Sinn Féin Councillor Anita Cavlan has resigned due to concerns that the party is failing the prisoners.
“Lost direction…should do more…slowly sedated…rendered unconscious…intoxication of an illusionary power…she received no acknowledgement about concerns raised…Sinn Féin calls have been weak”
These are the words of a now former Sinn Féin Councillor. What the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign has stated time and time again about the stance taken by Sinn Féin has been vindicated.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : by Damian Herron on Thursday, 24 May 2012 at 08:53 ·
ANSWER FROM : Helen McClafferty
Thank you Ms. Cavlan for telling the truth. The www.freegerry.com web site has been saying this for 5 years but no one wanted to listen. Our campaign was never about being anti-SF. It was always about getting them to do the right thing by Gerry McGeough and now Marian Price and Martin Corey. Their total absence from this campaign has been blatant and they think all they have to do is send out a ‘memo’ to their supporters telling them what they want to hear and then everything is okay and goes away. NO! It doesn’t work like that anymore. Accountability is what we want from them and all elected representatives concerning these injustices and we are not going away until we get it. Gerry’s case has now even been raised in the House of Commons. Catch yourselves on.
And Family Fund
Gerry and Maria McGeough would like to thank all those who made last night’s benefit in New York a success, and to thank those who gave so generously of their time and support.
The benefit was attended by a large cross-section of Irish-American organizations, especially members of the County Tyrone Society of NY, members of the AOH from Brooklyn, Long Island, Albany and Rochester NY, as well as Celtic General Contractors and individuals who traveled from as far as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to lend their support.
Please remember that normally Gerry would have been entitled to Green Cross and Prisoner funds if he was arrested in 1981 for the alleged charges they brought against him in 2007. Today he receives nothing, and as an independent republican prisoner who does not belong to any organization or political party, he also receives nothing. So these fundraising efforts are greatly appreciated by the McGeough family.
Maria ask that you continue your support for her husband’s early release and the implementation of the Weston Park Accord, paragraph 20, and Gerry asks that you continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.
Again, thank you to all those who made this event a success and to all those who could not attend, but mailed in donations.
Chairperson – USA
Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
HELP THE FAMILY OF TYRONE REPUBLICAN GERRY McGEOUGH SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2012
Jailed by the BRITISH in Maghaberry in 2011 for resisting British rule as an IRA Volunteer in 1981!
O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub Upstairs room
145 West 45th St. NYC
7:30-Midnight Donation $20.00
MUSIC BY MICKEY COLEMAN (ARBOE)
Entertainment and buffet provided
May 11 Message from Gerry McGeough
May I begin by extending my warmest greetings and deepest gratitude to you all for the wonderful support and solidarity you have shown and continue to show, towards my family and me at this difficult time in our lives. You have no idea how much this means to us. May God bestow bountiful blessings upon you and all your loved ones.
Keeping in mind that practically every word I say or write is closely monitored by British Intelligence functionaries, you will appreciate that I am somewhat restricted in how I express myself at present. I hope you will bear with me and understand the limitations that have been imposed upon me.
In a way, that adequately sums up my current incarceration predicament. The long and the short of it is that I was arrested over five years ago outside a polling count centre in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, for no other reason than that I stood in an election as a candidate voicing an Irish Patriotic position that was anathema to our British Rulers in this part of Ireland. For decades, these same people have told Irish Republicans to use the political process to further our Nationalistic goals. Yet, when I did just that, and despite being a supporter of the peace process, I was arrested and rail-roaded into jail via a corrupt judicial process that is anything but democratic.
The story behind the ordeal that my family and I have had to endure over the past 5 years will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say, the nightmare continues, and the real scandal lies in the silence of those who should speak out on our behalf, but have consistently refused to do so.
Despite ill-health from having suffered a heart attack, I was dragged through the notorious Diplock court system throughout 2010, and thrown in jail for 20 years in 2011, on charges including membership in the IRA in 1975 (when I was 16), possession of two antique revolvers in 1981, and with allegedly wounding a British soldier that same year. All these relate to activities in the service of the Irish Republican Movement, the only organisation in the world that not only abandons its own people, but in its current political manifestation, openly engages with the traditional enemies of the Irish Nation, and connives with them in spreading lies and smear against those whom it has ostracised for daring to voice our Irish Patriotic ideals.
For more than a year now, I have found myself in the Republican wing of Maghaberry jail during one of the most prolonged periods of prison protest in three decades. The walls of the cells around me are black with human excrement and the stench from them is overpowering. This is an ongoing horror story that will be told in due course. For the moment, my political enemies have me silenced, and as a helpless Republican prisoner I cannot defend myself against their propaganda, their attempted character assassination and their lies. Although they can try to destroy my health, undermine my supporters and keep me separated from my young family, they cannot, however, break my spirit or weaken my morale, and I remain as determined as ever in my belief that our Irish Nation has a God-given right to be free and independent.
In closing, I thank our ever-loyal Irish American friends and our growing support base around the world for your solidarity, kindness and prayers. Sooner or later, I will be in a position to speak freely and voice my political opinions openly. When that time comes, rest assured that you will hold your heads high ,and your decency and nobility of spirit will be given the recognition they so richly deserve.
May God Bless you agus Éirinn go Brách
May 10, 2012
Free Gerry Video on http://www.youtube.com
free gerry video.wmv
If you support Gerry McGeough’s Campaign for Justice please sign our petition calling on the British Government to release him immediately!
May 9, 2012
The following letter appeared in today’s IRISH NEWS
ATTORNEY AT LAW
903F SHERIDAN AVENUE
BRONX, NEW YORK, 10451
113-117 Donegal Street
Belfast, Northern Ireland
G McGee claims in his (21 APRIL) polemic against Gerry McGeough that “anyone can be convicted for actions prior to 1988.” Perhaps he could explain to the families and friends of victims of Bloody Sunday, the Ballymurphy Massacre, Nora McCabe, Majella O’Hare and a long list more, when “anyone” in the British Army or RUC will be convicted for any of these “unjustified and unjustifiable killings”. Perhaps he could explain to Sam Marshall’s family among others why anyone alleging collusion by crown forces seems to be stonewalled. Perhaps Republicans should unite in anger against what increasingly appears to be an undeclared policy of selective immunity for line of duty killings by British Army or RUC constabulary, instead of dividing over apparent selective prosecutions of Republicans.
Many years ago Republicans rethought a position of not recognizing British courts and empowered solicitors such as Pat Finucane for one, to fight for justice with every legal weapon that British courts permitted. Gerry McGeough tried to force the British to count the years he served in German and American prisons on IRA charges to meet the early release threshold. His solicitors cited more than a dozen prominent Republicans released in this fashion. Why should any of these prominent Republicans lose standing, as McGee claims, because the British name such credit a “Prerogative of Mercy?
Finally and sadly, McGee asks what Sinn Fein could do, beyond making muted representations which are apparently disregarded or dismissed out of hand by the British. Once the party would have flooded the streets in protest against injustice and called upon the SDLP to withdraw from offices which bound them in complicity to the policies of the British administration. Now it would seem that those British officials who directed imprisonment for Gerry McGeough, Marian Price and Martin Corey, or the naked brutality of Maghaberry strip-searches have little to fear.
Statement by Gerry McGeough, May 3, 2012, Maghaberry Prison
Gerry McGeough leaving Enniskillen Courthouse on Monday.
Through my incarceration and ongoing political persecution the British are sending a stark message to Irish Catholics. That message is an old one. It is ‘Croppies Lie Down’.
What the British/Unionist establishment is, in effect saying, is that the IRA lost the war and Sinn Fein bungled the peace. We are in total control now and we will do what we like. For ‘Croppies’ there will be no future, only vengeance and retribution for the past.
We will break up families. We will take fathers from their wives and children and a mother from her family, and throw them in jail so that Unionist bigots can smirk, laugh and wallow in sectarian hate.
That being the new reality, and coupled with the fact that levels of emigration from the nationalist areas of the six counties are at the highest since the 1950’s, is it any wonder that tens of thousands of Orangemen are to march on Stormont in September to gloat and celebrate.
April 23, 2012
Letter to Martin McGuinness Regarding OSCE Conference
Dear Mr McGuinness
The Free Gerry McGeough Campaign are aware that you shall be in attendance at the OSCE Conference in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Friday 27th April to discuss Building and Sustaining Peace and that the Irish Peace Process is being used as a case study.
As this is an international conference with representatives from 56 participating OSCE states in attendance, perhaps it would be an excellent opportunity for you, as Deputy First Minister to speak about how the Irish Peace Process has benefited so many of our people. You could then follow up on this by telling the OSCE representatives how the British Government actually operates within the occupied counites. Let the world know how the British Government has once again dishonoured their peace agreements with the Irish people. Raise awareness of the plight in which Gerry McGeough and his family find themselves in an attempt by the British Government to silence their political opponents. Tell them all about Marian Price, her solitary confinement, her state of health. Martin Corey’s internment without trial. Then there is the case regarding the Boston College Subpoenas. Enlighten them also about the ever so compassionate Justice Minister David Ford.
I could surely write much more about British oppression in Ireland, fourteen years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, but I don’t need to include the full the details in this letter. You yourself Martin, know exactly what is happening and how the British Government and their Unionist allies are undermining the Irish Peace Process.
I think this would be a wonderful opportunity, one that should not be missed, to really embarrass the British Government and bring an end to the suffering and injustice inflicted upon so many Irish families today. Martin, I know you can do this and I await your reply in writing.
I would also appreciate Martin if you could sign our petition using the link below and encourage your family and friends to do likewise. Thank you.
Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
Statement by Gerry McGeough, Maghaberry prison, April 19, 2012:
“At an Easter rally in Belfast this year, Sinn Fein spokesman Declan Kearney announced, in effect, that the IRA no longer existed.
That being the case, why am I being held in jail on a 7 year sentence for alleged IRA membership in 1975 along with a 4 year sentence on a 2nd count of alleged IRA membership in 1981?
Whatever, about the IRA, Britain’s capacity for vindictiveness and injustice clearly has not gone away.”
The Free Gerry McGeough Camapign welcomes your support and asks you to please sign the petition below and pass it on:
British Prime Minister David Cameron: Implement paragraph 20 Weston Park Accord. Release Gerry McGeough.
by Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
Statement by Moya St. Leger, Author and Journalist from London, England
Eamon Ó Cuív calls for prisoner’s release (6 April) draws attention at long last to a scandal that has been fermenting in Northern Ireland since McGeough’s arrest in 2007. While the BBC carefully restricts its occasional reports on the McGeough case to Northern Ireland, the rest of the British media remain resolutely silent. Yet McGeough is the subject of wide discussion in the American media, on and offline.
McGeough, a cardiac patient, has been visited by Eamon O Cuiv, Cardinal Brady, leading members of the SDLP and Sinn Fein and a stream of other eminent visitors, yet still the British media appear to be faithfully observing a possible D-Notice on this story. Why?
Because it would not serve British interests for the British people to learn that there is serious obstacle to the smooth implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, a slavish willingness to do the bidding of its opponents, the DUP, who had a vested interest in the gaoling of McGeough. The British too wanted him behind bars for their own reasons.
I was McGeough’s Prison Visitor in Germany when he was on remand prior to the German trial which began in 1988. I was so impressed by McGeough’s stellar intelligence that I suggested he go to university, “if ever you are free”. I later assisted him in his application for TCD and was at his graduation. I was also struck by his deep spirituality, which Monsignor (Dr) Raymond Murray mentions in his written statement to the press.
My great x 13 grandfather, Sir Anthony St Leger KG, was the English lawyer who devised the ‘Grant Re-grant’ policy which brought Ireland under the Crown in 1540. Today a gross injustice has been perpetrated in the name of that same Crown. To abuse British jurisdiction to put one of Ireland’s greatest sons behind bars, whose only ‘offence’ 30 years ago was to fight to rid the remaining six counties of his country of an occupying power imposing an alien system of government, is an ugly stain on the reputation of Her Majesty’s Government.
