The Maguire Seven Convictions – The Second Battle of Vinegar Hill (in Australia!) at Today in Irish History

March 4: TODAY in Irish History:

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Annie Maguire

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1804: The Castle Hill Rebellion – Australia (The Second Battle of Vinegar Hill)

Castle Hill Rebellion Sydney Australia: A number of Irish convicts (most of whom had been sentenced to exile for “sedition” against British rule in Ireland) staged a bloody revolt in the Sydney area of Australia partly motivated by conditions and also in protest against British colonial rule. The revolt was led by Phillip Cunningham, a veteran of the 1798 Irish rebellion (hence his presence in Australia.) The ill-starred uprising resulted in the death of a reported 100 people and the eventual execution of Cunningham and eight others. The rebellion is sometimes referred to as the Second Battle of Vinegar Hill in commemoration of the events in Wexford in 1798.

Battle of Vinegar Hill (National Library of Australia)

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Excellent Video on Second Battle of Vinegar Hill

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READ: Castle Hill Rebellion at Dictionary of Sydney

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1976: The Maguire Seven – Guilty in Law. Innocent in Fact.

Forced (beaten) confessions, contaminated forensic kits, a rush to justice following IRA atrocities on the British mainland and sloppy police practices ensures that Anne Maguire, her husband Patrick, sons Vincent 17, Patrick 14, brother, brother-in-law and a family friend are found guilty of possessing explosives at their London Home and passing them on to the IRA. Anne Maguire received the most severe sentence of fourteen years imprisonment although it could be said her brother-in-law Giuseppe Conlon received a life sentence as he died in prison in 1990 proclaiming an innocence that would not become official until 1991.

The Maguire Seven are found guilty in another terrible miscarriage of justice. On 26 June 1991 the Court of Appeal overturned the sentences on the Maguire Seven. In 2005, Prime Minister Tony Blair apologized unreservedly for what happened. “I am very sorry that they were subject to such an ordeal and such an injustice. “They deserve to be completely and publicly exonerated.”

In the preface to Annie Maguire’s book Miscarriage of Justice, Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster writes of Anne Maguire “she is, as far as I am concerned, a very exceptional woman whom it has been a privilege to get to know.”

Anne Maguire

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Read: Maguire Seven Guilty

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