Young Belfastian Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) admits that he was in London at the time of the incident. He also admits that he is not a model citizen, having committed a petty robbery while in London. He does however profess his innocence when it comes to the bombing of the Guildford Pub in London in 1974, the event which killed several people inside. A self-professed non-political person, he and his three co-accused, dubbed the Guildford Four, are thought to be provisional members of the I.R.A. Their self-professed innocence is despite each having signed a statement of guilt which they claim were signed under duress. Their case includes having provable alibis for the time frame of the bombing. And eventually, Joe McAndrew (Don Baker), a known I.R.A. member, admits to the bombing. Dubbed the Maguire Seven, seven others, primarily members of Gerry's extended family including his father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite), are accused of being accessories to the bombing. Following on the work initiated by Giuseppe, Gerry works on a campaign to prove their collective innocence, this work with the assistance of compassionate lawyer Gareth Peirce (Dame Emma Thompson). As Gareth works on this campaign, she is faced with obstacle after obstacle placed by Robert Dixon (Corin Redgrave), who led the initial investigation and questioning of the four accused on behalf of the Police.