Parliamentary Silence

Tonight The Pensive Quill carries a piece by guest writer Helen McClafferty detailing the concerns of supporters of Gerry McGeough about the reticence of Michelle Gildernew to add her voice to calls for a halt to his political show trial.

The Pressure Group "Justice for the McGeough Family" have issued a statement
congratulating Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew on the recent High Court ruling
confirming her position as the Member of Parliament for Fermanagh/South Tyrone.

Ms. Gildernew secured the constituency by one vote, which prompted the Unionist opposition candidate to bring legal action, citing alleged electoral malpractice during the poll last May.

Now that she is the official MP for the area, the Pressure Group have asked that
she break her more than three-and-a-half year silence on the nightmare that the
McGeough family have been put through by the British authorities ever since
Gerry's arrest following the 2007 Assembly Elections in which he stood as a

Not only is Ms Gildernew the local political representative, but she is also a
neighbor of the McGeough family living just a few fields away in the next
townland and their children attend the same school together.

The Pressure Group have described Ms. Gildernew's inability to speak out on
behalf of a fellow republican as "weird and inappropriate".

They add that there is no political rationale to her silence given that her
fellow Sinn Féin MP, Pat Doherty, who represents West Tyrone, has made a point of recently visiting Gerry at his home in South-East Tyrone in order to discuss the case and listen to the family's concerns. Mr. Doherty was warmly welcomed by the McGeough family and his visit has been applauded by people in the Brantry/Eglish area, who appreciate his decency in this matter.

Members of Sinn Féin have also travelled from as far away as Dublin to express
solidarity with Gerry and the Pressure Group are now asking why Michelle
Gildernew cannot make the two minute journey to the McGeough household in order to do likewise.


  1. Helen,

    Allegiances, allegiances, allegiances!!!

    Who would have thought that just a mere 15 years+ into the promised new 'Norn Irony' post GFA that you would feel compelled to write such an article or I this comment.

    What you have discussed in your blog post is in complete contrast to the camaraderie that was so prevalent in such rural Irish Republican strongholds during the 'Struggle’ for Irish Freedom pre GFA.

    One can only surmise the reasons for Michelle's refusal to visit the McGeough family. But leaving personal reasons aside, surely as an act of solidarity to a fellow 'IRISH REPUBLICAN' should be reason enough, especially since her PSF colleagues have made an effort to do so. So much for the days of 'we're on the one road, the road to God knows where'. Ironically, it’s the latter part of this famous Wolfe tone song lyric which is causing much consternation among the grass roots today.

    Allot of neutral observers must be baffled why Ms Gildernew has remained on the sidelines given the poignancy in PSF’s meteoric political rise of her parliamentary seat-let alone the fact she has just retained it by just one solitary vote!!

    Furthermore, any of her constituents who would hold the same attitudes as Gerry McGeough regarding the current PSF strategy, yet still voted for her must surely be bemused upon reading your blog post.

    At the time of the election, many disillusioned PSF voters felt compelled to re-elect her given the unique 'sectarian head count' nature of the election. The 'them and us' mentality was alive and kicking in F/ST i.e. to vote for Michelle Gildernew was purely a matter of retaining the seat Bobby Sands gave his ultimate sacrifice for- ideological differences among Irish Republican voters were put to one side!!

    Is eaten bread that soon forgotten??

    Surely, we have not got to the stage where personal differences is clouding what the common vision which ALL Irish Republicans should be focused on - securing a United Ireland??

    Or, are we at the stage where PSF expect us ALL too mutedly and obediently sit back and accept the Two State solution???? The very thing that the Struggle was supposed to abolish!!

    Ironically, the only rational thing that we deduce is that the 'Divide and Conquer' philosophy is still serving the British State as well today as it did prior to the Irish Civil War...

  2. A chara,

    There are many people who not only voted for Ms.Gildernew in the interests of unity but campaigned long and hard. I can tell you categorically that now ceases with this disgraceful British led treatment by Gildernew. It will cost them a hell of a lot more votes than they think.

