A Papal Medal for Annie Maguire. John Paul II Awarded Woman Wrongfully Imprisoned for IRA Attack
LONDON, MAY 24, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Among John Paul II's last decisions was the issuing of the "Bene Merenti" medal to a woman wrongfully imprisoned for attacks carried out by the Irish Republican Army in 1974.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor presented the papal medal to Annie Maguire last Sunday.
Now a great-grandmother, Maguire spent nine years in prison after being wrongly convicted of running an IRA bomb factory from her home.
The aunt of Gerry Conlon, one of the "Guildford Four," she was imprisoned in 1976 along with five members of her family. They were known as the "Maguire Seven."
Members of the Conlon and Maguire families were jailed in connection with bomb attacks in Guildford and Woolwich, in England. One of the attacks left five people dead and 54 wounded.
In October 1989, the Court of Appeals annulled the sentences of the Guildford Four, after a years-long campaign for their release, by the then archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Basil Hume.