Pictures from AOH-FFAI Tour 2013 - visit to Kinturk
February 25, 2013
113-117 Donegal Street
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Traveling through Belfast International Airport to attend Gerry McGeough’s homecoming from Maghaberry, I took for granted that the scanners used there and at other airports assured passenger safety. Imagine my shock to read that such scanners, which the British agreed to substitute for brutal strip-searches of Republican prisoners, are little better than hit and miss, 57 percent effective according to British prison staff. No wonder Mr. McGeough had to be given a farewell strip-search before it was safe to read him his license and release him.
How did everyone responsible for the safety of vast numbers of passengers get it so wrong? Surely airports should now be shut until we have scanners that give passengers the same protection needed by crown prison staff before strip-searches of Republican prisoners can be halted at Maghaberry in compliance with the August 12, 2010 agreement?
There is of course, one other interpretation. Perhaps the “tests”, measured nothing more than the intent of the prison regime to continue brutal strip-searches of Republican prisoners and win the battle of criminalisation which they lost to the Hunger Strikers in 1981.
Recently there have been public and private appeals for Republicans to cooperate around a border poll as a genuine strategy to end British rule. There are obvious dangers in any British controlled poll which begins by gerrymandering out the majority of Irish people and will likely be twisted to enshrine the unionist veto as the final resting place for Irish reunification.
These private and public invitations may be sincere, but how do we trust the British to deal in good faith on any poll which could take them out of the six counties when they cannot even be trusted to keep their word to end the type of naked brutality that Bobby Sands and Brendan Hughes fought? Many Republicans never thought that the Stormont strategy would deliver a united Ireland by 2014 or 2016, but could we at least see it deliver an end to the brutalisation of Republican prisoners and the release of those interned by license by then?
March 17, 2013
A St. Patrick's Day Message From Gerry McGeough
Allow me this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy St. Patrick's Day! This is a time when we should be thoroughly proud of our Irish heritage and I would encourage Irishmen and women and those of Irish extraction throughout the world to study the history of our Nation.
We are a noble, decent and honourable people and we must never forget this despite the vicious lies, hatred and propaganda of our enemies.
Let us rededicate our country and its ancient civilisation to our deep Christian roots. Let Ireland be a beacon of hope for freedom and true justice for all humanity throughout the ages.
May God Bless us with sincere and genuine Patriotic political leaders and may St Patrick drive the serpents of the English Establishment far from our shores and deep into the ocean.
Éirinn go Brách!
The Pensive Quill
The Slaying of John Downes
Posted on: 07 Mar 2013 01:00 PM PST
Guest writer Martin Galvin with a letter submitted to the Irish News on December 4, 2012 but which was unpublished.
While reorganising my bookcase, I came upon a pamphlet, in which I have some personal interest, titled: The Slaying of John Downes. This pamphlet includes vivid photographs of more than a score of smiling constabulary, busily clubbing, dragging or shooting plastic bullets at innocent nationalists in front of Connolly House during the Internment March of August 12, 1984. Among the memorable photographs is one of a constabulary member taking direct aim to shoot John Downes, which demolished the ricochet cover story foisted on the public by the self-righteous constabulary chief.
After reading your report about the nature of the charges against Eirigi activist Stephen Murney, I must ask whether this pamphlet has now been outlawed, together with all attempts to document present or past crown force misdeeds in film or photographs.
While most of the constabulary members pictured in the pamphlet have presumably retired, some may remain as commanders, or civilian consultant Patten rehires, training their successors in the handling of Republican suspects. Perhaps some are members of the HET. All would be uniquely qualified to insure that those who committed the unjustifiable killings of Bloody Sunday or the Ballymurphy Massacre enjoy the same brand of ‘British justice’ gifted those filmed killing John Downes or Nora McCabe.
The political motives for arresting and charging Stephen Murney are patently obvious. It will be much safer for constabulary to commit perjury about assaults, stop and threaten street searches, or home invasions if they need no longer fear film or photographs surfacing to demolish their cover stories .It will be much easier for constabulary boards and partnerships to acclaim progress if only activists and photo-journalists can be made to stop filming and documenting examples of repression.
The pamphlet was issued by the Sinn Fein Publicity Department. In those days any British moves to charge anyone like Stephen Murney, who compiled film or photographs of British repression, would have been beaten back by a major campaign. The party I supported would have mobilised against such blatant censorship and repression. It would have branded any nationalist politician, who sat still inside British assemblies swallowing such an injustice, as accomplices in British repression. Where will we find such badly needed leadership now?