Until British Ministers and their civil servants cauterize their ancient attitude towards the Irish of Recedite, plebes! gero rem imperialem, British law could be abused again to remind the Irish that they are still not masters in their own house. Eamon Ó Cuív shames his Party. Where are other FF members willing to stand alongside him in his call for the British to implement Clause 20 of the Weston Park Agreement, even if it quietly failed to reach the Statute Book.
Moya St Leger
Ramsey secures access to prisons for Oireachtas members
SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has revealed that after intensive discussions with the Department of Justice, members of the Oireachtas now have the same rights to access prisoners as any other elected representatives on the island, after he secured the amending of Prison Standing Orders. Mon 16th April
Mr Ramsey said:
“I am delighted that after several months of work, my fellow public representatives, both in the Dáil and the Seánad can now visit prisoners in the North’s prisons without the need for a domestic visit, alongside counterparts in the Assembly and Westminster. “This is a major step change in the administration of prisons here, and is important in the context of the experience some TD’s in particular have engaging with prisoners, in light of the on-going protest at Maghaberry Prison.
“I have successfully lobbied to have Standing Order 5.7.1 changed and indeed, a number of TDs have already scheduled visits to prisons which I hope will continue to progress the reform of the prison service and could prove crucial in the cases of Marian Price and Gerry McGeough in particular.”
McGeough Family Benefit – May 19, 2012
Gerry McGeough of the Brantry, County Tyrone was jailed on February 18, 2011, for resisting British rule during the time of the 1981 Hunger Strike, thirty-one years ago! His wife and four young children need your help.
Few patriots played as wide-ranging and prominent role as has Republican, Tyrone County AOH President, author and activist Gerry McGeough. He joined Sinn Fein in 1975 and was a key campaigner for the Hunger Strikers, helping elect Bobby Sands MP.
The British charge that Gerry McGeough was also an active IRA Volunteer, seriously wounded in an engagement with armed UDR in June 1981 near Aughnacloy.
Gerry McGeough came to America in 1982, and joined with AOH members Mike Flannery, Pat Mullin, and Andy Duggan among others in providing aid for the defense of the people of Tyrone and the six counties.
After leaving America, McGeough was arrested on the Dutch-German border in 1988 and jailed in a notorious German bunker prison for four years before all charges collapsed.
Extradited to the United States, on old 1982 charges, he was released and organized an Irish Race Convention, joined the AOH in Brooklyn, and rallied support for the Republican Movement and the families of Irish political prisoners. Gerry wrote the first of two books, THE AMBUSH and OTHER STORIES while serving a three year sentence.
Gerry McGeough returned to Ireland, earning teaching degrees with honors at Trinity and University College Dublin. He founded a monthly magazine, THE HIBERNIAN, so-named because of his regard for AOH stands on freedom-for–all Ireland and religion. He wrote a second book DEFENDERS, about the IRA struggle in Tyrone.
Active with Sinn Fein, he was elected to the party officer board or Ard Comhairle, and led its campaign against the European Union Nice Treaty. Told he was free to return home to Tyrone; Gerry McGeough married, settled openly on his family homestead in Eglish and began a family which now numbers four young children. He joined the AOH in Tyrone and was later elected County President. His land houses a historic AOH hall which was defended by his ancestors.
In 2007, he objected to stamping approval on a British constabulary which had colluded in the murder of close friends like Liam Ryan, and helped set-up summary executions rather than capture of Jim Lynagh, Lawrence McNally, and Pete Ryan among many others in Tyrone and across the north.
When he stood for election as an Independent Republican candidate, the British arrested him at the polls on now thirty-one year old charges. After 4 years, during which he suffered 2 heart attacks, Gerry McGeough was jailed by a British judge in a non-jury Diplock court, attended by top members of Paisley’s DUP.
The British offer apologies for Bloody Sunday, and other crown murders but grant an undeclared amnesty to British troopers or constabulary that does not extend to Irish Republicans like Gerry McGeough.
Britain’s refusal to count his years of imprisonment in Germany and America for early release means he will spend at least another year in Maghaberry prison, with mounting heart problems.
A benefit will be held on Saturday night May 19th at O’Lunney’s upstairs room at, 145 West 45th street,( between Broadway and 6th Avenue,) New York from 7:30 p.m. to 12 midnight. Music will be provided by Mickey Coleman of Ardboe. Complementary buffet. Cash bar. Admission $20.00
Please help this Irish patriot and AOH member by helping his wife and four small children.
For tickets, donations and other information please call:
In addition to the press conference on April 6 (see below), letters of support for Gerry McGeough’s release were sent from Monsignor Raymond Murray, Fr. Des Wilson of Conway Mill, Fr. Sean McManus of the Irish National Caucus, Pat Ramsey, MLA of the SDLP, Alban Maginness MLA (SDLP). The Free Gerry McGeough campaign is focused on the immediate release of Gerry McGeough, and having outstanding issues with regard to paragraph 20 of the Weston Park Accord (2001) implemented fully through legislation, in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.
Had paragraph 20 been implemented as agreed, Gerry would never have been pursued or incarcerated in Maghaberry prison.
The Good Friday Agreement will have been signed 14 years ago this Tuesday, the 10th April. At this stage of the peace process, no-one should be pursued or sentenced for activities prior to the signing of that agreement.
Across Ireland 2,119,549 people voted in favour of peace. No government and no political party, for whatever reason, has a right to undermine the democratic wish of those people.
Yet here in Dublin, 14 years into the peace process, Una, an 11 year old child still in primary school, who was not born when the peace agreements were signed, stood at a press conference today asking for her father to be brought home to his family.
It was Gerry’s daughter Una’s wish to speak at today’s press conference. She asked to speak on behalf of her family, her brothers Cormac and Lorcan, her sister Nora and her parents Gerry and Maria.
Una showed great courage in what she did today. Those people within government, whose responsibility it is to ensure a genuine peace, now need to show that same courage.
There will be a benefit for the McGeough Family on Saturday, May 19th at O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub 145 W. 45th Street (btwn Broadway & 6th Ave) NYC. Entertainment and complementary buffet. Cash bar. Admission $20.00.
You can purchase your tickets in advance (or at the door). Please come out to support this benefit for Gerry McGeough’s wife and 4 children.
Letters of support for Gerry McGeough from Congressmen and Congresswomen of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya in the Spanish Parliament.
Joan Tardi i Coma
Alfred Bosch i Pascual
Teresa Jorda i Roura
Dear Mr. Ó Cuív,
I regret that I cannot be present at your press conference about Gerry McGeough. Thank you for all your work for him and for so many good people. I hope you will be successful and he will be released on humanitarian grounds. We owe it to our own dignity as well as that of Mr. McGeough. With every good wish for Easter,
(Fr) Desmond Wilson
Insight into Boston College, Gerry McGeough and the GFA by Civil and Human Rights Activist – B. B. Bandy
They are maintaining that no individual has any paramount argument that outweighs a treaty between two sovereign nations. (In theory the nations are supposedly concerned with the good of all, of the mass public, as opposed to an individual.) However, I would argue that the government parties to a treaty must be expected to have entered that agreement in good faith.
What we are seeing in this action, in Gerry McGeough’s case and elsewhere, are multiple attacks to circumvent and subvert the Good Friday Accord. It is NOT in the interest of the general public to destroy the peace. It is not in the interest of the United States to be manipulated, by misapplication of a cooperative treaty, in a way that leads back into re-opening war, and in chewing up any protections foreigners have found on our shores.
The good will felt in the U.S. for the U.K. has been built up out of an appropriate alliance in World War II, but since then fostered culturally by bias slipped into media, posturing the British as upstanding, and the Irish as not as important or (wrongfully) as lower class. A century ago there was bias in the U.S. against the Irish, and that has not entirely disappeared. The British cloak themselves in an atmosphere of glamour, tradition, Christian ethics, and intelligence — which at times has been deserved — but then again at other times has been badly lacking, lethally for some of the Irish. Does any sensible person really want to bring back those days? Cannot Ireland be allowed to rebuild herself — the ENTIRE island — in peace?
This entire situation with Boston College has been done: to target individuals (e.g. Gerry Adams), to destroy the protections surrounding the research — so it can be raided again, or conversely, downplayed, whichever becomes convenient — and to turn the U.S. into a longer reach of Britain. And if the U.S. is a pushover, one it goes through, it may prove impossible to undo. This situation requires great care.
The court will focus on immediate implications, legal applicability, legal precedent. But the whole matter is being used for something OUTSIDE of legal applicability. In a courtroom it is difficult to demonstrate intention, future implication, the purpose behind a ploy, or where we will stand afterwards. It takes foresight as well as legal sensitivity and extensive experience. A mistake here may well prove to be a pitfall for this nation, as well as deadly for the individuals most directly involved.
B. B. Bandy
Letter of Support for Gerry McGeough from Pat Ramsey MLA (SDLP)
I am only too happy to give my support to the Gerry McGeough Campaign. I have met with Gerry during recent visits to Maghaberry with SDLP colleagues, to highlight conditions in Roe House and discuss specific cases such as his. I have on two occasions communicated with the Secretary of State, seeking a meeting to discuss Gerry’s situation, alongside that of Marian Price and other prisoners in Roe House. I have also made direct representations to the Minister for Justice arising from meetings with Gerry, and I will continue to do so. It is an injustice that in 2012 Gerry is being held in Maghaberry, given the circumstances of prisoners proceeding the Good Friday Agreement. We must seek to create a situation where justice is transparent and equitable, and alongside colleagues, I will continue to pursue that justice for Gerry with the Secretary of State and the Minister.
Pat Ramsey MLA
Letters of support on behalf of Gerry McGeough
April 1, 2012
Letter from Monsignor Raymond Murray
Thank you for your concerned letter. I am glad Éamon Ó Cuív is going public. Next week is Holy Week and 5 April is Holy Thursday with the Chrism Mass for the diocese, and all the priests of the diocese in the Cathedral in Armagh at 11am, and in the evening is the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Obviously I am not free on Holy Thursday. Below is a little piece on Gerry.
‘I visited Gerry McGeough in prison in Germany. It was plain to me then that Gerry was turning his attention to Irish culture and spirituality, and away from politics that involved any kind of violence. When he came back to Ireland he studied in Trinity College, Dublin, and gained a degree. He was in part financed by the kindness and charity of a German patron who was moved to help from a humanitarian point of view. During the period of his imprisonment, I also visited his parental home and became acquainted with his very noble family. At home in Ireland again, Gerry devoted much of his attention to Irish traditional spiritual culture. He visited me a number of times. His Catholic religion meant more and more to him, and he showed that in his wonderful family life with his wife and four children. It is important, because of his illnesses and his heart operations, that Gerry be given an accelerated release to be with his family and continue his very Christian way of life. It is important for peace and reconciliation that our representatives in government take a softer line towards those who are suffering’.
Monsignor Raymond Murray
FR. MC MANUS APPEALS FOR GERRY MC GEOUGH
Mr.David Ford MLA
Northern Ireland Justice Minister
Unit 2 21A Carnmoney Rd.
Newtownabbey BT36 6HL
March 20, 2012
The other issue apart from Marian Price that I wanted to raise with you at the Northern Ireland Bureau breakfast, is the case of Gerry Mc Geough. Like Marian’s case, this is an outrageous perversion of justice.I have spoken to Northern Ireland legal and human rights experts, and none of them can make any sense of this case, or why Gerry was singled out in such an exceptional way.
And again, your reputation is going to be tarnished because of this case. How does all this punitive and vindictive stuff instill confidence in the justice system of Northern Ireland?
