Gerry appeared in court two times in the month of October, only to have his case hearing postponed once again for another two weeks. At the last hearing, the prosecution said they needed more time as they had a letter for the German authorities ready from some months ago, but only just discovered that they forgot to post it until a few days ago... so now we must wait for that outcome. These are all delaying tactics that would never be tolerated anywhere else. Unfortunately, in the North, the judges pander to the RUC/prosecution and allow them their delays.
Cases like this can drag on for years, and had Gerry not gotten bail, thank God, he would have had to sit in jail for the almost endless duration. If only the north of Ireland had a political party with some backbone...
Keep you posted. God Bless.
September 20, 2007
Gerry is up again for another court hearing next Wednesday, September 26th, having last appeared just a week ago on Sept 12th in court. The RUC and the British Government has failed to prove a case against him since he was arrested back in March. However they continue their harassment of him and his family by refusing to drop these bogus charges against him. Instead, they keep remanding him to court hearings from week to week and month to month only to dismiss the hearings over and over again because the RUC fail to show and produce evidence to support the charges he was initially arrested on when he ran as an Independent candidate in South Tyrone on an anti-PSNI platform. Every time Gerry has to go to court his legal expenses keep mounting.
August 15, 2007
Gerry McGeough was in court again today. His case has now been put back until mid-September. However, in the interim, the RUC have forwarded his file to the British crown prosecution, meaning that a decision will now be taken as regards going forward to "trial" in the Diplock court. We should begin to see things move at the September hearing for good or for bad.
At that time we will know if the British intend to take Gerry to trial on 25 year old trumped-up charges. Gerry is still not allowed to travel to his place of business and his attorney fees are mounting. Please keep Gerry and his family in your prayers and any financial support is still needed and very much appreciated.
August 7, 2007
Gerry's interview in Magill
July 18, 2007
Gerry had another court appearance today. Again, the RUC did not turn up, and the hearing to either dismiss his case or go to trial has been put back to mid-August.
June 23, 2007
Audio: Radio interview with Gerry McGeough.
Gerry discusses the campaign of harassment and surveillance he's currently being subjected to, and how the Twenty-six County government is supplying information to help convict him in the Six Counties. He describes both himself and Roisin McAliskey as political targets in what he calls "a very serious situation going on here in Tyrone whereby the British forces are clearly targeting Tyrone and various people, myself included, as part of what appears to be some kind of vendetta and perhaps some means by which they think they can stifle Tyrone, being as we have a maverick reputation of being quite willing to speak our minds."
June 18, 2007
This urgent action must be brought to the attention of the Minister of Justice in Ireland:
Lawyers for Gerry
McGeough have lodged a complaint with the British authorities over what they describe as harassment and the totally unnecessary invasion of their client's privacy. This latest move stems from the on-going surveillance operation being carried out on McGeough by undercover British operatives, and was brought to light when a journalist made a phone call to McGeough's home. The journalist recognised the clicking sounds that interrupted the conversation as being indicative of a "live wire tap". In other words, British Intelligence agents were at that very moment monitoring the call.
The development is the latest in a British campaign against McGeough, which has included night-time monitoring of the family home in rural Tyrone by British military helicopters, and suspected interference with mail originating from abroad.
June 18, 2007
MINISTER FOR JUSTICE
Mr. Brian T. Lenihan
94 St. Stephen's Green
Dublin 2 Ireland
PH: +353 1 602 8202
FX +353 1 661 5461
Tell Them: DO NOT ALLOW THE GARDA TO ASSIST THE RUC/PSNI IN THE CASE OF GERRY MCGEOUGH OR ANY OTHER IRISH REPUBLICAN IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT GERRY AND OTHERS WILL BE SUBJECT TO A DIPLOCK COURT AND JUSTICE FOR THEM WILL NOT BE SERVED.
Explain that the RUC has not been able to build a case against Gerry McGeough since his arrest back in March and are now looking to the Garda to help them. Ask the Minister for Justice in Ireland to say NO to the RUC.
June 13, 2007
Gerry McGeough appeared in court today and was told that the RUC/PSNI are still waiting for the Gardaí to provide them with requested "evidence" in his case. Another hearing has been scheduled for July 18th. To date, the RUC/PSNI have not been able to build a case based on the so called trumped-up charges they originally arrested him for back in March 2007. It just goes to prove how vindictive they are toward Gerry by continuing to pursue this matter in spite of no concrete evidence to substantiate their charges. It's apparent by now that they just wish to make his life miserable by keeping him under house arrest, running up his attorney fees by having him attend unnecessary court hearings several times a month without any resolution to his case.
Please don't forget to make a donation to Gerry's family fund as he is still not allowed to come and go to work freely and his attorney fees are mounting day by day.
June 9, 2007
Audio: Gerry McGeough discusses both his case
and the case of Roisin McAliskey. Gerry, who was himself imprisoned unjustly and illegally for years in an underground bunker in Germany before the case simply collapsed, discusses what could be in store for Roisin if she were to be returned to Germany. Roisin, a resident of County Tyrone, is the mother of two young children and the daughter of former British MP and outspoken activist in Northern Ireland, Bernadette Devlin McAliskey. In a repeat performance of what happened to her 10 years ago, Roisin is once again facing extradition to Germany, where she could spend 2 1/2 years in maxium security prison without even going to trial!