March 1, 2013
"People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both" ~ Benjamin Franklin
NOW PASSING STEALTHILY: A Bill allowing judges to exclude lawyers, press, public and even litigants in their own cases from civil hearings. blacktrianglecampaign.org
This bill needs to be defeated!
Dublin Welcome Home Party for Gerry McGeough
February 9 · · Taken at MarbleArch Dublin
Dublin Speech by Gerry McGeough at his Welcome Home Party
2/13/13 Gerry McGeough Thank You
Just want to take this opportunity to thank all who turned out for the great night we had in Dublin last weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and it was wonderful to meet-up again with so many old friends, as well as get to see and talk to many more new ones.
The Druids are a magnificent group and richly deserve the accolades they've received for their music and performances. In addition to that they are also really good guys and it was an honour to meet, converse and be photographed with them.
Brian, Mick, Anto and all our friends in Dublin did a magnificent job in putting the event together at relatively short notice.
The previous weekend's Fáilte Abhaile in Tyrone is STILL being talked about and I have to thank Damien, Noreen, Barry and all who took part in the organizing for the brilliant night that was enjoyed by everyone in the huge crowd that turned-up.
Once again, the Irish Brigade excelled themselves and it's easy to see why they've remained so popular over the years. Apart from being excellent musicians they are also good personal friends and neighbours and it meant a lot to have them there.
There are so many people that need to be thanked and rest assured that the help and support of one and all during this difficult period of injustice for my family and I are deeply appreciated. May God bestow bountiful blessings upon you.
Gerry McGeough's video has been uploaded again after being removed from Youtube
Gerry McGeough Speaking at his Welcome Home Function 2013, County Tyrone (Youtube video)
On Thursday 7th February the video of Gerry McGeough speaking at his Welcome Home Function in Quinn's Corner was uploaded onto YouTube. Within two days, on Saturday 9th February, it had been removed. Many people from across the world contacted our campaign about this latest British/DUP inspired pathetic attempt at censorship. The video has been uploaded again and re-posted around our various sites.
WELCOME HOME GERRY
Helen McClafferty' speech given on Feb 1 2013 at Gerry McGeough's Welcome Home in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone
It it such a pleasure to be in Tyrone to celebrate Gerry’s freedom and to finally meet the co-chairs of the Free Gerry McGeough campaign who have done such a fantastic job in keeping Gerry’s plight in the forefront of the media and never stopped lobbying politicians in the Dail, Stormont, Westminster and the Government of Catalonia.
Congratulations to Damian Herron - Northern Chair, Brian Halpin - Dublin Chair, Luz Retuerta – Catalonia Chair and Moya St. Leger – London Chair, on a campaign well run.
A special thank you to Eamon O’Cuiv, TD Fianna Fail, who courageously took on the responsibility as the International Chairman of the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign. To Pat Ramsey, MLA SDLP, who worked hard to ensure that Gerry, as well as the other political prisoners, were treated with dignity and did what he could to help bring about a settlement to the protests in Maghaberry prison. To Emmet Doyle, Mr. Ramsey’s adviser, who always followed up in a timely fashion to address any infringements upon Gerry’s rights while in prison, especially when it came to ensuring Gerry received his heart medication on time and on a consistent basis. To Mayor Jordi San Jose Buenaventura of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, responsible for getting a motion passed unanimously by all 21 members of his party calling for the immediate release of Gerry McGeough.
To the Irish Americans who supported the Free Gerry McGeough campaign from day one: John McDonagh, Sandy Boyer and Liza Butler of WBAI Radio Free Eireann; Pamela Somers who designed the freegerry.com website and helped to keep it updated on a regular basis for almost 6 years; and Martin Galvin, whose legal advice and input was invaluable throughout the campaign.
To the AOH in America who were so generous in their support of Gerry’s family over the years. To Anthony and Carrie McIntyre of The Pensive Quill, the AOH Tyrone County Board, the National Board of Erin and to all those here and afar who campaigned relentlessly to help free Gerry and to also help bring media attention to those prisoners still unjustly incarcerated by the British Government, I say THANK YOU. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you over the years as the U.S. Chairperson of the Free Gerry McGeough campaign.
Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
Excellent turnout at Welcome Home Function for Gerry McGeough
by Helen McClafferty
Monday, February 4, 2013
A great night was had by all at the welcome home function for Gerry McGeough. The venue was packed. Several hundred people from East Tyrone, across Ireland and overseas gathered for what was a truly upbeat and energy packed night. The craic, as they say, was absolutely fantastic.
