New book provides fascinating insight into Gerry Conlon's life

Richard O'Rawe has written a new book about his friend Gerry Conlon
Connla Young

Richard O’Rawe’s new book about his childhood friend Gerry Conlon provides a fascinating insight into his life.

While much has been written about Mr Conlon, the full story of the highs and lows he experienced after being released from prison in 1989 has not been told until now.

Mr O’Rawe’s personal insight shines through on every page of the book, which he promised Mr Conlon he would write in the days before he died in June 2014.

Brought up on the same street in the Lower Falls area of Belfast, the two were childhood buddies and remained firm friends until Mr Conlon’s death.

In the Name of the Son: The Gerry Conlon Story is the product of three years work during which Mr O’Rawe gained unrivalled access to many of Mr Conlon’s family and friends, including former Pogues singer Shane MacGowan.

Another of Mr Conlon’s old friends, Hollywood actor Johnny Depp, provides a rare insight into their friendship in the book’s foreword.

The iconic image of Gerry Conlon emerging from the Old Bailey to face the world’s media after his conviction was quashed introduced many, including Mr Depp, to Mr Conlon for the first time.

However, his story and that of the Guildford Four was brought to a wider international audience in the 1993 hit In the Name of the Father during which he was played by Daniel Day-Lewis.

The film was based on an earlier book about his life, Proved Innocent: The Story of Gerry Conlon and the Guildford Four.

The new book takes up the story after his release from prison and details the battles he later faced.

Read more:

Video: Irish News photographer Hugh Russell recalls the day he took the iconic photographs of Gerry Conlon emerging from the Old Bailey

Gerry Conlon blew almost £1 million after his release from prison

In the Name of the Son: The Gerry Conlon Story is published today by Merrion Press.

It will be officially launched in the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast on Friday at 6.30pm where the guest speaker will be Irish News editor Noel Doran.

Old friends Richard O'Rawe and Gerry Conlon

Gerry Conlon emerges from the Old Bailey Court in London after the Guildford Four are were released in 1989. Picture by Hugh Russell

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