Looking back over the last six, almost seven decades, the images that flash through my mind are hardly believable – sometimes, it feels like I’m remembering someone else’s life. The truth is, I’ve lived three very different lives: the one before prison; the one in prison; and my life since then. It has taken years to make sense of it all, but now I’ve found a voice to speak about it.
Paddy Armstrong was one of four people falsely convicted of The Guildford Bombing in 1975. He spent fifteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Today, as a husband and father, life is wonderfully ordinary, but the memory of his ordeal lives on. Here, for the first time and with unflinching candour, he lays bare the experiences of those years and their aftermath.
Life after Life is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of forgiveness. It reminds us of the privilege of freedom, and how the balm of love, family and everyday life can restore us and mend the scars of even the most savage injustice.
‘This book captures the sweet soul of Paddy. Beautifully written. For lovers of freedom everywhere.’ Jim Sheridan
‘Paddy Armstrong’s account of his wrongful conviction and imprisonment is as gripping as a work of fiction. It is an extraordinary, terrifying story. I am familiar with just about all the considerable body of memoirs arising from the miscarriages of justice of the 1970s, but I can say without equivocation that this is the best. Beautifully written. If it were a work of fiction, it would be worthy of the Man Booker shortlist.’ Chris Mullin, The Observer
‘Couldn’t put it down, stunningly written, honest, shocking, harrowing. A horrendous story, populated with some real heroes’. Noel Whelan, Barrister and Irish Times columnist
Paddy Armstrong is a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1975 he was falsely convicted of helping carry out the Guildford and Woolwich bombings, a conviction for which he spent 15 years in prison. Today, he lives in Clontarf, Dublin, with his wife and children.
Mary-Elaine Tynan is a freelance journalist and author who lives and works in Dublin. For 18 months she wrote a weekly column about the joys and challenges of motherhood for the Sunday Independent. She now works as a freelance journalist and writer in Ireland, writing books and making TV and radio documentaries, including the award-winning Small Lives and Great Reputations about Paddy Armstrong.
Mary-Elaine worked with Paddy for almost two years to produce Life after Life: A Guildford Four Memoir.