October 5 - 1974 - The Guildford Pub Bombings
At about 8:30 in the Horse and Groom Pub in Guildford, Surrey, a bomb went off, killing five. Upon hearing of the explosion, the nearby Seven Stars was evacuated, which meant that the bomb which exploded at 9:00 there did not cause any fatalities. Very quickly, authorities connected the bombing to the Irish Republican Army. Armed with a new law, the Prevention of Terror Act, the authorities swiftly arrested Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong, and Carole Richardson. Known as "The Guildford Four," they all confessed to the bombings, and relatives of Conlon, the Maguire family, were arrested for conspiracy. The problem was that they did not have ties to the crime. In 1975, a group of IRA operatives staged a standoff in Balcombe Street, London, after being chased by police under suspicion of terror activity. On trial, they told their lawyers that they knew for a fact that the Guildford Four were in prison for crimes they did not commit. This half confession did not cause the release of the Guildford Four. Instead, brand new investigations, and the revelation that the confessions were given under torture, resulted in the release of the Guildford Four.