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The Guilford Four - Term Paper Example

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The Guilford Four Name: University: Abstract The association between Ireland and Britain has been very tough. Even though just 150 miles of sea separate the two, the political and religious disparities that have been apparent ever since the sixteenth century have culminated into extended periods of persecution, conflict as well as war…
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Download file to see previous pages The intensity of the ensuing aggression culminated into the deployment of the British Army in Ireland. The IRA (Irish Republican Army) was one of the most violent military parties that fought for Ireland’s independence. In the early 1970s, the group started challenging British troops in Ireland. With time, the group’s violence developed into massive bombing campaigns aimed at public utility, civilian, as well as military targets. When the British, in the effort to control the increasing aggression, introduced incarceration without trial in the year 1971 August, corroboration for the IRA increased. There arose many cases of injustices in the British legal system when dealing with Irish-related cases – wrong imprisonment of innocent Irish victims by the British government increased significantly (Fitzduff and O’Hagan, 2000). This paper delves into the Guilford episode, an incident that had to do with drug-induced and coerced confessions, fabricated and suppressed evidence, and a society under siege dashing into judgment. The Guilford episode saw the arrest and false conviction of four innocent people following the bombing of the Guildford and Woolwich English pubs, which English soldiers liked frequenting while off duty. The suspects were henceforth referred to as the Guilford Four. The bombing led to the death of seven people and forty-two others were sustained injuries (Howard, 1992). The paper also explores the political and cultural climate that was present in both England and Ireland at the time of the bombing, and talks about English attitudes towards the Irish. Introduction The case of the Guilford Four presents a good example of an injustice in an Irish-related case that took place on 22 October 1975, when Paddy Armstrong, Paul Hill, Carole Richardson, and Gerry Conlon, four young people from Northern Ireland were convicted for the 5 October 1974 bombings of Guilford and Woolwich on behalf of the Irish Republican Army. The bombs went off in pubs in Guilford and Woolwich that British soldiers liked to visit while off duty, killing seven people and injuring forty-two others. This was the reason as to why they were selected as targets by the IRA. In other words, this terrorist attack was part of a bombing campaign and a wave of violent attacks that the Irish Republican Army committed against Great Britain in the 1970s (Bihler, 2009). The political and cultural climate that was present in both England and Ireland at the time of the bombing The Guilford and Woolwich bombings occurred at a time when IRA had taken a horrible toll on Britain – in the first ten months of the year 1974; Britain had experienced ninety-nine bombings with injuries amounting to approximately one hundred and forty five people and fatalities/deaths amounting to nineteen people. Spaced out as the bombings were, the deaths and injuries might have been at a tolerable level, but on 21 November 1974, all this changed with the Guilford and Woolwich bombings. In retaliation to the two bombings, Britain convulsed with anger – angry mobs assailed innocent Irish residents in Birmingham streets and in London, they firebombed Irish businesses. Innocent Irish people became scapegoats for the atrocities of the IRA and the attempts of public officials to appeal for calm and stop the bombings in the streets were futile (Howard, 1992). A sampling of headlines as well as sub-headlines from October through ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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