May 22 2007:
Gerry's court hearing on May 16th was postponed again until sometime in June, while the RUC looks into his past during his residency in Dublin, while a student at Trinity College 4 years ago. These antics by the RUC-PSNI are pure and simple harassment and are meant to keep Gerry on a short leash. What the RUC still don't get is that there is NO SMOKING GUN here, but they refuse to admit to their trumped-up blunder. In the meantime, Gerry still cannot leave the 6 counties and must report once a week to the Remand Center.
May 21 2007:
Gerry McGeough, a prominent Republican who was a candidate in the recent Stormont Assembly elections, and who was held in Germany on Irish Republican charges from 1988-92 and acquitted, reacted to the arrest of Roisin McAliskey as follows:
" I call for the immediate release of Roisin McAliskey on the German extradition warrant on decade old accusations. Having experienced first hand the conditions and court procedures which an Irish Republican would undergo in Germany, I call for her release as a matter of justice.
During the election I feared that Republicans should not back the RUC-PSNI and that the crown was attempting to lure Republicans into a position where we, and not the British, would be held to account. It saddens me that with this arrest, as well as those of Brian Arthurs and Vincent McAnespie, that these fears are so soon being realized in Tyrone".
May 11, 2007:
Gerry McGeough and his attorney appeared in court last week with regard to the RUC-PSNI's pending case against him. However Investigator Harkness of the RUC, who was supposed to appear in court to present any further finding by the RUC to justify this outrageous arrest, did not appear. Gerry's hearing has now been postponed until May 16.
In the interim, Gerry's home, which is in a very remote farm section of Tyrone, is being constantly buzzed by British Army helicopters in the middle of the night, and army personnel are being dropped on Gerry's farmland to keep surveillance on Gerry's house. Gerry said "it's like a scene out of a SWAT movie". These actions by the Crown Forces are totally uncalled for, and leave no doubt that Gerry McGeough and his family are being harassed for his Republican views.
Reader to me: Apologize to Irish Catholics
Matt C. Abbott
Matt C. Abbott
April 19, 2007
I received an e-mail from Helen McClafferty in response to a previous column in which I apologized for not having researched the background of Gerry McGeough, whose Irish Catholic publication, The Hibernian Magazine, ran two of my articles.
April 18, 2007 Update:
The Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland, Mrs Nuala O'Loan's, office contacted me by phone on 4/17/07 to discuss my email complaint about the politically motivated arrest of Gerry McGeough. She has assigned an officer to investigate his case, which Gerry McGeough confirmed with me today has been done, and her office will get back to me in a few days.
Although her department cannot comment on the "charges" against Gerry, they will certainly investigate any "misconduct" by the RUC, especially the blatant lies they told in court about Gerry being wanted in Germany and the USA and saying he was a member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement. Gerry is not affiliated with any organization.
Letters, calls, emails, faxes to Mrs. O'Loan's office to ensure follow up of this politically motivated arrest is important. Your correspondence from the USA CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Go to the ACTION link on this page for details.
April 9, 2007
THANK YOU FROM GERRY
I want to personally thank all those who not only helped me obtain bail last week, but to those who have donated so generously to my family fund thus far. Your support and prayers mean a great deal to me and my family and I can't thank you enough. At present, I am on remand to the six counties and must report in three times a week. This restriction alone is causing me and my family financial hardship as my place of business is across the border and therefore I cannot go to my job to conduct business as usual. The charges against me have not been dropped to date and I can only hope for the best. If the crown-forces wish to pursue a case against me, then I will have to go to trial. In the mean time, Helen and Martin will keep everyone updated about my situation through this web site and, again, my family and I are more than appreciative of your continued support.
Gerry is out on bail now, but he is remanded to the 6 counties and cannot go to his place of business which is across the border. This remand is causing him financial hardships. Please continue to financially support Gerry's family through their time of need until these trumped-up charges are dropped and he is allowed to continue to work and live freely in the north of Ireland.
Go here to see how you can help.
Helen McClafferty & Martin Galvin, Esq.
Old RUC Ways
• 4 April 2007
HARKNESSING BACK TO OLD RUC WAYS
memorably remarked that in politics there are three categories of lies:
"Lies, damned lies and statistics. " Presumably, the author of this maxim
never had the opportunity to witness an RUC-PSNI member performing in a
British crown court which dispensed, or more accurately, dispensed with
justice in proceedings against an Irish Republican. Even the briefest
glimpse at the bail application of Gerry McGeough, as with tens of
thousands of other British crown court proceedings against suspected
Republicans over the past thirty years, would have revealed a whole new
category of untruth that must stand alone.
RUC-PSNI performer against Gerry McGeough was Superintendent Harkness, who
now appears to have orchestrated both the stage-managed arrest of the
Independent Republican candidate outside the election count centre on
quarter-century old charges, as well as the moves to delay and deny a bail
release on those trumped-up charges. Harkness is thought to have served
with the infamous DMSU divisional mobile support unit, in making his way
up the ranks of the RUC-PSNI. During his election campaign Gerry McGeough
had argued that it was wrong in principle for any Republican pledged to
remove British forces to back the British crown constabulary and that in
practice the renamed RUC-PSNI would continue to act as the cutting edge of
British repression. Harkness is exactly the sort the British crown will
task with selecting, training, and commanding new recruits and ensuring
that such recruits fit the mold of the old RUC. Many had argued that the
arrest had made McGeough's point more eloquently than his own words. Now
Harkness was about to supply further eloquence.