The band, The Irish Brigade, kept us all on our toes with lively rebel music and everyone appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves. I was really impressed by the turnout and especially the number of young people there.
Damian Herron, northern Chair of the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign and Chairman of the Gerry McGeough Welcome Home Function, emceed the event.
The speeches went over extremely well. I was a little nervous in delivering my speech at first, but the crowd made me feel extremely welcome. I thanked all those who worked so hard on the campaign and for the generous support we received from the AOH in the United States and other supporters across the country and afar.
We had an array of flags displayed around the room which included the Irish Tri-Color, the Stars and Stripes, the Catalan (Senyera) flag, the flag of the state of New Jersey and a Hibernian flag.
Everyone was delighted that Eamon Ó Cuív made it up to the event and delivered a rousing speech.
Martin Galvin’s oratory once again rose to the occasion and was well received by the enthusastic audience present.
Moya St. Leger’s speech was brilliant in its analysis of the injustices perpetrated on Gerry.
Jordi San Jose, Mayor of San Fileu in Catalonia, stole the hearts of the people with his praise for the courage of the Irish people.
Luz Retuerta, Maria’s sister, pointed out how they have adopted Ireland as their second country.
Una McGeough excelled herself as always and prompted Eamon Ó Cuív to say “that she was a future politician in the making”.
Gerry McGeough’s speech received a standing ovation and the crowd howled with laughter when he poked fun at his “old friend” DUP MLA Morris Morrow.
Grown men were moved to tears when Gerry touched upon the suffering of the Irish people over the centuries under English rule. At the end of Gerry’s speech he called for the English establishment “to get out of Ireland and for the country to be united and free”. He finished up by invoking the old saying “Ireland was Ireland when England was a pup”. “Ireland will be Ireland when England’s buggered up”.
At the close of the venue, spirits were high when a young lady approached me and said she was the cousin of the late hunger striker Martin Hurson. She told me she hadn’t been to such a positive venue like this in a long time and what a good time she had. She said “I wish there could be more “do’s” like this again, so positive and so upbeat”.
Welcome Home Gerry McGeough - January 29, 2013!
Looking forward to meeting you in person at the Welcome Home Function for Gerry McGeough, February 1st, 2013.
It will be wonderful to finally have the opportunity to meet most of you, who have supported the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign over the years, in person, at the ‘Welcome Home Function’ for Gerry on Friday, February 1st. Please contact Damian Herron for tickets and share this event information with others. Thank you and see you at Quinn’s on the 1st of February.
Helen McClafferty, Chair - USA).
Friday 1st February 2013 – 8:30 pm - Quinn's Corner –
Dungannon - Co. Tyrone
Guest Speakers - Music by The Irish Brigade - Raffle
Admission by Ticket or Pay at the Door - £10
Gerry McGeough is to be released on 29th January 2013. Please show your support for the McGeough family by attending this venue.
Contact Damian Herron to purchase tickets.
We have just received word that Gerry McGeough will be released on January 29, 2013. Those in the US wishing to attend his now "Welcome Home Party" being held in Tyrone, can contact me for tickets. RSVP by 1/25/13.
The Free Gerry McGeough Campaign wishes to thank everyone who gave so much of their time and support over the years to our campaign for his freedom. God willing, when Gerry walks through Maghaberry's prison gates on January 29th he does not encounter any obstacles to his freedom.
Thank you one and all.
The Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
Free Gerry McGeough Campaign Function
February 1, 2013
Gerry McGeough is expected to be released in early 2013 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. We expect a release date for Gerry to be confirmed within a matter of weeks. However, there are no guarantees that this will be the case. Whatever the outcome, on Friday February 1st 2013, the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign Function shall go ahead. The Free Gerry McGeough Campaign Function 2013 comes with the expectation that this will be our final appeal and we hope with all our hearts that Gerry will be released in 2013. If you are in a position to attend our Campaign Function, RSVP by January 25th 2013. Tickets $20.
If you wish to purchase a ticket or alternatively make a donation please see details below.
If you cannot attend - ticket donations to help Gerry’s wife and 4 children can be made as follows:
PayPal using the ‘donate’ link on our www.freegerry.com website: Donate Via Paypal
Checks or money order made out to:
Helen McClafferty Hepworth
C/O of the Gerry McGeough Family Fund
3 B River Road
Nutley, NJ 07110
Remember, if you plan to attend, please RSVP by January 25, 2013 to:
PS: For those Irish-Americans who are attending the Bloody Sunday March on January 27, 2013 in Derry, please reserve your tickets now for the Gerry McGeough Function on Friday, February 1st in Tyrone.