Fr. Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. BOX 15128
Washington, DC 20003-0849
April 6, 2012 – McGeough Press Conference
Mr. Eamon O’Cuiv of the Fianna Fail party along with Gerry McGeough’s daughter, Una McGeough, and members of The Free Gerry McGeough campaign from northeast Ireland, held a press conference in Dublin on Thursday, April 5th. The press conference was reported in the Irish Times as follows: http://www.irishtimes.com
Gerry McGeough should be released
The continued incarceration of Gerry McGeough Makes a Mockery of the Good Friday Agreement. I am writing this to highlight the injustice that continues in … http://irishecho.com/?p=70703
McManus appeals for McGeough, Price
Irish National Caucus president, Fr. Sean McManus, has written to North justice minister David Ford over the continued imprisonment of both Gerry McGeough … http://irishecho.com/?p=70716
FR. MCMANUS APPEALS FOR GERRY MCGEOUGH
Mr. David Ford MLA
Northern Ireland Justice Minister
Unit 2 21A Carnmoney Rd,
Newtownabbey BT36 6HL
March 20, 2012
The other issue apart from Marian Price that I wanted to raise with you at the Northern Ireland Bureau breakfast is the case of Gerry McGeough. Like Marian’s case, this is an outrageous perversion of justice.I have spoken to Northern Ireland legal and human rights experts and none of them can make any sense of this case, or why Gerry was singled out in such an exceptional way.
And, again, your reputation is going to be tarnished because of this case.How does all this punitive and vindictive stuff instill confidence in the justice system of Northern Ireland?
Fr. Sean McManus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. BOX 15128
Washington, DC 20003-0849
Reply to Morrow’s Whining Over the Cost in Legal Aid for Gerry McGeough’ Trial
In reply to the statement produced by the DUP MLA Maurice Morrow and published on Tuesday 27th March.
Maurice Morrow whines about the cost to the taxpayer for £226,418 in legal aid. He claims that this is “liberal and lavish dispensing of Legal Aid”. Gerry McGeough was brought to trial on what are now 31 year old charges. His arrest and sentencing are a direct result of the British Government quietly taking advantage of the Good Friday Agreement and the associated Weston Park Accord (2001) which followed, not being implemented in full. The DUP, including Maurice Morrow, took the lead in ensuring Gerry McGeough was brought to trial.
Having been brought before a diplock court, Gerry was fully entitled to a defence team and he was entitled to have his defence paid through Legal Aid which was applied for and granted. If such “disproportionate pay-outs cannot be permitted to continue” as Maurice Morrow states, then surely the most logical way to achieve this is for Mr Morrow and the DUP to ensure that the British Government honours all agreements and that the political parties who support the peace process take responsibility for building a genuine and lasting peace.
It is hypocritical for Maurice Morrow and the DUP to support peace and to take advantage of the funding programmes and investment associated with the peace process or to willingly accept their MLA / MP salaries within the power sharing Assembly at Stormont, while doing everything they can to destabilise the peace process and show absolute contempt for the people who voted in favour of peace.
Maurice Morrow also states that Gerry McGeough “made spurious remarks of being forced to return to prison whilst ill, which were proved to be rubbish”. It is a fact Mr Maurice that Gerry McGeough suffered two heart attacks during the course of his trial and that he has had five stents inserted. If Mr Maurice has evidence to support his statement, maybe he could produce it.
I would also like to make it very clear that when Mr Morrow states “we now at least have it in black and white by default, that McGeough wounded my colleague Cllr Samuel Brush…McGeough’s supporters did more than him by acknowledging his role in this despicable incident”, he does so in an attempt to discredit the campaign. Neither the campaign or his supporters have ever acknowledged or made a statement supporting Gerry’s role in that or any other incident. We acknowledged the fact that charges were brought against Gerry, that those charges are now 31 years old and they relate to activities prior to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Would the evidence produced by the prosecution during Gerry’s trial ever have been accepted as reliable and sufficient to prove Gerry guilty if he had not been brought before a Diplock Court? No. Have any former British Security Force personnel faced charges or been brought to trial for offences committed prior to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement? No. They have received a complete amnesty for their actions.
The real victims in this whole process right now are Gerry, Maria and their four children. If attempts by the British Government and Unionist politicians to destablise the peace process are allowed to continue, the real victims in the future will be all those who voted in favour of peace. Gerry supports the peace process. But he supports a genuine peace.
Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
March 25, 2012
History in the north of Ireland is repeating itself with a new dimension added to it – British interference in America.
I don’t know if people realize the degree to which the injustices in the north of Ireland are starting to mount again, especially since 2006 when the Weston Park Accord was withdrawn? The British government is blatantly treading all over people’s human and civil rights by arresting and incarcerating republicans at whim, flaunting their total disregard for a person’s right to ‘due process’, interfering with legal documents, and refusing to prosecute those British soldiers responsible for the murder of innocent Irish men, women and children during the ‘troubles,’ while aggressively pursuing Irish republicans on offences prior to the Good Friday Agreement.
There can be no misunderstanding, the British government and their civil servants – the RUC/PSNI, Minister of Justice David Ford and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, are on a roll. It started with the politically motivated arrest and incarceration of Gerry McGeough on 31 year old troubles related charges (less than a year after the withdrawal of the Weston Park Accord) when he ran in the 2007 elections. The arrest and continued internment of Marian Price and Martin Corey without charge or due process. The subpoena of the Boston College oral Irish history tapes by the RUC/PSNI in America, attempting to legally interfere with our American academic freedoms, and now Prime Minister Cameron’s new attempt to have President Obama amend the US/UK Extradition Treaty.
These acts are a deliberate disregard by the British government for the Good Friday Agreement and yet they go ‘unchallenged’ by the media and the majority of political parties in the 6 counties, thus giving the British government the illusion they are ‘untouchable.’
Anyone concerned with continued peace with justice in the north of Ireland are obligated to speak out and make every peaceful effort to ensure these acts of ‘abuse of power’ by the British government are stopped now, in its tracks, before it’s too late and the peace process winds up in jeopardy.
Letters of protest to your local representatives should be made a priority with regard to the above concerns. Make it clear that you have no intention to continue putting up with their silence and lack of follow-through with regard to these unjustifiable arrests and internment, and that you want them to take immediate action to address the fact that the British government is in clear breach of the Good Friday Agreement by perpetrating these injustices.
For those in America, we need to add to these concerns the Boston College subpoenas, and let our elected representatives know as well that we are not going to put up with their silence on this issue any longer.
It is also imperative that we find a way to balance the British propaganda we are constantly fed from the media, not only in the 26 counties but also in America.
If the media refuses to be more responsible in their reporting of these injustices, than it’s time to boycott their papers. If you have a subscription to a local paper you feel is not giving equal time to those concerned about these abuses, or they continue not to report on them…call and cancel your subscription and tell them why!
Take notice. The British government is moving aggressively in contradiction to the Good Friday Agreement, which looks like an attempt on their part to dismantle it.
Remember, we are responsible for how our elected representatives relate to us and these issues. If you don’t take the appropriate steps necessary to protest such injustices and seriously hold your elected officials and the media accountable for their indifference or silence on such serious matters, then the status-quo will continue to exist, and injustice will continue to flourish. Without justice for all, a stop put to politically motivated arrests, selective internment, attack on academic freedoms – how can there be a lasting peace in the north of Ireland?
March 25, 2012
“Constantly repeating ’32-county republic’ became known as verbal republicanism”
Analysis: Adams must spell out what he means
Posted by Jim on March 22, 2012
By Brian Feeney (for Irish News)
Gerry Adams headed to Gulladuff in south Derry on Saturday and proceeded to gull his audience of Sinn Féin members. He misled them both in what he said but more importantly in what he didn’t say. His purpose was twofold. First to issue a public rebuke to our proconsul for his refusal to hold a border poll and secondly to reassert the inevitability of a united Ireland. Adams misrepresented our proconsul’s refusal by claiming he “dismissed the possibility of a border poll”. He didn’t, he can’t and Adams knows it.
Here’s what the proconsul said and, yes, it was insolent and inaccurate: “As secretary of state, I have the right to call a poll when I feel like it. [Rubbish.] I have an obligation… to call a poll when there is a clear indication that there would be a vote for a united Ireland.” He added that, given that present indications pointed in the opposite direction, “I have no intention of calling a poll at the moment”.
So he didn’t “dismiss the possibility”. On the contrary, he accepted he has an obligation, in the words of the Good Friday Agreement, “if at any time it appears likely to him that a majority or those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the UK and form part of a united Ireland”. At the moment it does not so appear. OK? Is “likely” 6/4, 1/3 or would it need to be a ‘sure thing’ at 1/10? What criteria any proconsul would use to work out how it would “appear likely” is something Adams should have thought about before he subscribed to the GFA.
More important, however, than misrepresenting the proconsul are Adams’s prognostications on a united Ireland. Adams is a big-picture man who ignores mere detail, which may explain why after decades as an MP and assembly member concentrating on a united Ireland and not being a member of the IRA he left west Belfast as he found it, the densest concentration of poverty and unemployment outside north Dublin.
What does Adams mean by a united Ireland? He treated the faithful in Gulladuff to a load of old guff. He told them that it would be “a cordial union of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter”, that it would be “rooted in citizens’ rights and people-centred”. “Diversity, equality and tolerance is (sic) the key to this” he waffled. Yes, and there’ll be free beer for the workers. Sorry no, that would be a detail.
You see, people have a right to know what they’re voting for. You can’t just have a question asking: “Do youse want a united Ireland?” Would it be a unitary state, a federal state, a confederal state? Would the northern assembly remain as a subordinate administration to the Dail similar to its present relationship with Westminster, something de Valera advocated in 1966, or be abolished?
In the case of Scotland we already know the preferred question Alex Salmond wants in his 2014 referendum and we know what Scottish independence entails because he has spelt it out. As a party leader Adams has a duty to spell it out. What exactly does Sinn Féin want?
People have to know how they will be affected. If they don’t, they’ll vote No. There’s another important question Adams and others like Martin McGuinness dodge. As former military men, though Adams of course doesn’t know he was in the IRA, they will be aware that if you have an objective you need a plan to achieve it. The truth is that not only do Sinn Féin not know how a united Ireland would be structured, they have not got a plan to achieve it. They haven’t a notion what to do next.
They’re beginning to sound like Fianna Fail in the fifties and sixties. Constantly repeating ’32-county republic’ became known as verbal republicanism, a substitute for any political action. The sort of fare Adams dished up in Gulladuff is Sinn Féin’s 21st-century version.
It’s nearly 30 years since the New Ireland Forum produced a set of blueprints for constitutional change. John Hume had to present his preferred option to the forum. What’s Gerry Adams’s preferred option?
Michelle Gildernew MP states that Sinn Fein has consistently raised the arrest and sentencing of Gerry McGeough with the Irish and British governments.
I accept that Sinn Fein, on occasion, did issue statements calling for Gerry’s release and that representations have been made to both governments. However, while public statements and representations are welcome, Sinn Fein has not accompanied these statements with effective political negotiation.
The leadership of Sinn Fein demonstrated a lack of will to cooperate fully with Gerry’s solicitors throughout the trial.
Gerry Adams TD refused to meet with Gerry’s wife, Maria. The SF leadership would prefer Gerry’s case was swept under the carpet. Now I see why.
The Weston Park Agreement was withdrawn in 2006. Sinn Fein kept that quiet. Now that the British government can prosecute anybody for offences committed before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, will they arrest and prosecute anyone from SF?
Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
March 13, 2012
McGeough status update:
A Judge ruled yesterday that NIPS must review its decision to refuse permission, and set out a range of factors that NIPS must take into account. In light of his comments NIPS withdrew original letter to Mr McGeough which explained why his application had been refused and replaced it this morning with a further letter which addressed fully all the points that the judge had asked NIPS to cover. In these circumstances Mr Justice Stephens took the view that the original case had been overtaken by events and that if the new decision letter was to be challenged there would need to be fresh proceedings. The decision to refuse therefore stands.
Weston Park Accord Withdrawn
From: Muireann NiThuairisg
Sent: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 12:02 pm
Subject: re parliamentary questions
Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked that I forward you the below replies he received to parliamentary questions he recently put down in Dáil Éireann.
Le gach deá ghuí,
Question No. 127
Parliamentary Question – Dept Details
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the reason he is not pressing that an agreement made between the Irish Government and the British Government be implemented in full, and that as agreed at Weston Park that no further prosecutions and consequently prison sentences will be imposed on those who committed offences before 10 April 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Éamon Ó Cuív.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 28th February, 2012.
