Gerry Conlon (1954-2014), is a Northern Irish man who was a victim of the terrible miscarriage of justice of the Guildford Four. Wrongly convicted by the British Court of Justice, he was accused of carrying out an attack in 1975 on behalf of the IRA. He was only released after 15 years in prison.
Gerry Conlon is an uneventful Northern Irish man, who spent a rather peaceful childhood in Belfast, despite a few petty larcenies with no consequences. On November 30, 1974, he was caught by the IRA stealing lead from rooftops. An act that threatens the hideout of the paramilitary group. In retaliation, the IRA threatened him and expelled him from Northern Ireland. He then goes into exile in Guildford, England, and decides to stay with an aunt in a squat not far away.
But very quickly, Gerry Conlon is arrested by the British police, and is accused of an attack perpetrated a few days earlier in Guildford, in which 5 people were killed and 50 injured. After 3 days of interrogation, and torture, he is forced to sign a false statement, placing him as the main perpetrator of the attack. But Conlon also implicates in his statement 7 members of his family, living in England (the Maguire family) as well as 3 of his friends, Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson. All of them were arrested, as well as Giuseppe Conlon, Gerry’s father, on his way to England to see his son.
They were then imprisoned for life, and Gerry Conlon shared his cell with his father.
Unfortunately, Giuseppe Conlon died after 7 years in prison. This death provokes the anger of Gerry, who decides to challenge the media and claim his innocence.
His lawyer then finds in 1989, an irrefutable proof allowing to clear all the accused. The charges against them are then cancelled, and all are released after 15 years in prison. It was then the biggest miscarriage of justice ever known in Great Britain (it was not until 2005 that Tony Blair’s government officially apologized).
Gerry Conlon later published an autobiography, which was later adapted for film (“In the Name of the Father”).
After many years in the media, he died on 21 June 2014.