bail hearing had been adjourned because of last minute claims by the crown
prosecutors that McGeough had jumped bail in the United States and was
wanted in Germany. McGeough's solicitors had been forced to request a
postponement rather than proceed without any advance notice that such a
claim would be raised and certainly without any time to obtain court
records refuting such claims. Harkness apparently provided this
information to the crown prosecutors, who appeared to pass on anything
Harkness said without question, no matter how improbable or inaccurate
Within a day
the defense solicitors had documentary proof that the claims about America
and Germany had been blatantly untrue. David Lewis, the solicitor who
handled McGeough's case in America had supplied a formal affidavit
attesting that the Tyrone Republican had been commended by Federal Judge
Sifton for honoring his bail conditions, even being kept at liberty and
allowed to report for a 3 year sentence that would exceed anything he
faced in the six counties under Stormont Deal limits of 2 years. German
authorities also supplied formal documents notifying him that there were
no charges in that jurisdiction.
staggering. It would have taken little time or trouble in an age of
computerized watch lists for British crown constables or prosecutors to
check with their American and German counterparts and determine whether
Gerry McGeough had ever jumped bail or faced open charges in their
jurisdictions. Surely there had been sufficient time during the
investigation and planning of the arrest on these ancient charges to make
such an inquiry. Surely during the extended time when Gerry McGeough was
being interrogated at Antrim barracks, someone checked. Surely during the
days between formal charges and his High Court bail application, one of
the many constabulary members deployed to arrest and interrogate Gerry
McGeough was directed by Harkness to check with American and German
authorities. It must be presumed that Harkness and the RUC-PSNI members
under his command would have missed no chance to unearth grounds which
they hoped might have disqualified McGeough from any bail consideration.
It may well be concluded that Harkness was deliberately, blatantly and
brazenly misrepresenting facts which were quickly and categorically proven
obvious lies. The RUC may go by an alias but in a court proceeding against
an Irish Republican Harkness harkened back to the old RUC ingrained habits
setting a tone for those under his command.
McGeough's solicitors supplied the RUCI-PSNI with advance copies of the documents to
be lodged in the crown court. Harkness was only beginning. McGeough's bail
sureties had attended the first court session. Now on the eve of the
rescheduled date, the crown lodged an objection to two of the men poised
to post bail, including McGeough's election agent. The objection was that
the two men, now respected and prosperous family men, thirty years ago
served sentences in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. This was surprising. Former
political prisoners were customarily accepted as bail sureties. Some who
were imprisoned with them are under consideration for British ministries
or places on the crown Police Board. Now according to Harkness and the
crown prosecutors, the two men were not fit to forfeit money in the
unlikely event Gerry McGeough jumped bail. Substitutes had to be and were
RUC-PSNI tactic was shocking. Solicitors had supplied documents from the
local school confirming the enrollment and attendance of McGeough's three
young children. The RUC-PSNI wanted permission to visit the school,
observe McGeough's children and perhaps talk to the oldest child. These
requests were angrily refused. First Harkness seemed to be impugning the
honesty of the school officials and implying that the documents submitted
to the Court were fabricated. More importantly the arrest of their father
and visiting him in crown custody had a frightening impact on these
children of tender years. Now the same RUC-PSNI constables wanted to
question and perhaps traumatize the children in order to use their words
against their father's bail request.
also wanted the names and interviews with the substitute batch of bail
sureties. Defense solicitors, who had originally cooperated on the
assumption that the constabulary was asking in good faith, now told the
crown to take up any further matters in court.
was now prepared for a contested bail application unlike that of
McGeough's co-accused Vincent McAnespie who had been granted bail without
objection. However nothing prepared them for what was to come in scenes in
which observers later described as Harkness appearing like a ventriloquist
while prosecutors seemed to mouth whatever words he whispered.
began by solemnly alleging that Gerry McGeough was a member of the
Continuity IRA. The crowd gasped. The claim was nonsense. Republican Sinn
Fein had in fact run a candidate against Gerry McGeough. The party may
well be separate and independent of the CIRA, but it is hard for anyone
except Harkness to believe that they back competing candidates in
elections. McGeough had campaigned on a platform that he would enter
Stormont if elected to fight for a united Ireland and oppose concessions
to Paisley. The CIRA presumably like RSF candidates would subscribe to
next contended that McGeough had been responsible for killing British
troopers in Germany and might still be under investigation there or in
America. Again an audible gasp sounded in the courtroom. Documents had
been submitted to the crown and court from the United States and Germany .
Who was to be believed Harkness and the RUC-PSNI or legal authorities from
America and Germany? Had the crown no scruples about misleading the court
and should they not have done a more credible job of it?
crown claimed McGeough did not live at the address on Carrick Castle Road
and denied that his children attended the local school despite all of the
evidence including mail, phone service, church attendance and children's
school attendance. A respected community worker would be called who
attested to knowledge of McGeough's good character and authenticated his
involuntary gasp from those in court was the loudest . Harkness was asked
whether he had made any attempt to raid for evidence at McGeough's home.
With characteristic RUC-PSNI aplomb Harkness solemnly recounted that an
attempt had been made to search McGeough's home but that a crowd had
gathered and rioted to prevent the raid.
There were a few things horribly wrong with this claim beyond the fact that it was
fiction. Anyone who had ever been to McGeough's home would know that the
address is not in Dungannon town but located in an extremely remote rural
area. It was joked that it would take a week to collect a large enough
crowd to riot and prevent the RUC-PSNI from making a raid. Moreover how
could such heavy rioting blocking a raid led by Harkness have remained
secret to the press, public and all others except Harkness?