Ref No: 10899/12
Proposed draft legislation by the British Government to deal with this specific issue as referred to in paragraph 20 of the Weston Park accord was formally withdrawn by the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain MP, on 11 January 2006. The draft legislation, the Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill, had been opposed by the majority of the Northern Ireland Assembly parties and the Secretary of State was compelled to withdraw the legislation when the only supporting party, Sinn Féin, could not accept certain aspects of the proposed legislation. As the Government was committed to introduce proposals only in tandem with the British government and in accordance with the consensus of the democratically elected Assembly parties, the withdrawal of the Bill meant that the proposals for dealing with the matter in this jurisdiction were also withdrawn.
Gerry McGeough Family Benefit
Saturday, May 19, 2012
O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub
145 West 45th Street (between Broadway and 6th Ave)
New York, New York
7:30 pm until 12:00 am
Entertainment, complementary buffet, cash bar
Tickets can be purchased in advance:
Helen McClafferty and Tim Myles
Statement from Gerry McGeough,
March 8, 2012
Exactly five years ago today, I was arrested outside the election center in Omagh. Despite having campaigned openly for 6 weeks in a high profile election, the PSNI claimed ‘they were not able to locate me’. I was subsequently charged and sentenced by a Diplock court for 20 years on 30 year old troubles related incidents that no one showed the slightest interest in prior to that.
Who said political policing is a thing of the past in the six counties?
Reply to article dated March 5, 2012 in the Tyrone Herald: “McGeough Labeled a Whinger” by Sammy Brush.
This UDR man has some cheek calling Gerry McGeough a ‘whinger’. Mr. McGeough has been under enforced silence for more than a year and only a handful of people have had any contact with him.
There were 3000 people who died during the ‘Troubles’ and tens of thousands wounded. Among them, genuine innocent victims such as heavily pregnant Kathleen O’Hagan, shot dead in front of her child, and 76 year old pensioner, Roseanne Mallon, gunned down in her home. It is no secret that British Crown forces involvement are suspected in the deaths of both these Tyrone women. So, I would like to know, what is so special about this UDR man?
Mr. Brush was an active UDR combatant who was well armed and well paid by the British to maintain the British flag on Irish soil. In 1981 this UDR man was slightly wounded and, by his own boastful admission, was soon back on patrol afterwards -keeping a check on his Catholic neighbors.
The problem with this guy, and those like him, is the fact they are ‘Yesterday’s Men’. Their days of bullying and keeping Catholics down are over. They should get use to this new reality and quit their ‘crying’.
Martin Galvin reports on last week’s court decisions against Gerry McGeough on Radio Free Eireann (5 minutes in), including Gerry’s condolences for Brian Mor, and Martin’s memories of Bernie, as well as reminiscences from Larry Kirwin of Black 47: Radio Free Eireann March 3 Audio
To listen to the full tribute for Brian Mor Ó Baoighill on Radio Free Eireann, go the WBAI archives and scroll down to Saturday March 3 1:00pm. http://archive.wbai.org/
Statement by Gerry McGeough –
March 2, 2012 from Maghaberry
Over twenty-years ago, Seamus Treacy, the Diplock Judge involved in this Judicial Review decision, sat beside me in a German court where, in a special observer role capacity, he briefly represented a fellow Irish Republican during our trial there.
At the time, German defense lawyers greatly admired Treacy whom they perceived to be a de…dicated young Catholic Barrister struggling on behalf of the politically oppressed against the corrupt British Diplock judicial system and its military machine in the six-counties.
Time really does change everything!
Meanwhile, I am thoroughly enjoying this on-going legal circus as it continues to highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of the ‘pardons issue’ and all that it entails.
BBC News – Gerry McGeough is denied attempted murder pardon A former IRA man seeking a Royal pardon after being jailed for an attempted murder 30 years ago is denied at the High Court in Belfast today
Taken from The Pensive Quill – March 1, 2012
by Martin Galvin
The crown has arranged a Diplock version of “double jeopardy” for Gerry McGeough. On Tuesday, February 28th the Tyrone Republican will be taken from Maghaberry to the High Court in Belfast, for two judgments, in two courtrooms, by two sets of British judges. A victory in either proceeding will likely free Gerry McGeough to return to his wife Maria and four young children. A double defeat will likely mean at least another year of imprisonment at Maghaberry for McGeough, and gift the crown with another legal precedent for jailing other Republicans.
McGeough’s double jeopardy will begin shortly after court opening with the judgment on his judicial review. Here the issue is fairly narrow. Under the terms of the Good Friday deal, Republicans jailed for pre-1988 IRA actions should be entitled to early release upon serving two years. McGeough served nearly 8 years, for IRA activities, first in a notorious German bunker prison and then in American prisons.
The British say they need not count these 8 years, since the sentences were not served in British prisons nor imposed for IRA membership or McGeough’s part in a 1981 gun battle with an armed member of the British Ulster Defense Regiment. These were the allegations for which he was arrested in 2007 and jailed in February 2011.
McGeough’s solicitors countered with more than a dozen comparable cases, where Republicans were credited with time served in other jurisdictions by a legal device termed a Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM). They produced some of the pardons as exhibits in support and contended that McGeough was treated differently only because he disagreed with Sinn Fein and had campaigned as an Independent Republican in 2007.
There was a further twist. McGeough recounted that while still a member of the Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle, he was briefed by Gerry Kelly on negotiations with the British about his own case and the cases of other on-the-runs (otrs). McGeough attested in a sworn affidavit that Kelly personally congratulated him that he was covered by British pledges of immunity for pre-1988 acts and was free to return to Tyrone without fear of arrest.
Kelly now denies it. However it is undeniable that after years of staying out of the north, McGeough promptly began to visit Tyrone filed for planning permission on a house and made public preparations to settle there with his family. He completed his move, enrolled his children in school and a few years later campaigned visibly and openly as a candidate for election as an Independent Republican against endorsing the crown constabulary. Unlikely conduct for a veteran Republican wanted by the British unless as he says, he was given absolute assurances that he was no longer on the run.
Sinn Fein has said that under the Weston Park terms, the crown agreed that those wanted for pre-1988 IRA actions including, Gerry McGeough, would not be pursued. No one from the party took the witness stand when this issue was raised during the earlier abuse of process hearing, and his solicitors had to rely on testimony from a loyalist, William Smith. Gerry Kelly‘s solicitor did send an affidavit at the end of all proceedings, to deny that he gave McGeough any assurances but agreeing McGeough should be covered under Weston Park.
If McGeough prevails, early release would be mandated, albeit under license like those used to jail Marian Price and Martin Corey. If he loses, it will foreclose one path to freedom for McGeough, and also be pocketed by the British as an important precedent to be wielded against others.
McGeough will then be moved to another courtroom for a judgment on his appeal. Here a number of issues have been raised. There is a preliminary abuse of process issue. McGeough lodged an abuse of process application, challenging the quarter-century delay in bringing charges, including 8 years where he could have been held simply by lodging an extradition warrant. Crown Judge Coghlin refused to grant an application by Nora McCabe’s family directing prosecution of the RUC members who killed her with a plastic bullet in July 1981. Too much time had passed, he said. Any charges would be a clear abuse of process and inevitably dismissed. However, Judge Coghlin measured time differently in the case of Gerry McGeough, for an incident which occurred on June 13, 1981, only weeks before Nora McCabe was killed.
Time and delays here must be no obstacle. He excluded representatives from British-Irish Rights Watch and Committee for the Administration of Justice. Any British pledges at Weston Park or through negotiations with Gerry Kelly did not trouble him. Delays were McGeough’s fault. He was somehow accountable that no extradition warrant was filed or that no attempt to arrest him was made at his home or at campaign events and debates, unlike blameless RUC members colluding in a cover-up of Nora McCabe’s murder.
The appeal’s court must decide whether to rubber-stamp this inconsistency before considering the trial testimony. The trial evidence was such that only a Diplock Court would entertain much credit. A fictional novel that McGeough authored was read out into record because it described an IRA attack on the UDR. Similar accounts once featured routinely in AP/RN.
A political asylum application filed in Sweden, whose confidentiality is protected under international law, was obtained and used in evidence against him. There was no identification witness. McGeough was forcibly stripped and photographed after his arrest. Photos of an old wound were displayed as the crown speculated that it might possibly be a bullet wound. and could possibly have been suffered during this attack. A bullet fragment obtained from Monaghan Hospital was introduced. There was no forensics or DNA link to McGeough. The smashed fragment may or may not have been the same caliber fired by then UDR member Sammy Brush.
A key Garda witness, known as the “The Badger”, was described by former MI6 officer Fred Holroyd as someone with ties to British intelligence. When cross-examined on these links with British intelligence the “Badger” refused to answer.
If the appeals bench reverses or remands for a new trial on any or all of these grounds, it will likely mean release on bail. If both rulings go against McGeough it will be at least another year in Maghaberry, on now 31 year old charges.
One of the classic works of Irish Republican literature took its title from an old saying that it is “easy to sleep on another man’s wound.” Sadly, there may well be some among the Republican community today who find it easy to sleep on Gerry McGeough’s two years.
The Secretary of State has refused to meet with SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey to discuss the ongoing cases of Marian Price, Gerry McGeough and the protesting prisoners at Maghaberry Prison. MORE
February 27, 2012
America is Watching
The Gerry McGeough, Marian Price, Martin Corey Cases
Are any of us surprised at the last minute delay in the Gerry McGeough ‘decisions’? Of course not. I had honestly expected the decisions for the Judicial Review and Appeal to be delayed a few more times. The British government’s oh-so-familiar pattern is indeed being adhered to.
As for Gerry’s attorney waiting on an “Explanation?” He is a patient man, as no-one in the British government seems to need to explain anything they do in N.I.
Well, let me say this…
America is watching. Remember. We are the people who broke away from your Crown to live in liberty, the freedom you willfully deny Gerry McGeough, Marian Price and Martin Corey.
We, Irish-Americans, whose forefathers and mothers escaped the misery and destitution to which your oppression had reduced us, have a message for you. ‘We are not going away’. The Irish People, who were spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ beyond their shores long before your Parliament was established, are not going away either. We still have plenty up our sleeves to heap international condemnation and shame upon your heads. FREE GERRY MCGEOUGH, MARIAN PRICE AND MARTIN COREY NOW.
Statement from Gerry McGeough
February 27, 2012
It is a measure of the significance of tomorrow’s postponement of the decisions on my Appeal and Judicial Review that today already the Unionist and the British Secretary of State have been stating ‘there should be no troubles-related amnesties.’
One wonders, if that is the case, why they are not demanding the prosecution of British crown force personnel for the slaughter of innocent Irish Catholic civilians over a 25 year period by the British and their Unionist allies? This hypocrisy is no longer sustainable nor should it continue to be tolerated. My family and I, along with all the hard working supporters of this campaign, have never stopped struggling against this injustice, since my arrest 5 years ago; and we will continue the struggle until I and all those who have been wrongly imprisoned on troubles-related charges dating back prior to the GFA are free.
I have just been informed by Gerry McGeough’s attorney, who was just notified by the Court Office, that the judgment in the Judicial Review will not be delivered until Friday. He also checked with the Court of Appeal Office and they too have just confirmed that they will not be delivering judgment tomorrow. Gerry’s attorney has asked for an explanation and he is waiting to hear from them. I will let you know as soon I hear anything.
February 26, 2012
Gerry would like to personally thank the AOH delegation – Harry McCabe, Paddy Kelly and Michael Coyle of the BOE who met with David Ford, the Minister of Justice for NI, Ford’s advisor, and the head of the prison this past week to discuss their concerns over Gerry’s health issues and an early release on humanitarian grounds. Unfortunately, Ford’s position is the same as it has always been – “Gerr…y received a 20 year sentence and if released early it will be at the discretion of the British Secretary of State”.
All we can do now is pray that the decisions handed down on Tuesday, February 28th will be in favor of Gerry McGeough. The two decisions will be held at separate times in separate court rooms. The first decision will be made on Gerry’s Judicial Review. The 2nd decision will be made on his Appeal.
