Concerns raised after Guildford Four files closed for decades

The Guildford Four

published: 3 January 2020

The British government has been accused of treating the family of Gerry Conlon with contempt after files relating to the Guildford Four were sealed until the end of this century.

Author Richard O’Rawe spoke out after it emerged that documents linked to the case will not be made public for decades.

The Guildford Four, which included Mr Conlon, Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson, were wrongfully convicted of two pub bombings in Guildford in October 1974, which killed four British soldiers and a civilian. They were released in 1989 after 15 years behind bars.

Members of an IRA unit – the `Balcombe Street Gang’ – later confirmed they were responsible but were never charged.

More than 700 files linked to the case were due to be released last week but the Home Office has now said they will remain closed. The files are connected to an inquiry by retired judge Sir John May which took place between 1989 and 1994 into the wrongful convictions of the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven.

Mr O’Rawe, who is the author In the Name of the Son: The Gerry Conlon Story, has raised concerns. “This further embargo tells us that the British government is afraid to release the files,” he said.

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