Blair asked to say sorry over injustice…

THE Irish News is campaigning for a public apology from the Prime Minister for the jailing of Guiseppe Conlon, who was wrongly accused of bomb attacks in Guildford and Woolwich in 1974 and died in prison. The family visits the Taoiseach today to ask for support.

  • Davros

    Quite right. I’m signing the petition.

  • Davros

    p.s. The petition can be signed online. No subs needed. Click on link on main page.

  • Keith M

    These apoloogies are pointless. There’s a similar campaign for Mary McAleese to apologise for DeValera’s wishing the German people our condolences on the death of Hitler. A nation as a whole cannot apologise for the acts of previous generations. It’s meaningless.

  • slackjaw

    I will be signing the petition, but I think that in the light of the control orders declared by the British Home Secretary yesterday, it may be a long time before an apology is forthcoming.

    The British state is introducing measures under which any of its subjects can be held under house arrest indefinitely, on the say-so of a politician, based on evidence from the security services that will not be made available to either the suspect or his legal representative.

    To apologise for the wrongful incarceration of Giuseppe Conlon at this juncture may prove somewhat inconvenient, to say the least.

  • Davros

    I think it’s different when it’s in living memory SJ.

  • Davros

    Sorry, that should have been for Keith M

  • willowfield

    I agree with Keith. Public apologies are nonsense – where do they end?

  • willowfield

    … that is public apologies for events that one was not responsible for.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    If the State commits an injustice that comes to light after the event, who should apologise on its behalf?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Blair has already apologised for the miscarriage of justice suffered by the Maguire Seven and Guildford Four in a letter to Mark Durkan. So he has conceded the principle that the British state should apologise, and that as prime minister the duty to do so falls to him. But the question is, what good is a private, indirect apology? Is it even an apolodgy at all?

    The Maguire Seven and Guildford Four cases were particularly naked miscarriages of justice. Keith M, Willow and whomever else may attempt to argue through sheer obfuscation that the Conlons deserve not a word from those who destroyed their lives: look yourselves in the mirror and honestly ask yourselves one question. Isn’t your position on this injustice based purely on the identities of the parties involved? (Ie the British state on one side, west Belfast fenians on the other.)

  • Belfast Gonzo

    But the question is, what good is a private, indirect apology? Is it even an apolodgy at all?

    Was it not a statement of regret?

    When the IRA has issued statements in the past stating its regret over some act or other, it is reported by some media as an apology, but by others as an expression of regret.

    The implication is that the latter is inferior or somehow lesser in its sincerity.

    Despite their publicly oppositional role in the peace process, there are many similarities between Blair and Sinn Fein. Both are experts at ambiguity, spin and obfuscation.

    Unfortunately, both use different dictionaries when it comes to tough words like “promise”, “crime”, “inclusive”, “involved” and “clarity”.

    No-one ever says “sorry” any more…

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Apologies are pointless in this case and for even superficial effect would have to appear sincere. That aint gonna happen here.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Fair point. Many people simply don’t believe Blair or Sinn Fein any more when it comes to ‘apologies’.

    However, if the victim believes it is necessary or might help them deal with things, and the apologist is willing, should it not be given?

  • TroubledTimes

    To those who think an apology is pointless, put yourself in this situation:
    Imagine your own father being locked up even though being innocent and then dying in prison, robbed of his life.
    Would you want an apology?
    Its such a pity that the Conlon family dont call for the life imprisonment of those who carried out one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in history. The British establishment at this time equated all Northern Irish Catholics as members of the IRA.

  • Keith M

    TroubledTimes “Would you want an apology?”. No once again an apology would be pointless. Shit happens! Miscarriages of justice happen all the time. It is unforunate, but people are human and even judges and jurors make genuine mistakes. I don’t believe that the political leaders of a country should be responsible for the mistakes of judges 30 decades ago.

    If anyone is due an apology it is the families of the victims of the Birmingham bombs. They are still waiting for those that killed their relatives to be brought to justice. If anyone should be m,aking an apology it is those who planned and carried out these cold blood murders and who now turn up on television, justifying their murdrs and refusing to accept their criminality.

    Billy P “Isn’t your position on this injustice based purely on the identities of the parties involved?”. Not at all. That is why I deliberatly listed another example of a perspective and pointless apology in my original post.

  • Donnie

    Looks like the Conlon family might get that apology after all….

  • maca

    “Shit happens!”
    I really don’t believe you’d day shit happens if it was your father, as the question put it.

    “If anyone is due an apology it is the families of the victims of the Birmingham bombs.”

    Why would they be due an apology but not the Conlons whose father died in prison?

  • TroubledTimes

    Keith M, The British establishment are to blame for all of this mess. If they didnt “knowingly frame” the Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4, the right people would have received the right justice.
    Of course the dead deserve an apology , all the victims, including the Conlon family!
    The IRA were the evil perpetrators but it was the British Establishment that framed the innocent. Allowing an innocent man to die behind bars whilst knowing that he was innocent, is totally disgraceful.