'It's about time': Guildford Four member welcomes decision to resume inquest into bombing

Paddy Armstrong

Guildford Four member Paddy Armstrong has welcomed the announcement that inquests into the Guildford bombings are to be resumed after 40 years after a coroner ruled that the public were “entitled” to have the incident explored “untainted”.

Surrey coroner Richard Travers said he felt the core issues of how, when and where the four young soldiers and one civilian died had not been sufficiently established in public proceedings, following a campaign from the families of victims, survivors, and those wrongfully imprisoned to complete the hearings.

Original inquest proceedings were opened and suspended after the Guildford Four – Mr Armstrong, Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill and Carole Richardson — were convicted over the bombings in 1975.

They were handed life sentences but had their convictions overturned in 1989 — the case becoming one of the best-known miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

Mr Armstrong told RTE’s News at One that he was glad that the inquest was being reopened for the sake of the families of those who had been killed.

“It’s about time that it resumed.”

He is also seeking the release of papers from an inquiry that was held into the case. He is hoping that such a release would reveal why nothing was done when the Balcombe Street gang said they had carried out the Guildford bombing.

The authorities “should have the sense to come out and say sorry and say what really happened.”

He said it would help him and the surviving members of the Guildford Four and the people of Guildford to find out “who did it.”

An inquest will not look into the policing, but “it will be a step along the way.

“We’re still waiting to see what is going to happen to the inquiry papers.”

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