The Campaign is asking for a massive turnout at the court house in support of Gerry. By the way, does anyone know if SF representative and neighbor, Ms. Michele Gildernew, will be attending the court hearing on Tuesday in support of Gerry and his family? After all, it would be the decent thing for her to do. You can contact her firstname.lastname@example.org
February 24, 2012
Decisions in McGeough’s Appeal and Judicial Review will be handed down on February 28, 2012
Spoke to Gerry this morning. The meeting with Mr. Pat Ramsey and the SDLP delegation went extremely well. They are totally committed to resolving the issues pertaining to Gerry, Marian, Martin and the conditions at Maghaberry prison with regard to the IPOWs. Senior members of the SDLP will be appearing in court on Tuesday, February 28, 2012, when the decisions on Gerry’s Appeal and Judicial Review will be handed down. It is truly magnificent to see that Mr. Pat Ramsey of the SDLP and Mr. Eamon O’Cuiv of Fianna Fail are putting their full efforts behind this campaign.
Please don’t forget to fill the court room on Tuesday 2/28 in support of Gerry McGeough.
BRIAN MOR O BAOIGHILL passed away at 10:00 PM Sunday 2/19/12.
Please remember him in your prayers…
His life touched all our lives in so many ways ~~ and will continue to do so ~~
Slan agus Beannacht
McGeough to learn fate over jail term
Published on Tuesday 21 February 2012 16:33 in the Tyrone Times
REPUBLICAN inmate Gerry McGeough is due to learn his fate next Tuesday (28th) when the judgement on his appeal against his jail sentence will be heard.
Last year, the Brantry man was found guilty of attempting to murder DUP councillor and former part-time UDR member Sammy Brush in 1981.
McGeough is to serve two years of a 22-year sentence for the offence.
According to a spokesperson for the campaign to have McGeough freed, the 53-year-old has been informed by his attorney that the ‘judgment’ on both his Appeal, which was heard November 16, 2011, and his Judicial Review, which was heard on January 6, 2012, will be handed down on February 28.
“The fact that both decisions will be handed down simultaneously, on the same day, is not a coincidence”, said the spokesperson.
“Gerry believes this directive is coming from the highest political level within the British government.
“All we can do now is wait and hope for a positive outcome.”
Speaking from jail on the one year anniversary of his imprisonment, McGeough described himself as ‘a political hostage’.
“My imprisonment and continued incarceration make a mockery of the Good Friday Agreement and proves that political repression and the sectarian discrimination remains central to the existence of this statelet”, he said.
“Sinn Fein leaders are deeply embarrassed by this whole scandal, as it calls into question their negotiating skills and exposes their utter lack of any real power and influence.
“Thus, they put more time and effort into trying to discredit and silence our campaign rather than stand up to the British on behalf of our people.”
McGeough shot Mr Brush as the part-time soldier worked as a postman in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone.
Despite being injured, Mr Brush was able to return fire and injured McGeough.
If McGeough fails to win a judicial review he is still due for release in April next year.
His lawyers have argued that the Royal Prerogative of Mercy should be granted to ensure equal treatment with other convicted terrorists who benefited from it.
At a hearing in January, the judge was told the warrant was used to free others such as James McArdle, the Armagh man responsible for the 1996 London Docklands bombing.
Sean Devine, counsel for McGeough, said: “What seems to be the elephant in the room is this was a political device where political motives effectively seemed to trump the legal framework that was in place.”
He stressed that no criticism was being made of it, adding that some consequences of the political process and Good Friday Agreement were “distasteful”.
One of those was that some men convicted of atrocities prior to the peace accord were being released after as little as two years in jail, the court heard.
He claimed it was “equally distasteful that because the Good Friday Agreement is in the bag and because Mr McGeough is no longer a member of Sinn Fein and perhaps seen to be more vulnerable” that he should receive unequal treatment.
Statement from Gerry McGeough on his one year incarceration today in Maghaberry Prison
2/18/12. A year ago today an English Diplock Judge had me thrown in jail as a defacto political hostage. My imprisonment and continued incarceration make a mockery of the Good Friday Agreement and proves that political repression and the sectarian discrimination remains central to the existence of this statelet.
Sinn Fein leaders are deeply embarrassed by this whole scandal, as it calls into question their negotiating skills and exposes their utter lack of any real power and influence. Thus, they put more time and effort into trying to discredit and silence our campaign rather than stand up to the British on behalf of our people. Shame on them! Over the past year, we have discovered who our true friends are and I assure you your loyalty, decency and kindness will not be forgotten. Meanwhile, my patriotic position today is the same as a year ago: “LONG LIVE OUR IRISH NATION AND PERDITION UPON ALL OUR ENEMIES”.
God bless you all and know we shall have victory in the end.
STATEMENT FROM MS. MOYA ST. LEGER
British Author and Journalist
Warm greetings to all Gerry’s friends far and wide, but especially to those in America who have the complete freedom to campaign for Gerry’s release without fear.
Perhaps I should admit right at the start that I am very proud to be British. It’s just that I am ashamed of English rulers who over centuries imposed a system of governance and laws on Ireland which reduced the Irish to misery and decimated the Irish people. However, the open admission of the Queen in her speech in Dublin, on her visit to Ireland last year, that the English have left a ‘painful legacy’ and her mention of the ‘heartache, turbulence and loss’ was a turning point in British-Irish relations. She came wafter close to asking forgiveness, which no doubt will come at a later date. We learned from a TV programme about her life, that she had been longing to visit Ireland for 60 years and as soon as it was thought prudent for her to do so, was out of the trap like a greyhound! Apparently her advisors were less keen.
Here in Britain, no-one except a handful of insiders has ever heard of Gerry McGeough. To its credit the BBC has occasionally broadcast news of his case, though not of his plight. Despite thousands of people accessing daily the http://www.freegerry.com website (so ably run by the redoubtable Helen McClafferty) nothing has appeared in print on my side of the Irish Sea.
Let us take stock for a moment. It won’t serve any useful purpose going over old ground except to remind ourselves that what we have here is the case of an historic Irishman imprisoned for a non-lethal offence under British law committed over 30 years ago. We have all fulminated at one time or another about the fact that the British still have sovereignty over Northern Ireland but it doesn’t change the present situation. The British presence in Northern Ireland, while regrettable, is valid under International Law. One day the British will be gone, but that day has not yet arrived, so we have to deal with the situation as it is right now which is what this website has been doing from day one.
It is a credit to the website that there has been no picking over the bones of the deep ideological differences between Sinn Fein and Gerry McGeough which drains us of energy. Down the centuries, those brave Irish men and women who have given their lives for the Cause of Ireland have always been riven by disagreement and dissent. The passion for freedom has burned so strong in Irish hearts and heads, that there have always been feuds and discord, often bitter.
At present we have another focus, the release of Gerry McGeough from the hell-hole he is in. His lawyers are dealing wisely and expeditiously with the legal side of this work. We now await the results of the Appeal and Judicial Review, but our work must continue to be that of bringing pressure to bear on all in positions of authority and on the British media. We must have a two-pronged approach, so may I urge all readers of this site to write to one or more of the editors below requesting him/them to:
a) Publicize the failure of both the British and the Irish Governments who are parties to the Weston Park Accord (1 August 2001) to follow through on their mutual acceptance. “that it would be a natural development of the scheme for such prosecutions not to be pursued and will as soon as possible, and in any event before the end of the year, take such steps as are necessary in their jurisdictions to resolve this difficulty so that those concerned are no longer pursued.” (Para 20 WPA).
b) Continue pushing for the release of McGeough on health grounds. Not only were the doctors at the outside hospital, where his latest stent was inserted, appalled that his medication had not been properly administered inside Maghaberry, but recently a Prison Medical Office (PMO) told him he should not be in prison at all because of his condition as a cardiac patient.
A letter sent by post from America has more chance of being seen by the editor himself than an email. It involves a little more work but is more effective in the long run. It is best to keep the letter short, using moderate language simply to ask why the secrecy? The editor will know whether a D-Notice has been issued on the story, so it is important to mention the case is being discussed in America and on a New York radio station on a regular basis. (A D-Notice (Defense Notice) is a censorship notice issued by the Ministry of Defence to the media in order to prohibit a publication of information on matters said to be of national security. This system is up to date in use in Britain).
Because of the unceasing work of Helen McClafferty and other committee members of this campaign, Gerry’s supporters have been given solid grounds for hope that our work is gradually having an effect. The intervention of persons of influence has been crucial to lifting the blanket of silence initially thrown around this case. I should like to express my personal gratitude to the AOH President Seamus Boyle and other members of the AOH, whose names I do not yet know; most especially the AOH delegation who recently visited Gerry in Maghaberry; Eamon O’Cuiv who will be visiting Gerry every three months until he is free; Cardinal Brady, Primate of All Ireland whose pastoral visit to Gerry would have been regarded as political interference; the SDLP delegation; and to the Sinn Fein delegation which have visited Maghaberry, whatever their motives – they did visit.
The blanket of silence has been tugged away everywhere except in my part of the United Kingdom east of the Irish Sea.
Anyway, good luck to each and every one of you. For the sake of Gerry and his wonderful family, please keep up your splendid work. Remember, the night is always darkest before the dawn, and the dawn is glimmering.
Editor Paul Dacre
2 Derry Street
London W8 5 TT
Editor Alan Rusbridger
90 York Way
London N1 9GU
Editor John Micklethwait
25 St. James Street
London SW1A 1HG
The Daily Telegraph
Editor Tony Gallagher
111 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 0DT
Editor Chris Blackhurst
191 Marsh Wall
London E14 9RS
The Daily Mirror
Editor Richard Wallace
1 Canada Square
London E14 5 AP
Editor James Harding
1 Pennington Street
London E98 1 XY
The Financial Times
Editor Lionel Barber
1 Southwark Bridge Road
London, SE1 9HL
Short Bio on Ms. Moya St. Leger:
A friend of Gerry McGeough’s for 25 years.
Author. Journalist. For over 20 years she wrote articles on theology and religious issues for Catholic papers and theological journals, but switched to writing about Northern Ireland issues in the mid-1980’s.
Primary journalistic focus: RUC crowd control methods; plastic bullets; licensed weapons in N.I
Connolly Association: President for two-3 year terms from 2002-2008. She was the first English president and the first female since the founding of the Connolly Association in 1938.
Irish Democrat newspaper: On editorial board 1995-2012.
Friends of the Good Friday Agreement: Committee member. The FGA was a Parliament-based committee headed by 3 Members of the British Parliament which monitored the implementation of the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement for 10 years.
Listed in the current editions of Dictionary of International Biography and Who’s Who in Catholic Life. Her proudest epithet: A loyalist once derided her as “a latter day Constance Markiewicz”!
A Free Gerry McGeough Committee Member.
Persons who have been her greatest inspiration:
1) Irish human rights’ campaigner, scholar, author, and award-winning Irish poet, Monsignor (Dr.) Raymond Murray.
2) Former Fianna Fail cabinet minister Eamon O’Cuiv, currently Fianna Fail Deputy Leader and Opposition Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
February 13, 2012
REPLY TO SINN FEIN FROM GERRY McGEOUGH CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
Recently several prominent supporters of the campaign to free Gerry McGeough forwarded emails sent from Sinn Fein for our comments. These emails say that Sinn Fein has called for Gerry McGeough’s release from Maghaberry and therefore our justice campaign should “focus our efforts on the British government, which is responsible for his imprisonment, and on the Irish government, which is a co-signatory to the Weston Park agreement.”
Gerry McGeough has been imprisoned by the British for more than a year at Maghaberry. Clearly the combined weight of court challenges, calls from political parties including Sinn Fein , together with pressure through any and all other political mechanisms, have not yet been sufficient to compel the British to free him. Like any other justice campaign, we can only try for greater efforts by any and every source open to us, until the British give Gerry McGeough the freedom to which we all agree he is entitled.
The primary focus of efforts to pressure the British crown has been legal challenges in British courts, thus far including an abuse of process application, a Diplock trial defense, appeals, and judicial review. Even now a ruling on his pending judicial review is imminent, and could mean freedom for Gerry McGeough.
