On October 5, 1974, two bombs went off at a pub in Guildford, England, killing five and injuring 65 others. Four suspects with alleged ties to the Provisional IRA were rounded up, tortured into confessing, and sentenced to life in prison. In 1989 a detective researching the case noticed the police had improperly manipulated evidence. The convictions were overturned and the suspects released from jail.
One of those released was Gerry Conlon, who appears at two events in Princeton in the coming weeks in conjunction with showings of the 1993 movie based on his life, “In The Name of the Father.” The film, which stars Daniel Day Lewis as Conlon, was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
Conlon, a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, was 21 at the time of his arrest. His father, Giuseppe Conlon, came to assist his son in the trial but was himself arrested as part of the Maguire Seven, a group accused of helping to plan the bombing. That group, too, had its convictions overturned, but the elder Conlon died in jail in 1980, more than a decade before he would have been released. The film focuses on the changing relationship between father and son, and ultimately the son’s quest for justice for the wrongly accused.
Centurion Ministries, an organization whose mission is to free the innocent in prison, hosts Conlon at Princeton Garden Theater on Tuesday, April 10. Conlon previews the film at 5:45 followed by a screening. The benefit event costs $100 and includes unlimited popcorn.
Conlon also appears at the Arts Council of Princeton on Sunday, April 15. Tickets ($5 for members, $10 for non-members) will be sold at the door for the 2 p.m. screening. Conlon will introduce the film and answer questions afterward.
“In the Name of the Father,” Centurion Ministries, Princeton Garden Theater, 160 Nassau Street, Princeton. Tuesday, April 10. Preview followed by screening. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. $100. 609-921-0334 or www.centurionministries.org.
“In the Name of the Father,” Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton. Sunday, April 15. Screening followed by Q&A. 2 p.m. $5-$10. 609-924-8777 or www.artscouncilofprinceton.org