A bail hearing which was expected to take less than an hour would take the
morning session and much of the afternoon. McGeough's legal team was able
to demolish the RUC-PSNI objections point by point with documentary proof
trumping trumped-up crown claims. An exasperated crown judge wondered
aloud if the RUC-PSNI was inept in not documenting claims imagined to be
true or simply proffering claims it knew to be blatantly false.
Gerry McGeough was released but on restrictions that would prevent him from
going the few miles needed to buy petrol in Emyvale County Monaghan, much
less publishing his magazine Hibernia in Drogheda. He faces ancient
charges with evidence collected or manufactured by those under Harkness'
command. He may, if crown prosecutors decide, face a Diplock Court. The
message sent by his arrest was repeated at his bail application for those
Republicans who failed to hear it the first time.
You may aspire to a united Ireland, but those who do so outside the strait-jacket
of the British imposed structures, or who refuse to endorse the crown
constabulary, even if you do so by election campaigns and peaceful means
will be dealt with by the RUC-PSNI
next week Republicans will mark Easter, reading the Proclamation of 1916,
remembering those who sacrificed their lives to make its ideals a reality
and for some wondering when we will see an Ireland where patriots like
Gerry McGeough need never again face British repression.
Saturday March 31st
1:30pm - 3:00pm
In His Own Words: Out on bail, Gerry McGeough discusses his recent incarceration. Listen to the interview with Gerry or to the entire show: Radio Free Eireann Saturday, March 31, 2007.
Bail given to arrested candidate
Thursday, 29 March 2007
Gerry McGeough was released on bail
An assembly election candidate arrested as he left a counting centre has been released on bail in the High Court.
Gerry McGeough, 48, from Carrick Castle Road, Dungannon, is charged with attempting to murder a part-time UDR soldier in 1981.
He is also charged with possessing firearms with intent to endanger life. A co-accused was also bailed last week.
Bail was set at £500, with a surety of £2,500, and Mr McGeough was ordered to report to police three times a week.
A Crown lawyer alleged that Mr McGeough was a dissident republican opposed to the peace process and aligned to the Continuity IRA.
But a defence lawyer said he had no interest in violence to bring about change.
He said Mr McGeough had been living in the Dungannon area with his wife and family since last September, yet the police only arrested him as he emerged from the election count in Omagh in the full glare of the media.
Mr Justice McLaughlin said he was saying nothing about the timing of the arrest as he was trying to keep the court as neutral as possible.
But he said there was evidence that McGeough had been living openly in Northern Ireland and had sufficient roots to reduce the risk of absconding.
His solicitor said later that the Police Ombudsman has agreed to investigate the circumstances surrounding McGeough's arrest.
Helen McClafferty 28 March 2007
of whether you support Sinn Fein's political strategy
or you choose another path and party toward the
reunification of Ireland, the bottom line is Gerry
McGeough's politically motivated arrest and continued
harassment and incarceration by the RUC/PSNI is
a miscarriage of justice and every Irish Republican
and Nationalist should help to support and free
Gerry McGeough regardless of political affiliation.
McGeough's bail hearing on March 26th was postponed
after the crown claimed that either Germany or
America might extradite him. This claim, like
Gerry's arrest, is a sham. Gerry was released
by the Germans after serving several years in
isolation on alleged IRA activities and then he
served a sentence in the US on IRA-related charges
from a quarter century ago. Gerry McGeough's incarceration
is a continuation of internment by remand and
a blatant act of political repression against
him because of his outspoken opposition to British
rule and the renamed crown constabulary.
For those of you who may not know who Gerry McGeough
is, in short, he is from County Tyrone, is a prominent
Irish Republican and former volunteer member of
the Provisional Irish Republican Army since 1979.
He spent four years in isolation in a German prison
for alleged IRA activities abroad and 3 years
in an American prison for gun-running. He led
Sinn Fein's opposition to the referendum on the
Nice Treaty in the Republic of Ireland and he
was also a Sinn Fein national executive (ard-comhairle)
member. He is the author of two books ``The Ambush
and other Stories.'' and `Defenders', He is a
graduate of Trinity College, a teacher and editor
of the Hibernian Magazine "for faith and
country". He is married with 3 children and
was openly living in Tyrone and running for election
McGeough & Political Policing
Anthony McIntyre 28 March 2007
The ongoing detention of Gerry McGeough underscores
the existence of political policing. McGeough
an independent republican candidate was arrested
as he left an election count in Omagh two weeks
ago. There was a clear lesson in it. Arrested
for an armed attack on a member of the UDR in
1981 his detention was discriminatory. On the
same day, in other polling stations, the 1981
Provisional IRA chief of staff and its adjutant
general went unmolested by the political police
as they went about their business. One of these
men has been the source of some recent media speculation
that his finger prints were found on a car used
in an armed attack that claimed the lives of two
members of the RUC. Had he have been arrested
it would have been no less an act of political
policing. But no attempt was made to detain him
and there is a political reason for that. He supports
the force that arrested McGeough. By contrast
McGeough's public vocal opposition to the PSNI
is what landed him in the dock.
does not take a genius to work out that McGeough,
who openly admits his role as an IRA volunteer,
if guilty of the attack for which he appeared
in court, did not operate in splendid isolation.
