Update on Gerry McGeough

The following is an update on the case/trial of Gerry McGeough by Helen McClafferty

21 June 2010
Following a 3 year delay in bringing Gerry’s case to trial, and a number of hearings at the High Court in Belfast, Gerry's trial began on March 8, 2010 only to have been adjourned indefinitely. There has still been no movement in Gerry's case and he has received no indication as to when he is next due back in court, if at all?

Now that the Saville Inquiry report on the 1972 Derry Bloody Sunday massacre is due to be released, there is speculation that the British intend to use the time factor to avoid court proceedings.

At the end of this month the Diplock court system effectively shuts down for the summer, which means that it could be September before this case based on 35-year-old charges will be up for consideration again.

This comes as lawyers for the families of some of the thirteen civilians killed on the day are demanding that soldiers involved in the killings face prosecution. In such a scenario it's expected that the British government will argue that 1972 is a long time ago and that to bring charges would involve a serious abuse of process.

There were no such considerations involved in Britain's pursuit of Gerry McGeough who faces charges of IRA membership in 1975, also a long time ago, and was dragged before a Diplock court this very year on this and other Troubles related charges.

Now that the Westminster elections are over, Gerry McGeough has said that “he is relieved that none of the Six-County nationalist/republican candidates were arrested at any of the count centers following the poll”.

Given the volcano of information pertaining to secret deals and backroom arrangements that is now beginning to emerge because of the trial, both Sinn Fein and the British government were eager to have the matter kept quiet during the campaign for election.

This de facto censorship has been the hallmark of the entire proceedings against Gerry McGeough since his arrest as a political candidate outside a court center in 2007 on charges dating back 35 years. Were the material that has now become available been made public prior to the election, Sinn Fein would have found itself struggling for votes in several areas. This collusion at the highest levels once again underscores the totally political nature of the proceedings against Gerry McGeough.

Gerry was due to appear back in court in Belfast on May 14th after a month long adjournment. However, just moments before he left home for the 50 mile drive, he received a phone call to say that the court officers had made a "mistake" and overbooked the day's schedule. Although, Gerry's appearance was arranged a month prior, this "mistake" meant that there was yet another delay in the proceedings of this more than three year long saga. Observers believe that one of the goals of the British-Unionist-Sinn Féin axis in this case is to keep Gerry McGeough tied down in this "legal" quagmire for as long as possible in order to keep him politically inactive.

In the meantime Gerry must live his life in a legal limbo. His passport remains confiscated, he cannot travel to the neighboring county of Monaghan, just a few miles from his home, without permission from the RUC/PSNI and he cannot resume his teaching career and livelihood while these "Troubles" related charges from decades ago continue to hang over him.

No other legal system in the Western world would tolerate this nonsense for a moment, and anywhere else this charade would have been thrown out of court years ago. This, however, is the North of Ireland where British "justice", or what passes for justice, prevails and under the Diplock system anything goes.

However, Sinn Féin, the party that could bring an end to this nightmare in a matter of days still refuses to speak out in protest. Why is this party, with all its power, wealth and privilege, so reluctant to speak out against the gross injustices being perpetrated against a fellow republican?

Where exactly is the much vaunted new era equality in this case? Once again, infamous British justice rears its ugly head.


  1. Helen I,ve said all along that I believed that Gerry would walk and I still believe that, I think Gerry is a hostage in a political game of historical military actions, I really dont believe there is any chance of his case going the full distance, nor do I believe any brit will stand trail for Bloody Sunday or Ballymurphy or New lodge, one thing which made me wince was your referal to psf as fellow republicans, not the way I see them hon, anyway good luck and keep the chin up youse uns will be in Monaghan before the years out, I,ll get the bearded one to plant a tree for ya all .

  2. Helen, if it was not for this blog, people would not have a clue about what is happening to Gerry.

    It must be so frustrating to watch the farce unfolding and know that no-one cares.

    Last month Alex Maskey threatened to withdraw support from 'nationalist' areas because a civil servant who just happens to be the brother of a millionaire shinner got tossed out of the policing board.

