by Joanna Moorhead
THE Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Cahal Daly, has renewed his call to the British government to vindicate the innocence of the Maguire Seven.
The Maguires were an Irish family living in London who were found guilty in 1975 of running a "bomb-making factory" on the basis of nowdiscredited forensic evidence and the "confession" of Gerard Conlon, one of the Guildford Four. Anne Maguire was sentenced to 14 years in a highsecurity prison, while her 13year-old son Patrick served three years.
Speaking at the time of the release of the Birmingham Six, Home Secretary Kenneth Baker acknowledged a miscarriage of justice in three cases involving Irish people, taken at the time to include the case of the Maguires, but to date no official vindication has been made.
Archbishop Daly said it was his "fervent hope" that the family, including Giuseppe Conlon "an innocent man who died in prison", should be cleared.
The archbishop, who was speaking at the ordination of Fr Gerard Clifford as auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, told the congregation that bishops had to hear the voice of the poor and the oppressed, and others who were "so often left voiceless in our society".
The Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Emmanuel Gerada, and the senior Anglican suffragan bishop of the Northern church province, Dr Francis McKiernan of Kilmore, also took part in the ceremony, and many other churches were represented too, in recognition of the new bishop's long-time involvement in the work of ecumenism and reconciliation.
Bishop Clifford, who is 49, carried out his first engagement the day after his ordination, when he confirmed children in his native parish of Ravensdale, near Dundalk.
Cardinal Hume and bishops throughout the country took part in this week's ordination of Mgr Terence Brain as auxiliary bishop in Birmingham.
More than 1,000 people were at the service, which was held at St Chad's cathedral in Birmingham.
Civic guests included the Lord Mayors and Deputy Lord Mayors of Birmingahm, Coventry, Stafford and Stoke on Trent.
Bishop Brain, who was born in 1938 in Coventry, was secretary to the Archbishop of Birmingham between 1971-82 and is a member of the Staffordshire Education Committee.