He was part of a wider organisation whose leaders
directed his activity. That he and not they were
charged is a clear message from the British political
establishment. It is in charge and will discriminate
in its choice of target for prosecution over events
which are now meaningless. Loud and clear, republican
opponents of the PSNI are being told that their
opposition will render them potential political
hostages. Their past will be trawled through with
a combination of forensic efficiency and selective
McGeough's first court appearance his lawyer described
his arrest as an abuse of the democratic process
and a return to the dark ages of political policing.
He has tramped the streets of the north in clear
view of the political police throughout his election
campaign and appeared in the BBC studio in Belfast.
According to Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew,
McGeough lived openly in her constituency. He
could have been arrested at any time.
along with his co accused Aidan McAnespie, should
have been bailed the next day. McAnespie has since
been released but McGeough continues to be held
in Maghaberry. John Kelly who went to an aborted
bail hearing for McGeough during the week has
spoken out angrily on the affair:
is unreasonable and vindictive. In moves to block
Gerry's bail application the prosecution is hinting
that he is wanted by US and German authorities.
The facts are that Gerry McGeough was extradited
from Germany to the US and then deported from
the US to Ireland. Neither government has any
further interest in the man. It is political policing,
no more no less. The civil police force we are
supposed to have has arrested no former or serving
Special Branch officers for their involvement
in matters much more serious and more recent than
the charges faced by Gerry McGeough. The man has
a wife and children out here who are bewildered
by what is happening. He should be released immediately
and the charges dropped.
Martin Galvin 28 March 2007
first, it seemed that the snatch of Independent
Republican candidate, Gerry McGeough from the
polls on quarter-century old charges, was merely
a vindictive British constabulary getting its
own back at a man who had campaigned so fiercely
against backing them. When Ian Paisley bellowed
that Sinn Fein complaints about the arrest would
not be tolerated in his Stormont, and would if
repeated collapse any cabinet formed, it seemed
that McGeough may have been another chip demanded
of the British by the DUP. However, when the RUC-PSNI
compounded its stage-managed arrest with a blatant
subterfuge to block McGeough's release on bail,
a more sinister meaning began to emerge. Is a
clear and chilling message being communicated?
Gerry McGeough had said himself that this election
was a start not a finish of a campaign that would
continue in the next election and beyond. Were
the British moving to eliminate Gerry McGeough
from the next election? Are other prominent Republicans
who played an active part in the struggle and
who were prepared to stand and speak against the
RUC-PSNI being told to keep their heads down?
Are Republicans being told that you may still
aspire to a united Ireland but only within the
constraints of accepting the unionist veto and
British administration? Gerry McGeough had argued
that the renamed RUC-PSNI was the same force which
had inflicted so much suffering and repression
in the name of the crown and should never be trusted
much less endorsed by any Republican or nationalist.
No words of his however could have proven McGeough's
point as eloquently as the deeds of the RUC-PSNI
in arresting and holding him.
The background of this case is well known. Gerry
McGeough has lived quite openly in the Eglish
area near Dungannon in County Tyrone. He resided
with his wife Maria. Their three young children
are enrolled in the local school . He worshipped
at the same parish church where his parents and
grandparents are buried. As a popular member of
the community and prominent Republican, his presence
in the area and movements would have been no secret.
If the RUC-PSNI had any actual evidence or charges
to make against Gerry McGeough, they would have
long ago done so. There would have been no difficulty
in locating him. It would have taken little more
than checking with the post office that sorted
his mail or the telephone service that provided
the landline to his home.
When the British and DUP required that Sinn Fein
must endorse and fully cooperate with the RUC-PSNI
in order to gain admission to Stormont, Gerry
McGeough was one of many concerned Republicans
who disagreed. They organized meetings, debated,
and argued that Republicans should say no backing
for a renamed RUC-PSNI, which had brought so much
suffering and death across the six counties as
the cutting edge of British rule. He contended
that it was wrong in principle for those who pledged
to remove British forces and end British rule
to now endorse crown forces and row in behind
British rule. Moreover, it was wrong pragmatically
to become hostage to the whims of a constabulary
who might go softly at the moment, but having
banked the political cover of a ballot box endorsement
might and likely would return to repression. He
was cheered in Derry at the Tower Hotel, brought
the debate to a Sinn Fein meeting in Tyrone and
presented his analysis cogently to newspapers,
television and radio.
the analysis of concerned Republicans went unheard
or unheeded, the idea of standing candidates opposed
to the RUC-PSNI began to emerge. Gerry McGeough
was asked to go forward as a way for others to
say no at the ballot box. He was an obvious choice.
Gerry McGeough had impeccable Republican credentials.
He had been a leader in the 1981 Hunger Strike
campaign, played an active part in the struggle,
spent years in the notorious German bunker prison,
more years in American prisons for Irish Republican
Army actions before returning to Ireland and being
elected to the Sinn Fein Ard Comhairle. He was
one of those who sadly and with deep regret felt
obliged by the patriotic beliefs which moved him
to join the Republican Movement, to leave Sinn
Fein. Those who wished to misrepresent the man
or demonize him as a way to undermine his candidacy
might belittle his deep religious beliefs, or
even claim he was splitting the vote, but there
was no credible way to disguise the fact that
Gerry McGeough had paid his Republican dues and
earned the right to be heard and taken seriously.
nomination papers would have included his address
but still there were no RUC-PSNI charges or attempt
to arrest him. He carried his analysis of no backing
for the RUC-PSNI, no more concessions to Paisley
and demanding a united Ireland by peaceful means
to towns and doorsteps across Fermanagh and South
Tyrone. He frequently began his conversation with
voters by politely introducing himself and then
saying "Vote against the RUC". He challenged
all comers in BBC debates and recounted that his
most telling moments were not the questions about
whether Sinn Fein members should inform against
Republicans opposed to the RUC-PSNI and the chasm
between the polar opposite demands of the DUP
and Republican base. Gerry McGeough instead cited
the near foaming at the mouth reaction of the
DUP members at his calls for a re-united Ireland,
which they shouted at him, was a dead issue under
the Stormont Deal.
