Friday, February 11, 2005

At Last - Apology for Guildford

As not seen in the Independent.

Thirty years after their members were killed or injured, ninety British families
finally received a public apology yesterday for the IRA bombings they did not commit.

Gerry Adams' declaration that those killed and maimed in the 1974 Guildford and Woolwich bombings deserved to be "completely and publicly exonerated" was what family members had demanded for years. The Sinn Fein leader was attempting to draw a line in the cases of the Guildford Five Dead and 45 injured and Woolwich Two Dead Forty injured, which are regarded as among the most conspicuous miscarriages of justice in recent times.

Mr Adams' apology was delivered in a TV statement in his office in the House of Commons and then in private to relatives of those wronged by Irish Republicanism. He said: "I'm very sorry that they were subject to such an ordeal and such an injustice. That's why I'm making this apology today - they deserve to be completely and publicly exonerated." He then shook them by the hands and patted the cheeks of those with both arms missing.

Mr Adams' official spokesman said: "It was a meeting which nobody who was present will ever forget. We have decided that the victims and their families are long overdue for compensation, which we are in a position to pay. Compensation will be paid them in used Northern Bank notes."

UPDATE 13/2/05 - the Sunday Times on who should apologise.

And how about the real Guildford bombers and their supporters? Where is their apology either to those who were wrongly imprisoned or to those whom they murdered and maimed?

The Balcombe Street gang were released early under the Good Friday agreement to attend a special Sinn Fein conference. Gerry Adams greeted them with words of praise and celebration: “These are remarkable men. These are our Nelson Mandelas.”

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