Given what has already occurred in his case, and indeed in the long history of British courts dealing with Irish Republican cases, there is no assurance of justice for Gerry McGeough. If the crown judge rules against him, the only alternative means of increasing pressure on the British will be to ask more from political parties. As a party which includes a Deputy First Minister, and whose backing helped grant David Ford a renewed term as Stormont Justice Minister, Sinn Fein’s help would be pivotal.
However, the campaign is by no means limited to Sinn Fein. Eamon O’Cuiv, of Fianna Fail, and several SDLP members have visited Gerry McGeough at Maghaberry, and pledged support. Their support was only enlisted when members of Sinn Fein who support Gerry McGeough advised that their requests within party channels for effective rather than token action were stonewalled.
We then received emails and read published letters criticizing Gerry McGeough and our campaign, for not trusting exclusively Sinn Fein; and for accepting help from Fianna Fail and the SDLP despite past policies of those parties regarding Republicans. We will continue to lobby all potential channels of support that might assist in pressuring the British crown directly or through the Irish government.
Gerry McGeough is imprisoned by the British on charges that he joined the IRA in 1975 and that he was wounded in an IRA engagement with a member of the notorious British Ulster Defense Regiment, during the time of the Hunger Strike of 1981.The evidence trotted out against him included medical testimony and photographs of bullet wounds he suffered as an IRA Volunteer, as well as nearly 8 years of imprisonment for IRA activities in Germany and the United States. Given this background, and Britain’s desire to use this case as a precedent against other Republicans, it is difficult to see any mechanism for compelling the crown to release Gerry McGeough without Sinn Fein intensifying its efforts.
We also received inquiries about how much they had already done for Gerry McGeough. We hesitated before making this reply. The campaign is supported by a broad spectrum. It includes Sinn Fein members and party supporters, as well as others with very different views. The campaign is united by the one aim of freedom for Gerry McGeough. We want to work constructively with Sinn Fein and all others who can help win his freedom. We have no other agenda.
We were reluctant to clarify the record regarding Gerry McGeough, since an honest response might create further difficulties or even be cited as a reason to do nothing more on the issue. It now appears, given the decision to publish this correspondence in AP/RN, that we have no alternative.
We wish to acknowledge again that after Gerry McGeough’s arrest in 2007, Michelle Gildernew wrote one of the character reference letters which were introduced during his bail hearing, and this letter was helpful to McGeough’s solicitors. On a couple of occasions, during the four years of court proceedings, members of Sinn Fein attended the trial for Gerry and his co-defendant.
However there was a telling disparity between these actions and the far more frequent, vocal, and visible interventions by prominent DUP members, led by Arlene Foster and Maurice Morrow against Gerry McGeough.
DUP intervention, climaxed by Foster and Morrow’s presence in court to influence and celebrate the verdict, was patently obvious to the public and Diplock judge and conveyed a clear signal that the case against McGeough meant far more to the DUP, than to any other political faction
It is also appreciated that Sinn Fein members, most recently Ray McCartney in December, visited Gerry McGeough amongst other Republican prisoners at Maghaberry and said that his case, among others, and the protest against brutal H-Block like strip-searches, were high on the agenda. However, David Ford, who presides over these injustices, then had his term extended by Sinn Fein in partnership with the DUP, and was thereby empowered to continue these injustices.
We accept that the British broke the Weston Park agreement by jailing Gerry McGeough on thirty year old charges. Britain’s stance in prosecuting former IRA members while conferring an apparent amnesty for murders by British troopers or crown constables is hypocritical. Sinn Fein, better than anyone, knows the difference between token statements meant to do no more than placate supporters, and effective action on issues of importance. Without Sinn Fein, as the representative of former IRA members during these talks, demanding that “unambiguous” pledges be honored, it is apparent that the crown feels free to break its word with impunity.
Gerry McGeough’s solicitors urged the British crown court to follow the reading of Weston Park advanced by Sinn Fein. The British and Stormont justice ministry rejected this interpretation out of hand. The trial was suspended pending an abuse of process hearing. No one from Sinn Fein took the witness stand on Gerry McGeough’s behalf. His solicitors, who have strong contacts with Sinn Fein, were forced to call a loyalist, William Smith, to testify for Gerry McGeough. The application was denied and the Diplock trial continued. We are left to speculate whether testimony from any Sinn Fein representative about what was agreed at Weston Park might have altered the outcome and halted the trial before Gerry McGeough was tried and jailed.
Now an application for a judicial review has been lodged, and a decision is pending. In addition to the Weston Park pledges, McGeough contends that he should be eligible for immediate release because the 8 years in jail in Germany and America should be applied to satisfy the 2 year GFA release requirements. His solicitors cited a dozen comparable cases where Republicans imprisoned in other jurisdictions had their time credited by means of a pardon (Royal Prerogative of Mercy). They were able to obtain and produce copies of these pardons which were attached as exhibits in support.
In making this application, Gerry McGeough, in a sworn affidavit, said that while an elected member of the Sinn Fein Ard Chomairle, he often spoke to Gerry Kelly on the negotiations regarding his own case as well as other On-the-Runs (OTRS). McGeough attested that he was specifically told by Gerry Kelly that he was on the list of cases being negotiated, and finally told that he was free to go home to Tyrone without fear of arrest or charges. Gerry Kelly says that “this was not the case.”
Gerry McGeough was so sure of this conversation that he not only returned to Tyrone for the first time in years, but began public preparations to move his family there, including applying for planning permission, building a house, enrolling his children in school and moving around openly. McGeough’s solicitors contend that he was removed from the list some time after he left Sinn Fein, and arrested because he ran as an Independent Republican.
After this application was argued, the crown judge directed that the record be kept open for an affidavit from Gerry Kelly. Kelly had previously declined to cooperate with McGeough’s solicitors in preparing an affidavit that would have supported him. Our understanding is that Kelly’s solicitors on January 12th sent a letter which was such that McGeough’s solicitors had to incorporate it in a submission that made reference to the “obvious tension” between McGeough’s and Kelly’s positions.
Gerry McGeough, now in his 50s, has suffered heart attacks since his arrest in 2007. Last week he was hospitalized again for his heart ailment and will need further surgery. He is separated from his wife and four young children and imprisoned at Maghaberry in conditions which can only exacerbate his medical problems. He is in jail on 30 year old charges that were clearly part of the IRA’s struggle against British rule. It is difficult to imagine the frustrations that even someone who has served 8 years in jail, must feel to be held in a British prison in the conditions at Maghaberry on decades old charges, in the midst of what we are often told is a new political dispensation. It must be especially hurtful, when members of Sinn Fein or supportive organizations in America, advise that they have been discouraged from campaigning for more pressure to free Gerry McGeough, and are told to “focus their efforts elsewhere”
FREE GERRY McGEOUGH CAMPAIGN
February 12, 2012
An open letter from the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign Committee in reply to Sinn Fein’s Mr. Gerry Adams and Mr. Gerry Kelly’s letters regarding Gerry McGeough.
(Mr. McGeough’s international supporters have asked for feedback regarding Mr. Adams and Mr. Kelly’s letters (see below) and our reply is attached).
P.S. Mr. Kelly’s letter was published in APRN and An Phoblacht.
Gerry Kelly’s Letter:
Sent: Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:28:38 AM
Subject: Gerry McGeough should be freed
By Gerry Kelly MLA
Sinn Féin Assembly spokesperson on Policing & Justice
WHEN Gerry McGeough was first arrested in March 2007, Sinn Féin called for his immediate release. We believed then, as we believe now, that he should not have been arrested and charged and that he should not have been detained in prison.
His local Sinn Féin MP, Michelle Gildernew, provided assistance for Gerry McGeough during the trial process. Our position has not changed. When Gerry McGeough was convicted and sentenced, we were the only political party in the North to demand his immediate release. We remain the only significant political party to adopt this position.
The release of political prisoners sentenced for conflict-related actions carried out before April 1998 was agreed in the multi-party negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement. Responsibility for the release of prisoners rested with both the British and Irish governments.
The Agreement did not specify any minimum term that a prisoner must serve. However, it did anticipate that any ‘qualifying’ prisoners still in custody two years after the commencement of the early-release scheme would be released at that point.
However, the Irish Government failed to follow through on its commitment in respect of a number of men sentenced in their jurisdiction. These were obliged to serve the full sentences despite the public commitments given.
In subsequent negotiations the Sinn Féin leadership raised the anomalous position relating to ‘On The Runs’ (OTRs) –– those who were away from home for many years due to the threat of arrest and who would have benefited from early release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement had they been in prison.
The British and Irish governments agreed at Weston Park in 2001 to resolve this issue.
Paragraph 20 of the Weston Park Agreement states:
“Both governments recognise that there is an issue to be addressed, with the completion of the early-release scheme, about supporters of organisations now on ceasefire against whom there are outstanding prosecutions, and in some cases extradition proceedings for offences committed before 10 April 1998. Such people would, if convicted, stand to benefit from the early-release scheme.
“The governments accept that it would be a natural development of the scheme for such prosecutions not to be pursued and will as soon as possible, and in any event before the end of the year, take such steps as are necessary in their jurisdiction to resolve this difficulty so that those concerned are no longer pursued.”
The text of the above paragraph represents, in Sinn Féin’s view, an explicit and unambiguous commitment by the governments not to pursue a conviction against anyone, who would, if convicted, stand to benefit from the early-release scheme.
The agreement at Weston Park makes it very clear that Gerry McGeough should not have been pursued, arrested, convicted or imprisoned.
Although Gerry McGeough will become eligible to apply for early release in less than 12 months, he should not have been arrested and should not now be in prison.
Post-Weston Park, for their own narrow political interests, the British Government failed to honour this commitment. In the years since this agreement, Sinn Féin has, where possible, sought to facilitate a clarification of who considered themselves to be OTR with regard to the possibility of arrest should they return home to the North. Where we were able to establish that an individual was not under any threat of arrest and prosecution, we conveyed this to them directly or indirectly via family members or friends.
Our understanding is that a small number of people remain OTR. This is unacceptable to us and is an outstanding issue we are determined to resolve.
Gerry McGeough has alleged that he was told by Sinn Féin that he was safe to return home. This is not the case. He has further recently alleged (5 January):
“There is a widespread informed belief that, as part of a secret deal between the Sinn Féin leadership, the unionists and the British Government, I was to be politically sacrificed. The Sinn Féin leadership desperately wants me to rot in silence in jail.”
There is no basis to any of these silly allegations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Senior party figures, including Gerry Adams, have publicly called for Gerry McGeough’s release from Maghaberry and his return to his family in Tyrone.
Sinn Féin delegations have met with Mr McGeough in prison to offer support and solidarity. Since his imprisonment we have consistently raised his case with both the British and Irish governments.
Let me be crystal clear so there is no room for ambiguity – Gerry McGeough should not be in prison. His conviction is conflict-related and he would clearly have been a qualifying prisoner under the Good Friday Agreement release scheme. The fact that he becomes eligible for release in around 12 months’ time is irrelevant to this discussion. He should be freed now.
Recently, Mr McGeough’s legal team have been in communication with me and I have made every effort to assist their ongoing legal bid to secure Gerry McGeough’s release. Our support for this action and for the wider political demand for his release will continue.
On the broader issue, we will continue to press both governments to use whatever mechanism is necessary to action the Weston Park commitment they entered into to resolve this issue.
Gerry Adams Letter:
31 January 2012
Thank you for your correspondence.
The Weston Park Agreement is an inter-government agreement between the Irish and British governments.
Paragraph 20 of the Weston Park Agreement states
‘Both Governments recognise that there is an issue to be addressed, with the completion of the early release scheme, about supporters of organisations now on ceasefire against whom there are outstanding prosecutions, and in some cases extradition proceedings for offences committed before 10 April 1998. Such people would, if convicted, stand to benefit from the early release scheme. The Governments accept that it would be a natural development of the scheme for such prosecutions not to be pursued and will as soon as possible, and in any event before the end of the year, take such steps as are necessary in their jurisdiction to resolve this difficulty so that those concerned are no longer pursued.’
This agreement emerged as a result of demands by Sinn Féin at that time for this issue to be dealt with effectively.