Here was a man who attended BBC studio debates,
handed out flyers with his name and photo, and
introduced himself to voter after voter at times
under posters bearing his name. Still the RUC-PSNI
made no move and had no charges to press against
He also said privately that this campaign was
not about March 7th. There was no way to overtake
in 10 weeks the 20 year head start that Sinn Fein
had, particularly with a shoestring budget in
a divided constituency. This campaign was a beginning
towards the future. A number of Sinn Fein party
election workers, activists, and even councilors
had joined him. It would take time but the arguments
had been made and considered if not yet accepted.
If Sinn Fein now espoused working within the British
administration and adopting the politics once
held by the SDLP, could concerned Republicans
take the Republican ground left behind?
As the votes were being counted Gerry McGeough
along with his election agent and campaign workers
waited at the count centre. He had left some necessary
documents in his car and went to retrieve them.
He told his companions to watch the vote count
that he would be right back. The minutes turned
into hours. Gerry McGeough had disappeared. More
time would pass. Then a phone call would be made
to his election agent. Gerry McGeough had been
surrounded by the RUC-PSNI as he went to his car
and held on a 1981 charge, the year that McGeough
had played a key role in the Hunger Strike campaign.
Another man Vincent McAnespie, whose wife is a
Sinn Fein councilor in Monaghan and supports Sinn
Fein, was also charged. The alleged victim was
a UDR man now a DUP candidate.
No one could recall an incident even at the height
of British repression where the RUC-PSNI had arrested
a candidate at the polls . Many Republicans believed
that the term " political policing"
was a misnomer and that the role of enforcing
British rule and law upon unwilling Irish subjects
was inherently political but not policing. However
when the RUC-PSNI can snatch candidates at the
polls who advocate a political vote against the
crown constabulary, on quarter century old charges
that term does seem to take meaning.
Gerry Adams and Michelle Gildernew protested the
arrests. Ian Paisley bellowed in reply that any
criticism of the RUC-PSNI arrests would not be
tolerated in his Stormont and he would collapse
any cabinet for failing to give what he demanded
as acceptable full cooperation with the RUC-PSNI.
would be a week before Gerry McGeough would appear
in court in Enniskillen, ironically a town where
McGeough had been campaigning in the town centre
only days before. His solicitor was Peter Corrigan,
who fights cases with a spirit and dedication
reminiscent of Pat Finucane. A large number of
concerned Republicans protested outside and filled
the court despite RUC-PSNI efforts to intimidate
The crown was caught in a clear contradiction
. They were at pains to deny the obvious. Clearly
they were aware that Gerry McGeough lived in Tyrone
and done so for a long time. Why had they waited
until the votes were cast if not counted? Were
they concerned about taking an action which might
increase his vote by proving his point? Were they
afraid of the old slogan 'Put him in to get him
out" in a constituency which had elected
Bobby Sands MP? Was there never a case or charges
that even a Diplock Court would entertain?
Peter Corrigan called the charges an abuse of
the electoral process . The last piece of evidence
collected by the crown was obtained in 1994, thirteen
years earlier. Corrigan said that McGeough had
never been arrested because" there was no
case in 1981, no case in 1994 and no case today.
" It also emerged that while held Gerry McGeough
was forcibly stripped by the riot squad and video-taped
while naked. Was this really to photograph possible
wounds that could have occurred at any time or
was it an attempt to humiliate a candidate who
had humiliated the RUC-PSNI by identifying them
with their past misdeeds?
Another week would pass before Gerry McGeough
would be scheduled for a bail application. His
co-accused had been granted bail two days earlier.
His wife and supporters hoped that McGeough too
would be released on the first step towards whatever
passes for justice in a Diplock Court for an Irish
Minutes before the bail hearing began, the crown
informed his solicitors that McGeough had jumped
bail in the United States and was wanted in Germany.
Without notice or advance knowledge, his solicitors
were forced to adjourn the application rather
than risk a denial of bail because of American
or German proceedings about which there was no
These claims were blatant lies. In Germany the
case against Gerry McGeough had collapsed twenty
years earlier. He had in fact been extradited
to America after years of trial and imprisonment
because there was no evidence to convict him.
He was sent documents formally acknowledging that
there were no further proceedings against him.
In America McGeough was charged as part of a conspiracy
to obtain weapons for the IRA. He was not in the
United States at the time that the charges were
unsealed and the first arrests were made.
In that case something remarkable had occurred
. Federal Judge Charles Sifton had initially seemed
openly hostile to accused Gabriel Megahey, Eamon
Meehan, Andy Duggan and Colm Meehan. During the
trial a transformation took place . Perhaps it
occurred when the judge read confidential British
documents about the backgrounds of the four. Others
suggest it occurred when the judge heard testimony
about two of the men being tortured in Long Kesh.
Judge Sifton publicly noted on the record that
the accused were honorable men who were motivated
by unselfish concern for Ireland. After they were
found guilty, the judge called Mr Megahey up to
the front and said if he gave his word on behalf
of all the accused to honor all bail conditions,
he would allow the four to remain free pending
sentence , but if anyone of them broke bail it
would mean no release for any future IRA suspects.
