From the very start of this book, it was obvious that i wasn't going to be able to put it down once i began to read. I was right, the way Conlon recalls his impoverished upbringing in the hardest and poorest part of Belfast without bitterness is simply awe-inspiring. The way he and three others were framed by a corrupt establishment and used as scapegoats to satisfy the masses of an entire country is despicable and yet Conlon avoids bitterness, concentrating on his quest for justice and the pursuit of clearing his Father's name. I challenge anybody to read this book without feeling Conlon's pain, his determination, and his remarkable resolve; I shall tell you now that it's simply impossible! The way Conlon writes is simple but effective: he tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...if the British establishment had done that in 1974 then four Irish people's lives would have turned out very different. So do yourself a favour and buy this book and then write a review for other's to see what they are missing out on! This book hits hard and strikes several chords in the heart of the reader... enjoy.
Having been hooked on the film, this book was great for telling the actual version of what happened to Gerry Conlon throughout his arrest and imprisonment. I was surprised to find that many of the events I accepted as fact from the film actually happened very differently, but most of all I was touched. What shines through this horrifying statement of truth is that Gerry was just a normal bloke, certainly no saint, but all the more likable for it. You are left with an enduring sense and fear that virtually anybody could have had their lives torn apart by the British police in this case. The way Gerry Conlon writes is simple, amusing and easy to identify with, it feels as though he is relating it personally over a pint at times. The most scary fact is that Gerry, and the rest of the Guildford four, were wrongly convicted not through misunderstanding but instead the need for a scapegoat. You really ought to try to read this book, if for no other reason than to teach us how the British legal system that we are meant to place so much faith in, can and does go wrong...perhaps we should not be so quick to judge people who a supposed 'justice' system deems guilty.
i was totally moved by the film and had to read this book. If the treatment of the 4 in the film was hard to believe, then read what really happened. A damning inditement of the British Legal System on one count, and on the other, the story of a man whose whole life was ruined, simply because he was Irish. Conlon is no angel, but his honesty shines through this book from beginning to end.
I am studying miscarriages of justice and having seen "in the Name of the Father" I thought I would read Gerard Conlon's book. In a word, it is fantastic.
Normally, reading a persons autobiography (criminal or no) makes you sceptical about what is true and what is not. Compared to the film, "Proved Innocent" has a distinct ring of truth to all that is told. It outlines Gerard's family background and The Falls area of Ireland where he lived. It carries insight into how the Royal Ulster Constablary (or RUC) had different approaches to different people in areas of Ireland.
Gerard explains that he did commit crimes like theft, but when it comes to the Guildford Pub Bombings (and the Woolwich bombings of which his defence team knew nothing about), he knows he is innocent. The police, however, don't believe him and instead beat, insult and use other methods to wring a confession from Gerry and Paul Hill.
Gerard's book takes you through his times in various prisons such as Wandsworth, Langton and Strangeways (sometimes with his father Giuseppe Conlon). The book also explains how Gerard met the solicitor who would help with his appeal, Gareth Pierce after she helped members of the Birmingham Six (whom Gerard also met and was friends with at his time in those prisons).
If you want to read any book on how the system lets people down, you should read this one!
Unable to purchase in the UK. Well worth ordering from America. Although the film was great the book goes into more detail and will astonish everyone that the British Justice System in the 70s could be so stupid and biased. Makes you question the Establishment. I was in tears at the treatment Gerry and the other Guildford alleged bombers received by Police and Prison Wardens. Trust lessons have been learned and nothing like that will ever happen again.
i still remember as a 12yrold hearing that the Guilford 4 had just been released after 17yrs inside for a henious crime they could not possibly have committed.of course they would all tell their story but the most vocal of the four was Gerry Conlon probably because his dad and aunty and her family who Gerry had visited twice when he was first in the uk were sent down as accompolices aswell.
This is a very moving story about a 17 year wait for justice and how all the lives of those involved were taken from them.
Gerry writes with complete honesty and recognizes he was no saint
This book will draw you in from start to finish, really interesting and mind blowing read, what the British officers did to this man would be enough to drive a man insane and how he got through is unbelievable. Never should have been locked up, shows how coorupt the english legal system was (or is). Would recommend to anyone.
Amazing book. If you're buying it then I'd assume you already know the gist of Gerry Conlons suffering but this tells the story better than the film and the first few chapters are extremely funny and nostalgic for anybody who knows Belfast. A great read and I'd recommend it to anybody!
This book was an excellent insight to what happened to the Guildford four. Although the film is very good it doesn't give the full story of how horrible these people were treated by the british government. I would recommend this book to anyone who is not afraid of being hit with a shocking truth. Prepare to be gripped from the moment you start reading.