A Sligo-based journalist has recalled how the late Gerry Conlon stayed with him after his release from prison.
Mr Conlon, who died at the weekend, aged 60, was wrongly imprisoned for his alleged involvement in the bombing of a pub in Guildford and served 15 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
Sligo-based journalist Kieran Devaney was a reporter in London at the time and for two weeks after his release in 1989, Conlon stayed with Kieran.
“I was working for TVM in London at the time. TVM did a deal with Gerry Conlon’s family whereby we would look after Gerry and the Conlon family in London in exchange for an exclusive interview with Gerry,” Kieran said.
Following the now famous monologue outside the Old Bailey Court, where Gerry Conlon said “I have been in prison for something I didn’t do. I am totally innocent”, he was spirited away by a car that TVM had organised.
“We got into the car and we were pursued by a couple of dozen press people on motorbikes and we knew this was going to happen,” Kieran said.
“We had Gerry in the car and we drove down into the underground car park and we had the barrier put down straight away. The motorbikes skidded to a halt and went around the far side and another car the exact same with blacked-out windows was waiting on the other side. The driver was under instructions to drive to Birmingham and drive back to London,” Kieran added.
For a full report on Kieran’s time spent with Gerry Conlon pick up this week’s Sligo Weekender- in shops now.