The text of the above paragraph represents in our view, an explicit and unambiguous commitment by the Governments not to pursue a conviction against anyone, who would, if convicted, stand to benefit from the early-release scheme.
When Gerry McGeough was first arrested in March 2007, Sinn Féin called for his immediate release.
His local Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew provided assistance for Mr McGeough during the trial process.
Our position has not changed. Although Gerry McGeough will become eligible to apply for early release in less than 12 months the Agreement at Weston Park makes it very clear that he should not have been pursued, arrested, convicted or imprisoned.
However, the implementation of this Agreement and the release of political prisoners is the responsibility of the British and Irish governments and thus far the British government has refused to honour this commitment.
For our part Sinn Féin continues to press the British government on this issue. Gerry McGeough is not the only person affected by the refusal of the British to keep to this commitment.
Sinn Féin representatives have made this clear to Gerry McGeough when they have visited him in prison.
There is no ambiguity in our position. And Sinn Féin continues to work with Mr McGeough’s legal team to assist their ongoing legal bid to secure his release.
Sinn Féin will continue to press both governments to use whatever mechanism is necessary to action the Weston Park commitment they made.
It would be helpful to the campaign for Mr. McGeough’s release if those lobbying on his behalf specifically focussed their efforts on the British government, which is responsible for his imprisonment, and on the Irish government which is the co-signatory to the Weston Park agreement.
Is mise le meas,
Gerry Adams TD
GERRY MCGEOUGH – NOT WELL
Spoke to Gerry McGeough today. He does not sound well. He sounded very weak. He needs to have another surgical procedure done in hospital. How many more surgical procedures can Gerry withstand under the conditions he is currently facing in Maghaberry? Gerry has already suffered two heart attacks. He has had 5 stents surgically implanted. He is being subjected, on a daily basis, to bacterial infection spreading through Maghaberry prison and he is not getting the proper exercise, fresh air, combined with a poor diet and missed heart medication.
If this inhumane treatment of prisoners were taking place in an American prison, the media would be all over it. Those in charge would be fired and the family would bring a civil suit against those responsible for this type of ill-treatment. In Gerry’s case, as well as that of Marian Price, or any other political prisoner in ill health, – the role of the court here would be to prevent certain actions by the screws and the prison authorities that are found to be detrimental to the prisoner’s well-being. It appears the Diplock court system in the north of Ireland is used solely for the purpose of incarcerating republicans but not for looking after their well-being once incarcerated. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
WE NEED TO GET SOMETHING DONE HERE – GERRY NEEDS TO BE RELEASED AND SENT HOME WHERE HE CAN BE MEDICALLY CARED FOR IN A PROPER WAY!
Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
February 9, 2012
Maria McGeough just called to inform us that Gerry called her at 12:00 pm today from Maghaberry prison. The last time Maria had heard from Gerry was on Tuesday at 4:00 pm to tell her he was being taken to hospital. “Gerry is not well and the Doctors are very concerned for his well-being, not only because of his heart problems but also because of the high levels of bacteria in the Republican wing due to the dirty protest”. As everyone knows, Gerry has 5 stents in his heart and if he gets a bacterial infection in his bloodstream it could reach his heart and kill him. Gerry told Maria “the Doctors want him back in the hospital, but the prison authorities will not tell Gerry when they plan to take him back to the hospital for another surgery procedure because he is considered a ‘high security risk’ “.
Maria would like to thank everyone for their sincere concern, “especially Mr. Pat Ramsey, MLA (Congressman) of the SDLP, who called her this morning and gave her his mobile phone number to call him if she needs anything”. Maria said “Mr. Ramsey is is planning another visit to Maghaberry prison to see Gerry and that he called the Minister’s office today to pass on a message that Gerry McGeough needs to be home due to his severe health issues”. Maria will keep us further updated on Gerry’s situation and asks everyone to “continue to speak out for the immediate release of her husband not only because he has been illegally incarcerated but especially on humanitarian grounds due to his deteriorating health”.
The McGeough family and members of the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign send their sincere condolences to Mr. Eamon O’Cuiv on the loss of his mother.
February 8, 2012
As of today, Maria McGeough has had absolutely no word on what happened to Gerry, why he is in the hospital and she has not been allowed to visit him. This is absolutely insane.
Emmet Doyle, advisor to MLA Pat Ramsey of the SDLP, contacted me today inquiring on McGeough’s condition and asked to be kept informed of the situation. I explained that Gerry’s wife has been kept in the dark on his transfer to the hospital late yesterday and she has not been allowed to visit him. Mr. Doyal said he would make a call to the prison services tomorrow to see if he could find out any information about Gerry for Maria and will update us if he has any news.
As of this morning…there is a massive letter writing and faxing campaign to the British consulates in the United States by Irish-Americans expressing concern about the continued wrongful imprisonment of Gerry McGeough, the medically unfit conditions of his illegal incarceration in Maghaberry prison and the fact he has suffered two heart attacks and is in hospital now. Please join in this campaign. Gerry’s family needs our help and support.
Contact information below:
British Consulate General – Atlanta, GA
Georgia Pacific Center
133 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta GA 30303
Phone: (1) (404) 954-7700
Fax: (1) (404) 954-7702
British Consulate General – Boston, MA
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: (1)(617) 245 4500
Fax: (1)(617) 621 0220
British Consulate General – Chicago, IL
625 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago IL 60611
Phone: (1)(312) 970 3800
Fax: (1) (312) 970 3852
British Consulate General – New York
845 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10022
Main Tel: (212) 745-0200
Main Fax: (212) 754-3062
British-Consulate General – Los Angeles, CA
11766 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1200
Los Angeles, California 90025-6538
Phone: (310) 481 0031
Fax: (310) 481 2960
Chairperson – Free Gerry McGeough Campaign – USA
Co-Chair – Gerry McGeough Justice Campaign – Dublin
February 7, 2012
McGeough Taken To Hospital
have just gotten word from Maria McGeough that Gerry has been taken to the cardiac unit of a hospital. She has no further information for us nor is she allowed to see him.
I will keep you updated as soon as I know more.
Prayers are need for him and his family.
Regarding Gerry Adams Email:
Gerry McGeough has instructed that a measured response from him to Gerry Adams recent email be withheld from publication pending the outcome of a meeting between campaign supporters and Senior Sinn Fein officials in Dublin on Monday, February 6, 2012.
2/2/12 – AOH DELEGATION FROM THE US VISITS MCGEOUGH
Gerry McGeough had a visit yesterday from an AOH delegation from the USA. Gerry was very pleased with the visit and how well informed the delegation was regarding his plight. Gerry said “the delegation expressed their genuine commitment to continue to campaign for his release.” Gerry thanks the delegation, for taking time away from their hectic schedule to visit with him, and he extends his heartfelt thanks to all members in the AOH who have been so supportive of him and their kindness toward his family.
DELEGATION FROM SDLP MET PRIVATELY WITH GERRY MCGEOUGH IN MAGHABERRY PRISON
Gerry phoned to advise that a delegation of 4 members of the SDLP, led by Dr. Alasdair McDonnell, met with the IPOWS today about the protest in Maghaberry prison, as well as with Marion Price, and then had a private meeting with Gerry himself. Gerry said “this delegation is part of a growing campaign to highlight the seriousness of the dreadful conditions facing the IPOWS in Maghaberry prison along with the case of Marion Price and myself.” He further advised that “the SDLP will be raising a motion on behalf of Marion Price in Stormont on Monday.” Gerry was delighted to meet with the delegation and he felt it was a very constructive and positive meeting.
Yesterday I informed you that the Fianna Fail party confirmed they support the release of Gerry McGeough and have called on the Irish Government to fully implement the Weston Park Accord. Now the SDLP has met with Gerry. Our voices are starting to be heard and we must continue to keep the communication going.
I am asking for your total support in contacting every member of the SDLP now to call upon the Irish and British government to fully implement the Weston Park Accord and release Gerry McGeough.
There are also 14 Sinn Féin TD’s we need to contact and ask them to ‘get off the fence’ and stand up for the Weston Park Accord and secure Gerry McGeough’s immediate release now.
Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of Gerry and his family. Gerry and Maria have asked me to tell you they appreciate all you have done and ask you to please continue to keep them in your prayers and continue to speak out on their behalf and to keep the pressure on those in political power who need to do the right thing by Gerry and his family.
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Northern Ireland
Dáil Members | Sinn Féin
FIANNA FAIL PARTY SUPPORTS THE RELEASE OF GERRY MCGEOUGH AND HAVE ASKED THE IRISH GOVERNMENT TO FULLY IMPLEMENT THE WESTON PARK ACCORD: I received the following two email from Micheal Martin TD, Leader and Spokesperson on the north of Ireland, with regard to my inquiry on the Irish government’s position on the full implementation of the Weston Park Accord and the release of Gerry McGeough.
—–Original Message—– From: Micheál Martin
Sent: Thu, Jan 26, 2012 6:55 am
Subject: Re: Email for Micheál Martin:
We have raised this matter with the Government in relation to the non implementation of outstanding issues of the Weston Park Accord.
We will be in touch when we receive a response.
The Office of Micheál Martin TD
—–Original Message—– From: Micheál Martin
Sent: Wed, Jan 25, 2012 12:29 pm
Subject: Re: Email for Micheál Martin:
Thank you for your recent email in relation to the Western Park Accord and its full implementation. As you may be aware Fianna FÃ¡il are totally committed to the Western Park Accord and it’s full implementation. I would also support Eamon O’ Cuiv’s request for Gerrry McGeough’s immediate release based on humanitarian grounds. I hope this clarifies our position.
Micheál Martin TD
Gerry McGeough said…
“Fair Play to Micheál Martin and the Fianna Fáil Party for raising the non-implementation of outstanding issues of the Weston Park Accord with the Irish government. Have to give credit where credit is do.”
The Free Gerry McGeough Campaign believe this is our opportunity to apply pressure on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to respond and to ensure the implementation of all the outstanding issues of the Weston Park Accord, in particular paragraph 20, which deals with offences committed prior to the GFA. If this Accord is not fully implemented by both the Irish and British governments – then no republican who took part in the troubles prior to the GFA can ever be safe from prosecution.
Email Enda Kenny at: email@example.com, : ASK HIM TO: 1) FULLY IMPLEMENT THE WESTON PARK ACCORD. 2) CALL ON THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO DO THE SAME. 3) CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF GERRY MCGEOUGH BASED ON PARAGRAPH 20 IN THE ACCORD.
Contact: Prime Minister David Cameron
10 Downing Street
ASK HIM TO: 1) FULLY IMPLEMENT THE WESTON PARK ACCORD. AND TO RELEASE GERRY MCGEOUGH IMMEDIATELY. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister by email, please do so by following the guidance on the Number 10 website: http://www.number10.gov.uk/footer/contact-us
Do what you have to do – write a letter/send a fax/call his office. Don’t be put off! Thank you.
Subject: Political Action Committees – Weston Park Agreement
Weston Park is your classic ‘Perfidious Albion”. In their dealings with the Irish, the British reneged on their 1801 promise of Catholic emancipation. They later reneged on their 1921 promise of a ‘Boundary Commission”. Now they have reneged on the 2001 Weston Park Accord, which promised no further political prosecutions and a Pat Finucane public inquiry amongst other things. Individuals should not have to go through the courts to secure this Accord. However, since the political parties have abdicated their responsibilities in this matter, they have been left with no choice. If they fail, then it’s down to ‘people power’ and NOW is the time for all Irish people around the world, including the Sinn Fein membership, to start forming Political Action Committees (PAC) with high tech-communication skills. Why should we have to ‘beg’ the British and Irish governments to do the right thing? We need to be one voice and DEMAND them to adhere to the Weston Park Agreement NOW!
http://www.nio.gov.uk/weston_park_document.pdf – paragraph 20.
January 18, 2012
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED – MCGEOUGH CASE –
An agreement was made at Weston Park that no ex volunteer of the IRA would be brought through the courts and sentenced for war related activities prior to the Good Friday Agreement. It was agreed that both governments would introduce legislation to that effect. Therefore, Gerry McGeough should not be in jail as this breaks an international agreement and is an assault on the peace process. The Irish government and Sinn Féin need to start speaking up for the full implementation of the Weston Park Agreement. It is sheer complacency.