When Gerry McGeough was sent from Germany, Sifton
noted the honorable conduct of those tried earlier
and said that he would grant bail on the same
basis. Gerry McGeough honored his bail conditions
in every respect. When he agreed to plead guilty,
he was promised a three year sentence. Sifton
allowed him to remain at liberty until directed
to report for sentence. McGeough complied He presumably
can only face a two year sentence on these charges
under the Stormont Deal. How can the crown argue
that a man who would not flee a 3 year sentence
in America would flee Ireland rather than face
a 2 year sentence?
McGeough's solicitors in America and Germany have
been contacted to supply affidavits confirming
that the crown's claims were blatantly untrue.
Hopefully McGeough will have been rescheduled
for a bail hearing and granted release by the
time you read these words.
Meanwhile those who said that the PSNI is not
the RUC or is not the inherently irreformable
cutting edge of British rule saw their claims
disappear along with Gerry McGeough outside the
vote count in Tyrone on March 8th.
March 26 2007
Catalan friends support Gerry
The information on this web site has been published in Catalonia and in Catalan language: http://www.racocatala.cat/articles/13764
God bless you, Gerry.
March 24 2007
Listen or Download: Radio Free Eireann (WBAI 99.5 FM) Saturday, March 24th
John McDonagh and Sandy Boyer speak with
election agent Joe McNulty in Ireland and attorney Martin Galvin for the latest updates on
You can also podcast the show from here (scroll down to Radio Free Eireann, Saturday, March 24).
March 16 2007
Listen or Download:
John McDonagh on WBAI's Wakeup Call
John speaks with Gerry McGeough's election agent Joe McNulty, who describes what happened on the day Gerry was arrested by the RUC, and the outrageous treatment Gerry has been subjected to in prison. Joe says: "People are calling it a political kidnapping."
Published: Thu, Mar 15,
Pair face charges of
attempted murder in 1981 ambush
|Gerry McGeough leaving
Enniskillen Courthouse on Monday.
THE arrest of an election
candidate for the Fermanagh/South Tyrone for an
attempted murder in 1981 has been described as 'an abuse
of the electoral process'. The claim was made by defence
solicitor, Peter Corrigan in reference to his client
Terence (Gerry) Gerard McGeough.
Belfast Telegraph -
New hopes for power-sharing
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
DUP leader Ian Paisley dropped hints about the drive for a return
to Stormont yesterday - saying he can "afford now to go a bit
further" because the voters have backed him.
Mr Paisley indicated that his party's increased vote has
strengthened him against internal critics - and he signalled
"progress" in talks about entering an Executive by the Government's
March 26 deadline.
But he repeated that ultimately a settlement will "rest with the
IRA delivering", a reference to his party's requirement for a
greater commitment on policing from republicans.
And he signalled that a power-sharing administration would have
collapsed this week over Sinn Fein's comments about the arrest and
attempted murder charge against dissident republican Gerry McGeough.
Belfast Telegraph -
Arrest of pair on polling day was an abuse of the electoral process, counsel tells hearing
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
An Assembly election candidate has appeared in court charged with attempting to murder a man more than 25 years ago.
Supporters of Gerry McGeough lined the streets outside Enniskillen Magistrates' Court as charges of attempted murder were put to the republican election candidate.
McGeough (48) of Carrycastle Road, Gortmerron, Dungannon, and Vincent McAnespie (44) of Aghabo Close, Aughnacloy, were both charged with the attempted murder of Samuel John Brush, a part-time UDR soldier, on June 13, 1981.
The pair were also charged with conspiring with others to murder Mr Brush, as well as possession of guns and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Supporters of the two men staged a protest outside the courthouse this morning, carrying a banner reading: "Ex POWs and concerned Republicans against RUC/PSNI".
McGeough was arrested last week at the election count in Omagh after he stood as an independent candidate for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
A detective inspector told the court that McAnespie had replied not guilty when cautioned, while McGeough had replied "no comment" to the charges.
He said he had become involved in the investigation in mid-February and had become aware that McGeough had entered the jurisdiction and would be available at the count on March 8.
Counsel for both men said they had already been living in this jurisdiction for some years and had been making a considerable contribution to the local community.
Counsel for McGeough said he would be filing an abuse of process application.
"Our case is that this is very much an assault on the electoral process, " he said.
Cross-examining the detective inspector, the solicitor asked for the dates of their statement of evidence implicating McGeough, but the inspector refused to answer, saying there were two boxes full of statements.
The pair were remanded in custody to appear at Dungannon Magistrates' Court on April 4 but are able to apply for High Court bail.
March 3 2007
Listen or Download:
Radio Free Éireann Interview
John McDonagh speaks about the upcoming elections in Northern Ireland with Gerry McGeough and Martin Galvin in Tyrone.
The Impartial Observer -
Attempted murder charge a 'throwback to dark days'
A 48-year-old man who stood as an independent republican candidate in Fermanagh and South Tyrone at last week’s Assembly election was remanded in custody when he appeared at Fermanagh Court on Monday charged with the attempted murder of a part-time member of the UDR 26 years ago.
Gerry McGeough, from Carrycastle Road, Gortmerron, Dungannon, was arrested last Thursday as he left Omagh Leisure Centre, where votes were being counted.
His solicitor, Mr. Peter Corrigan, described it as “an assault on the electoral process.” Speaking during the short court hearing the solicitor said it was a “political prosecution” and should be stopped.
