism

Major new book out in November: In Defence of Trotskyism

16/10/19

David Cameron

The Cameron Tory legacy

16/10/19

Tony Mulhearn

Book: The Making of a Liverpool Militant by Tony Mulhearn

9/10/19

Review

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions

9/10/19

Sexual harassment

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

2/10/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

2/10/19

Socialist Party

Active and strong member of Socialist Party reaches 80

25/9/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

18/9/19

Letters

The Socialist inbox

18/9/19

Peterloo

Peterloo - fighting for democracy and a better life

11/9/19

Democracy

Capitalist 'democracy' v socialist democracy

4/9/19

Socialism

At 96 I'm more convinced of socialism than ever

4/9/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

28/8/19

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

28/8/19

Crime

Knife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999