Catholic Workers open Giuseppe Conlon House in East London

A group of Catholic Workers and their supporters celebrated the formal opening of the Giuseppe Conlon House in East London Nov. 21.

Longtime Catholic Worker Ciaron O’Reilly is among the leaders of the effort. He has lived in Catholic Worker communities around the world and has been involved in nonviolent protests against war in Australia, Ireland and the United States.

A project of the London Catholic Worker, the new house of hospitality is offering shelter for undocumented refugees.

About 200 people attended the celebration at the house, which once was a Methodist church.

The house is named for the father of Gerry Conlon, who served 16 years in prison as part of the so-called Guildford Four and Maguire Seven. The two groups eventually had their convictions in connection with the Guildford pub bombings in the 1970s overturned after judges ruled the defendants were wrongly convicted. It turned out that the 1974 bombings at two pubs, popular with British troops, were carried out by the Irish Republican Army.

Giuseppe Conlon was arrested in London while seeking an attorney for his son in connection with the case after Gerry falsely implicated innocent family members during beatings while he was held in custody by British police, according to historical accounts. Giuseppe died in jail in 1980.

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