McGeough, editor of “The Hibernian” magazine, and a co-accused, Vincent McAnespie, a 44-year-old builder from Aughnacloy Close, Aughnacloy, are accused of attempting to murder Samuel John Brush on June 13, 1981. They are also charged with conspiring with others to murder the part-time UDR soldier and possession of two revolvers with intent to endanger life.
A detective chief inspector told the court that when charged McGeough replied: “No comment.”
There was tight security inside the court with a line of police officers standing between the men in the dock and their family and friends in the public gallery. Outside a number of people staged a protest against the detention of the two defendants.
When asked by the clerk of the court if he understood the charges McGeough replied: “Oh indeed I do.”
The detective chief inspector said he believed he could connect McGeough with the charges.
Mr. Corrigan asked him when he first became involved in the case.
The officer said it was in mid-February this year. He said the case had been investigated previously and reviewed.
Mr. Corrigan put it to him that the last statement implicating Mr. McGeough was made in 1994. He suggested that the detective chief inspector knew there was no new evidence since 1994 and no case against McGeough.
The officer said McGeough had kept himself outside the jurisdiction until quite recently.
Mr. Corrigan asked him when he became aware that McGeough was in Ireland.
The officer said he was not going to answer that question but said he was aware McGeough was in Omagh on March 8, and arrested him there. He said that in 1995 the Public Prosecution Service issued a direction that McGeough should be arrested and interviewed.
Mr. Corrigan said McGeough was arrested on the day of the election count in Omagh.
“The defence would submit this was clearly an assault on the electoral process,” he stated.
He said McGeough was arrested at the count despite the fact that he had been living north and south of the Border for the past 10 years, was very prominent in the community and had appeared on television.
Earlier the detective chief inspector gave evidence that when McAnespie was charged with the three offences he replied: “Not guilty.”
The officer said he believed he could connect McAnespie, whose wife is a Sinn Fein councillor in Monaghan, with the charges.
Mr. Pat Fahy, for McAnespie, said he had been living openly in the north of Ireland for the past four years, making a very valuable contribution to the community.
Mr. Fahy said there would be “very serious questions” about the way statements of evidence were taken from two witnesses.
“It seems to be a throw back to very dark days,” stated Mr. Fahy.
He said McAnespie has been “instrumental in pushing forward the whole peace process” and now finds himself in this position.
“We are seriously questioning the motivation of the police and the authorities,” stated Mr. Fahy.
Mr. Liam McNally, R.M., told him that would be a issue for the trial.
He remanded McGeough and McAnespie in custody to appear at Dungannon Court on April 4.
Gunrunner in poll threat to Sinn Fein
· An ex-IRA activist is ready to stand against
· Adams policy in a protest over policing pledges
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday January 7, 2007
A former IRA gunrunner has been approached to stand against Sinn Fein in the next Assembly elections.
Gerry McGeough, who served three years in a United States prison for conspiracy to purchase and export SAM missiles, told The Observer he was 'giving very serious consideration' to stepping forward as a candidate in the Fermanagh/South Tyrone constituency.
The former IRA activist's intervention is yet another headache for Gerry Adams and the Sinn Fein leadership. The party has been hit by a series of resignations over Adams's move to get the republican movement to support the police in Northern Ireland.
McGeough said that, while he has not fully made up his mind, he has received messages of support and encouragement from both inside and outside the republican movement to stand.
'I have never run away from my patriotic duty,' he said. 'I have never refused to do what I thought was right for my country. There is intense disillusionment both inside Sinn Fein and outside in the wider republican community. I am picking this up all over the north of Ireland and it's all to do with the policing issue.'
McGeough claimed that traditional republican loyalty to the leadership throughout the peace process 'had been the draught that sent republicans to sleep'.
He added: 'Policing and the idea that republicans should embrace a British police force has finally woken many up from their stupor. There is some free thinking at last emerging.'
Under the deal hammered out at St Andrews last October, Sinn Fein can only enter a power-sharing executive with Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists when the republican party swears an oath of allegiance to the PSNI and the judicial system.
'The present battle over policing is a struggle for the heart and soul of republicanism,' said McGeough.'
Sinn Fein has dismissed republican dissenters as being unrepresentative. McGeough, however, is unconcerned about pulling in few votes if, as seems likely, he stands for election.
'This is a principled stand and it would be a greater shame if no one stood up finally and took on this leadership at the polls than the so-called shame of polling badly.'
The ex-IRA man, who was first arrested back in 1977 by SAS soldiers while on South Armagh Provo boss Thomas 'Slab' Murphy's farm, said the feedback from grassroots republicans was 'very encouraging'.
'I was in west Belfast on Wednesday last week speaking to people who were loyal for so long to the leadership. These people were the backbone of the movement through thick and thin. Even they are saying they don't trust the leadership any more, which in republican terms is like a Catholic saying that they don't believe in God.'
Asked why he took so long to speak out against the present Sinn Fein strategy, McGeough said: 'Being honest I had my epiphany while in the United States in prison. I was just reticent then to talk about my concerns, out of blind loyalty to the leadership. I suppose I believed as late as 2001 there was hope, a forlorn hope in the end, that I and others like me could influence things and change the movement's direction.'
Despite being outside Sinn Fein, he is senior figure in northern republicanism. A member of the IRA's feared East Tyrone Brigade, McGeough was a personal friend of Jim Lynagh, the IRA leader shot dead, along with seven other Provisionals, in the SAS Loughgall ambush twenty years ago.