Please take the following steps immediately:
Send letter/email to: Gerry Adams
“Gerry McGeough’s imprisonment is a full scale assault on democracy and the peace process in Ireland. Both governments made a solid agreement at Weston Park to introduce legislation that no one would go to prison for war related activities prior to the GFA. Nothing has changed. It is imperative that Sinn Fein call upon the British and the Irish Governments for the full implementation of the Weston Park Agreement. Gerry McGeough should be released IMMEDIATELY!!!”
cc: Tony Blair, Hilary Clinton on this.
Write to: Enda Kenny
Send letter/email to: Enda Kenny, An Taoiseach
“Gerry McGeough’s imprisonment is a full scale assault on democracy and the peace process in Ireland. Both governments made a solid agreement at Weston Park to introduce legislation that no one would go to prison for war related activities prior to the GFA. Nothing has changed. The Irish Government really needs to speak up for the full implementation of this agreement. Gerry McGeough should be released IMMEDIATELY!!!”
cc: Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton on this.
Send this letter/email to: David Cameron, Prime Minister Great Britain
“Gerry McGeough’s imprisonment is a full scale assault on democracy and the peace process in Ireland. Both governments made a solid agreement at Weston Park to introduce legislation that no one would go to prison for war related activities prior to the GFA. Nothing has changed. The British Government needs to adhere to this Agreement. Gerry McGeough should be released IMMEDIATELY!!!”
cc: Owen Paterson, Tony Blair, Hilliary Clinton
Here are the addresses/emails/phone numbers for the politicians in question:
Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin Party President
TD for Louth & East Meath
Prime Minister, Great Britain
10 Downing Street
Taoiseach’s private office:
Tel # 01-6194020
Office of Tony Blair
P.O. Box 60519
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Office
Belfast, NI BT43SH
Tel # 028-9052-0700
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Thank you so much for your immediate attention to this request. The Diplock court judge, who presided over Gerry’s judicial review hearings will be making his decision within the next 2 weeks. PLEASE ACT ON THESE EMAILS/LETTERS/FAXES/PHONE CALLS IMMEDIATELY.
January 13, 2012
McGeough judicial hearing update:
Letter from Sinn Féin to McGeough’s Attorney – Re: Weston Park Agreement.
Gerry called to advise that Sinn Féin gave his attorney a letter, at the eleventh hour, referencing the Weston Park Agreement. “Although the letter is 5 years late, it is a start”, said Gerry. However, his attorney needs more details and consultation from Sinn Féin in order to secure Gerry’s release. Gerry attributes Sinn Féin breaking their silence after 5 years, regarding his plight, to the intense International campaign of people around the world.
We now need to re-double our efforts and keep the pressure on the British to adhere to the Weston Park Agreement. Gerry said… “this is the beginning of the ‘Irish Spring’ that can clean away the ‘stench’ of British corruption in Ireland and put a final end to the nationalist nightmare.
Irish Echo: January 6, 2012
New year brings doubts over fragile peace
A judge, embarrassed by the political imprisonment of Gerry McGeough, has given instructions from the bench for loyalists to sue against royal pardons lest he continue to look like a jackass in continuing his imprisonment of McGeough. More …
McGeough Judicial Review Hearing Today 1/6/2012
Gerry’s hearing today lasted more than 4 hours as his solicitors argued for his entitlement to release under the Good Friday arrangement. The first challenge was whether the Court had any authority to review the crown’s power to grant or withhold pardons.His solicitors contended that when pardons are granted or withheld on arbitrary grounds that are clearly discriminatory such as withdrawing a pardon from Gerry McGeough because of his political opinions and candidacy in an election,that such matters are indeed re viewable and subject to court rulings to correct abuses of discretion.
The British then argued that while Gerry’s solicitors had asserted that he was not pardoned because of his political opinions they could not offer proof on that issue.His solicitors answered that the crown had offered no affidavits as to any other explanation for his being denied a pardon,even though all of the officials,records and documents should have been under their control.The crown’s failure in these circumstances supported Gerry’s contention.
The Court then heard arguments on Gerry’s imprisonment in Germany and the USA on IRA related charges and why it should count towards the two year early release scheme.
Gerry’s case ,it was acknowledged may become an important precedent for several others, including some Sinn Fein supporters.The Court asked why there were no supporting affidavits from Gerry Kelly or Sinn Fein. These have been requested but refused.
Gerry’s solicitors were given until next Friday to provide additional supporting documents from Sinn Fein.The record will be then closed and the decision may come any time thereafter.
Sammy Brush of the DUP did attend the hearing but was not given an opportunity to speak.Gerry McGeough was not brought to court from Maghaberry.
MARTIN GALVIN, Esq.
Statement from Gerry McGeough, January 5, 2012
There is increasing evidence that the Sinn Fein leadership is crushing down on the membership of the party, especially on those who have been trying to highlight my case.
This serves to underscore the wide spread informed belief that as part of a secret deal between the Sinn Fein leadership, the Unionists and the British government, that I was to be politically sacrificed.
The Sinn Fein leadership desperately wants me to rot in silence in jail and they are extremely irritated by the support I am receiving and the fact that this support is not going away and won’t be quiet.
A document issued by the British government to Sinn Fein regarding me has now emerged and the seriousness of the information contained in this document will be revealed in a few days.
I am asking everyone to continue to apply pressure on the Sinn Fein leadership and British government to do the right thing and to release me immediately.
January 5, 2012
Gerry McGeough would like to thank all the members of the Hamilton, NJ AOH Division and the Albany, NY AOH Division for their generous donation to his wife and 4 children during the Christmas holidays. Gerry and his wife are truly touched by the kindness and generosity of so many wonderful and caring members in the AOH in America. He asks for your prayers and continued support for his release in 2012.
January 2, 2012
UDR MEMBERSHIP IN UDA – FREE GERRY MCGEOUGH in 2012!
Sammy Brush, now vigorously opposing McGeough’s release, belonged to a regiment regarded by the British Army themselves as troublemakers, and which harbored covert members of the UDA which the British government of the day didn’t dare to ban fearing a Protestant backlash.
The Free Gerry McGeough Committee now want to know, how much weight should be attached to the opposition of a town councilor to Gerry’s release, who belonged to a British regiment which both the British Army and the British government knew for sure harbored extremist Protestant members of the murderous UDA/UFF, but failed to proscribe?
We all suspected but couldn’t be absolutely sure until the letter below emerged, i.e. that the Army knew that some members of the Ulster Defense Regiment (UDR) a regular British Army Regiment with regimental badge etc., were also active within the Ulster Defense Association (UDA), which carried out high-profile attacks including the Milltown massacre, the Castlerock killings and the Greysteel massacre under its cover name of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). The UFF always publicly claimed responsibility for the murders. The UDA and the UFF are the same organization.
The point is, if the Army knew for sure that members of the ‘legitimate’ UDR were also active for the UDA (and its ‘operational’ name the UFF) why didn’t the British make the UDA a proscribed organization as it had the PIRA?
Sammy Brush was a member of the UDR (i.e. the legit regiment) but no-one knew which members of the UDR were also members of the murderous UDA. What we can learn from the letter below is that the British Army was well aware that the UDR was being used by the UDA as a front. This is why the PIRA regarded members of the UDR e.g. Sammy Brush to be legit targets (Gerry McGeough was also badly injured too).
In the following letter, you have a top civil servant advising a Commanding Officer HQ N.I. saying that the (legit) UDR “One important (but unspoken) function of the UDR is to channel into a constructive and disciplined direction Protestant energies which might otherwise become disruptive”. Yet, later on in the same letter he advises “I suggest that the line to take is that the UDR is a non-sectarian force and that its members represent a wide range of political viewpoints”.
Copy of Letter:
From J. F. Howe
Civil Adviser to General Officer
Commanding HEADQUARTERS NORTHERN IRELAND
Lisburn Co Antrim
Army Network Lisburn Military
Post Office Lisburn 5111 – ext 426
Lt. Col. J. L. Pownall, OBE
Minister of Defence,
UDR – MEMBERSHIP OF UDA
Thank you for your letter of 17th July about UDR involvement in the UDA.
It is inevitable that a part of the Protestant element of a part-time Regiment in Ulster will sympathise with the aims of the UDA; and it is suspected that there are cases where this sympathy is carried to the extent of active membership. There are however no proven facts as yet on which to base an estimate of the scale of the problem. The following are the firmer reports that have been received, and they are being investigated:
In a television interview in Belfast on 15th July, a masked man wearing a beret claimed that he was a UDR officer. A UDR part-timer from a City battalion has furnished a list of nine other UDR men, including one officer, whom he says are active members of the UDA. Two series of weapons losses are thought to be almost certainly in part the work of Protestant organizations. These are the losses of 9 SLRs since the beginning of the year in 8 UDR (East Tyrone), and 12 SLSRs in the last few weeks in the Portadown area (2 UDR).
The areas where HQ UDR believe that involvement is most likely to exist are Portadown and Lurgan (2 UDR), the Bann Valley (5 UDR), Ardboe and Augnacloy (8 UDR), Carrickfergus (9 UDR), and West Belfast (10 UDR).
The UDR has to draw a line somewhere between hard-line Protestants who can safely be contained in the UDR, and those who cannot. The UDA is not an illegal organization, and membership of the UDA is not an offence under the military laws; it is also a large organization not all of whose members can be regarded as dangerous extremists. One important (but unspoken) function of the UDR is to channel into a constructive and disciplined direction Protestant energies which might otherwise become disruptive. For these reasons it is felt that it would be counter-productive to discharge a UDR member solely on the grounds that he was a member of the UDA.
Page No 2 of 2 Pages
Similarly, it is not formally laid down that were an applicant to join the UDR is found to be a member of the UDA, his application must automatically be rejected. But the screening process for UDR applicants has recently been tightened up so that due weight is given to extreme Protestant sympathies and although each application is considered on its merits a person who was known to be a member of the UDA would be most unlikely to be admitted.
Commander UDR has recently written to Battalion Commanders instructing them on the line to take with each member of the force who are found to be involved in the UDA. Officers are expected to resign if they take an active part in UDA activities, and other ranks are to be warned that such behavior is inconsistent with their position in the force. If a soldier’s involvement in the UDA constitutes a military offence, the UDR takes a hard line and dismisses the man under Regulation 0490 Serial 7. Such circumstances are:
Where a soldier has failed to meet a UDR commitment because he was taking part in UDA activities.
Where a solder wears UDR uniform while taking part in UDA activities.
Where a man carries an Army Department firearms while taking part in UDA activities
Connivance with the UDA in providing military information or in the theft of Army weapons, or encouraging other soldiers to commit such acts.
I am sure that this moderate line towards UDA supporters is the right one in view of the role of the UDA as a safety valve. In my opinion it would be politically unwise to dismiss a member of the UDA from the UDR unless he had committed a military offence; the dismissal of a member of the UDR, on lesser grounds could well lead to wide-spread morale problems particularly in certain areas.
I recognize the reasons why Ministers might wish to be able to say unequivocally, in reply to Parliamentary Questions, that membership of the UDA is not compatible with membership of the UDR and that we have no evidence that any UDR member is actively associated with the UDA. But I fear it would be wrong to offer categorical assurances on either point, and indeed it might be very damaging politically if Ministers were to make a public statement which implied that the UDA was an outlawed organization. I suggest that the line to take is that the UDR is a non-sectarian force and that its members represent a wide range of political viewpoints; but that if a member’s conduct, arising out of his membership of the UDA or any other organization, constitutes a military offence or calls his future loyalties in question, action is taken. Any reported involvements of UDR members in extremists activities is a matter of concern to the military authorities and we would be grateful for details of cases so that they may be investigated.
January 1, 2012
Gerry’s Judicial Review hearing is scheduled for January 6, 2012. The hearing will either be postponed or it will be heard in full? I will update you as soon as I receive word on the outcome.