    All of this is not only sickening it beggars belief.
    They really are a shower of shit.

  3. 'Once again infamous British justice rears its ugly head'

    Only this time Helen, it is being aided and abetted by former republicans.

    Why has there been no investigation into the accusations against Adams?
    Probably the same reason his brother could constantly pass police vetting proceedures and other decent ex-prisoners are still held to account.

    Gerry McGeough made the fatal mistake of speaking out against them.

    I suppose when you have sold everything else, selling your soul should'nt be a bother.

  4. Marty,
    You're right. I should never have refered to psf as "fellow republicans". That was a long time ago, before the GFA.

  5. Fionnuala,

    Correct. It is frustrating, but more than that...it makes me very angry knowing the Brits and Sinn Fein are toying with Gerry's life to the point where he can't even financially support his wife and 4 children. They are victims too in this whole farce of a trial.

    Every republican who served in the IRA during the troubles paid a very high price to do so. Whether it was time spent in prison, lifetime physical, mental and emotional injuries, or loss of life. Men and women like Gerry, who served unselfishly under the SF leadership, never had the opportunity to live a normal existence and now, since the signing of the GFA, those republicans who refused to sell out are still paying the price for their political views. The only difference between then and now is the Brits have Sinn Fein on board with them to insure “those republicans”, they can’t buy off or threaten away, are kept firmly under their boot!

    Personally, that’s what I think Gerry’s case/trial is really all about. Silencing him at the expense of his family and what was once known as the integrity of the republican movement.

    You're right Fionnuala, PSF was willing to sell their souls and their integrity in order that the British government would finally accept them as now being politically respectable regardless of the long term damage it has done to Articles 2 & 3 and the republican movement. Turns my stomach.

  6. Marty,

    From your lips to God's ears that Gerry will walk free soon. The damages the Brtis and psf have caused him and his family to date can never be rectified. I can only hope that if Gerry does not walk, his attorney's subpoena Adams and McGuiness as they should have a lot to explain as well. BTW, can I pick the type of tree "the bearded one" plants for us? It wouldn't be an olive tree! LOL!

  7. Helen more like a monkey puzzel knowing that nut ,hon I know that there has been damage done by this ordeal that Gerry is going through, you wouldnt be be human if it there wasnt, thats part of the plan to break you and I mean here Gerry and those around him mentaly, but the human spirit is a marvel hon and believe me that old saying is true ,its not those who can inflict the most but those who can endure the most who will conquer Terence Mac Swiney, you will have your day in the sun and the taste will be all the sweeter for it ,I,m a believer hon,

  8. Helen,

    without you highlighting this it might never see the light of day

  9. Helen, Gerry is lucky that he has people like yourself.

    If it was not for you and Mackers' blog, who would know what was happening with Gerry's case.

    A very sad and difficult scenario for all of those concerned.

  10. Nuala yip a sad case for sure ,the doctors said that even a lobotomy wouldnt be able to help uncover the truth ,its a hopeless case,the mans completly lost the plot,ooops sorry hon which Gerry are we talking about here!!!!

  11. Marty, I think his problem is, he is hoping no-one finds the plots!

    Anyway, if all hope fails, Holly Wood awaits him.

    He is playing the millionaire in Oceans 14.

  12. Gerry told me a few weeks ago that the prosecution stated at his last court appearance that they 'hoped to him in gaol for christmas'.

    This petty vindictiveness typifies the state's behaviour towards Gerry. They continually attempt to maintain as much emotional strain as possible on Gerry and his young family; his four children range in ages from 9 to 1 1/2 and the stress has affected his health.

    This time last year Gerry had an almost fatal heart attack which required surgery and he was told that it was entirely stress related as he neither smokes nor drinks and has normal cholesterol levels.

    How ironic it is that the British state continues to persecute Gerry McGeough yet attempted to shelter Derek Wilford by falsely claiming. through the BBC and ITV that he was dead when the Saville report was published.

  13. Gav what do you expect from a pig but a grunt, or as we used to say about the big brit motorbikes all noise and no preformance. I,ve said to Helen that Gerry will walk and after reading your report I,d put money on it now,