Cruel Fate / Edition 2

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On 14 March 1991 the Birmingham Six were released from custody after a successful appeal at the Old Bailey in London. Hugh Callaghan and the other men had spent over sixteen years in prison as a result of an appalling miscarriage of justice. Cruel Fate is Hugh Callaghan's own personal account of his life, the many strange twists of fate that saw him arrested and charged as an IRA bomber after the Birmingham pub massacres of November 1974 and his survival through the years spent in many different prisons. Born in the Ardoyne in Belfast in 1930, he emigrated to Birmingham after the war as a soccer-loving youth, settled and reared a family there. An ordinary man, with little interest in politics, he was stunned by his arrest, brutalised, and perplexed by the operation of the criminal justice system. Hugh Callaghan's account of his life is a story of the triumph of the human spirit over impossible odds. The author emerges as a thoughtful, humane person, without bitterness but with the ability to see clearly the faults in the system that caused his long nightmare. His family, friends, the many supporters who struggled desperately for justice, the kindness - and inhumanity - of strangers all emerge vividly from this moving story.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1947 the author, who was born in Belfast in 1930, emigrated to England because at home ``good jobs were scarce, especially for Catholics.'' Working as a laborer, Callaghan married and had a daughter. In November, 1974, 21 people were killed and more than 100 injured when IRA bombs went off in several pubs in Birmingham. Callaghan, who had no history of political agitation, was drinking in the vicinity and became one of six Irishmen arrested for the explosions. Stripped naked, beaten, allowed no food, water, sleep or legal representation, he signed a confession after three days. The jury returned a verdict of guilty; the sentence for the ``Birmingham Six'' was life imprisonment. After a book and a television documentary revived the case, an appeal was heard to overturn the conviction. Despite new forensic evidence, the appeal was denied. With the lobbying of several members of the British and Irish parliaments and members of the American congress, and continued media attention, a later appeal was successful for all six defendants. Callaghan, a talented writer, tells of his 16 years of prison life and his stubborn quest for justice. In light of current attempts at negotiations by the British government with the IRA, the book dramatically calls into question British veracity in dealing with the Irish question. Photos. (Dec.)
Explores how the Francophone and Anglophone communities in Quebec have responded to the shift in power between them as a state- based nationalism has become established over the past quarter century. Laczko (sociology, U. of Ottawa) draws on public opinion survey data and theoretical literature dealing with language, ethnicity, nationalism, and social change to examine the restructuring of relations between the two communities, the acceptance by English-speakers of their minority status, and the behavior of French-speakers as the new socially and politically dominant group. Compares Quebec to other places where such shifts rarely occur without violence. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870239878
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/1995
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the U.S. Edition
Authors' Note
1 Early Years 1
2 A New Life in Birmingham 19
3 Arrest 31
4 Interrogation and Confession 40
5 Winson Green Prison 52
6 On Remand 60
7 The Trial 75
8 To Prison for Life 86
9 Albany Prison, 1975-82 95
10 Gartree Prison, 1982-87 119
11 A New Appeal 143
12 Back to Prison 167
13 Victory 202
14 Freedom 215
Epilogue 239
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