Born in 1958, Gerry McGeough is a native of the Brantry area of South Tyrone where his family have lived for centuries. As a boy he attended the local Derrylatinee PS and later St. Patrick's Academy in Dungannon, where the late Msgr. Denis Faul taught him Latin and Religion.
with the Republican Movement is well documented. Deported from Britain in 1978,
he was active in the 1981 Bobby Sands election campaign in Fermanagh/South
Tyrone. In 1982, he found himself on the run in the United States when an FBI
warrant was issued for his arrest in relation to IRA arms
In 1988, McGeough was arrested on the Dutch/German border
and charged with a series of attacks against the British military on the
Continent. At the time, he was wanted in five countries. He spent the next four
years in German prisons. Despite a two-year trial conducted in a
specially-constructed underground bunker courtroom before a panel of five
judges, McGeough was never convicted and, in 1992, he became the first Irish
Republican prisoner to be extradited from Germany to the United
In America, he was eventually given three years
imprisonment on foot of the 1982 arrest warrant. He wrote his first book of
short stories - entitled The Ambush and Other Stories - while in jail
there. In 1996, he was deported back to Ireland. His second book, a novel
entitled Defenders, was published in 1998.
In 1999, McGeough
visited his parents' graves for the first time. They had died just three weeks
apart in the winter of 1993/4.
months of the year working on building sites, McGeough - an accomplished Irish
speaker and a promoter of Ireland's unique culture and heritage - put himself
through university, graduating from Trinity College, Dublin with an Honours
Degree in History in 2003. The following year, he attained a Higher Diploma in
Education from University College, Dublin and went on to teach
During this time, he had
been elected to the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle and was the party's National
Director during the successful No to Nice I campaign in 2001. He left Sinn Féin
later that year over concerns about the leadership's weakening of Republican
principles, and the party's increasingly pro-abortion stance.
ran for election in Fermanagh/South Tyrone on March 7, 2007, and while he
appeared to have not succeeded in winning a seat, he was arrested and interned
by Crown forces while leaving the count centre at Omagh on March 8. While an
alleged incident in 1981 was cited as the reason for the arrest, it came at a
time when McGeough's tireless campaigning posed a serious threat to the
ambitions of the political "establishment" in the Six Counties - including the
leadership of Provisional Sinn Féin, which has now absorbed itself into the
administration of British rule in Ireland.