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IRA didn't just 'half-claim' 1974 bombings

GERRY Conlon died on Saturday, June 21, one of four people arrested, tortured and falsely jailed for carrying out bomb attacks in Guildford and Woolwich in 1974.

The Guildford Four, Maguire Seven, Birmingham Six and others were all victims of grave miscarriages of justice.

Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill, Carole Richardson and Paddy Armstrong spent 15 years in English prisons under the most horrendous of conditions.

Contrary to Eamon Delaney's claim (DebateNI, June 26) the IRA 'Balcombe Street Unit' "half-claimed that they were also responsible for the Guildford bombings", the facts are thus.

In December, 1975, four IRA volunteers, who became known as the 'Balcombe Street Unit', were arrested. Within 24 hours they told British police that they were involved in the bombings.

At the Guildford Four's appeal in October 1977, IRA volunteers Eddie Butler, Harry Duggan, Joe O'Connell and Brendan Dowd testified they were responsible for the Woolwich bombing. Brendan Dowd also accepted responsibility for the Guildford attack.

All said that the four persons convicted of the Guildford and Woolwich bombings had played no part in the attacks. Despite this, the Appeal Court upheld the convictions of the Guildford Four.

Eamon Delaney ignores these facts in his efforts to use the occasion of the tragic death of Gerry Conlon to try and score cheap political points against Sinn Fein.

GERRY ADAMS TD

Kildare Street, Dublin 2

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