Pat is a lifelong R’s fan and sits near me in the Lower Loft. His sons are also regulars as is his brother. Pat was imprisoned at the age of 14 for four years and later in his report, Sir John May described the ‘Maguire 7’ case as the worst miscarriage of justice he had ever seen. He sent me the following introduction to his book which is now available – Steve Russell
On the night of December 3rd 1974, on the strength of a fabricated testimony extracted from Paul Hill and Gerard Conlon (two of the Guildford Four), Anne and Paddy Maguire, two of their four children, Vincent and Patrick, plus other family members and a friend, a total of seven in all, were arrested at their home in West London. On October 22nd 1975, the ‘Guildford Four’ were wrongfully convicted of bombing two pubs in Guildford. On March 4th 1976, the ‘Maguire 7’, as they had become known, were found guilty of possession of nitroglycerin used in those bombings. The verdicts on the ‘Guildford Four’ were quashed on October 19th 1989. Then on June 26th 1991, the convictions against the ‘Maguire 7’ of handling explosives were also quashed and just over a year later, Sir John May, after producing a report on the ‘Maguire 7’ case, described it as the worst miscarriage of justice he had ever seen.
Behind these dates lie human stories – ‘My Father’s Watch’ tells that of Patrick, (life long QPR supporter) who was the youngest of the accused at thirteen. Still only fourteen when sentenced to four years in prison. When he came out, he had no home and no family, as both parents were still in jail. The book takes us through Patrick’s entire life, from his working-class childhood in West London to the difficult life he has led since prison, the roots of which go back to the wrongful convictions and the destruction of the family that followed. Patrick Maguire and the novelist Carlo Gebler have written ‘My Father’s Watch’ jointly. It is not a ghosted work – told in Patrick’s own voice, it is a lucid and inspiring account of one individual’s experience of an appalling injustice, as well as a reminder, as the war against terror ratchets up of how much harm a State can do to its own innocent citizens in the name of security.
Release Date – June 2nd 2008