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Tuesday 25 June 2019

Birmingham Six slated government over lack of support

Paddy Hill Picture: Photocall Ireland
Paddy Hill Picture: Photocall Ireland

Birmingham Six member Paddy Hill wrote a scathing letter to the new Fianna Fáil government in 1987 accusing them, like other Irish administrations, of having effectively abandoned Irish citizens to the fate of serving lengthy sentences after blatant British miscarriages of justice.

The letter, released as part of the 1987 State archive, revealed how some Fianna Fáil politicians, including senator Paschal Mooney, were pressing for a much tougher stance to be taken by Dublin with London over the fate of the Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four and the Maguires.

On September 17, Mr Mooney personally wrote to foreign affairs minister Brian Lenihan asking for him to "go public" over Irish citizens wrongly convicted of IRA terror acts in the UK.

In a letter dated September 10 and sent from HM Gartree Prison to Mr Mooney, Mr Hill (right) accused successive Irish governments of doing little or nothing to help.

"You state that another all-party delegation will be coming over here soon to see us? Why? I won't be seeing any representatives of any Irish party.

"As far as I am concerned they are all a load of s***.

"I had enough of them when they visited HM Long Martin and they still haven't had the courage to publicly declare that we are INNOCENT and that we were TORTURED and FRAMED for something we know nothing about.

"The only thing successive Irish governments have done is help to keep INNOCENT Irishmen in prison," he wrote.

Mr Hill said that if imminent legal proceedings resulted in a miscarriage of justice being proved, it would have nothing to do with Irish governments. "The only thing they have done for us is to give us false hope and false promises."

UK home secretary Douglas Hurd had earlier conceded there were grounds for referring the case of the Birmingham Six to the Court of Appeal.

However, he found no such grounds for referring either the Guildford Four or Maguire cases.

Irish Independent

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