    This vendetta against Gerry whom I politically do not entirely agree with, is based on the fact, that he can articulate the traditional republican point of view, far better than the pwned British carreerists can.

    The fact is, that McGuinness and Adams are scared of people like Gerry, because he speaks a truth that exposes their non-republican agenda.The fear of being revealed is strong with these mercenaries, collecting the Queen's shilling to push their two scum state solution at the expense of the people of no property in Ireland and their chldren.

    beir bua

    brian o'cleirigh

  3. I spent the day replastering the wall,yip it was damaged when this puter hit it,the f##ker ate my reply,but hey ho they sure build these puters well,might chuck a few at Robert some time just for the hell of it,any way the gist of what I said was ask Nuala or anyother rep who stands outside the psf box and you,ll find that "you dont exist stare",yip the odd party member has manners and will chat but dont expect any help from the ex-prisioners welfare,but to tell you the truth Helen if Gildernew or any of the party faithfull come calling to my door I,ll tell them to F##K OF,unless of course its our Mickeyboy then I,d show the kids the reason why education is important!

  4. Its bound to be difficult for
    MICHELLE GILDERNEW to go to mcgeough's home- this is the man who held a single protest against her at their local chapel during the last election
    but when MICHELLE got the peoples vote she should visit the single protester- makes no sense to me,

    marty- have a nice cup of tea ready
    if i call at election time,

    after next years election here there will be no more for three years [ except by- elections ]
    that will take us to 2014- close.

  5. Rebels Yell!

    Personally I wouldn't have asked Michelle Gildernew the time of day if she had treated me in the manner in which she treated Gerry over the past 3 1/2 years.

    The Pressure Group "Justice for the McGeough Family" are comprised of young men and women who live in the Tyrone and Fermanagh area who wanted to take her to task for her blatant disgregard of Gerry McGeough's plight.

    I believe the method to their madness was first to shower her with accolades and then move in for the hit. Once she was told that Pat Doherty had visited McGeough, along with some other SF members from the south...she was caught off guard and made to look like the small person she is. After all she is the local politician and one of McGeough's neighbors; yet she stood by for 3 ½ years and did nothing to help them.

    It just so happens that today,on November 9th, in what was to have been the last day of the trial, Ms.
    Gildernew issued a statement “ calling for the proceedings to be halted”. I guess the pressure group got to her. After all they were made up of her constituents. However, I see absolutely no merit in them having done so. In my personal opinion, Ms. Gildernew’s stratement today - along with Caoimhghin O’ Caolain statement on November 4th, was just too little and too late.

  6. Mickeyboy "that will take us to 2014 close"I take it you mean close to 2016 when the bearded one has promised us a united Ireland,Question Mickeyboy, What will you and the other psf supporters do when that doesnt happen,?Answer accept the bearded ones excuse that it is securicrats fault,

  7. i'll be ok-

    would you care marty, what would you do in a united IRELAND
    complain that SINN FEIN and the others should have done it another way

    not long untill the bold EMMET'S
    epitaph will be written.

  8. I dont think you,ll be reading Robert Emmets epitaph or indeed see a united Ireland Mickeyboy,and why would your leaders want one when they have all they want and more here big houses ,power, and a subsidised restaurant up in Stormont to the tune of over £500,000,no wonder Gildernew cant visit her neighbour,she,s probably to busy with her snout stuck in the trough,

  9. michaelhenry, God help anyone stuck in a united Ireland with the shinners.
    Althought considering they have now bought up half the country we may have no choice.
    By the way can you post up a copy of the oath, they are currently refusing to swear.

  10. Michael
    A brief excerpt from Robert Emmet’s speech from his trial or show-trail little has changed regarding the British judicial system in our country.

    “I am charged with being an emissary of France An emissary of France? And for what end? It is alleged that I wished to sell the independence of my country? And for what end? Was this the object of my ambition? And is this the mode by which a tribunal of justice reconciles contradictions? No, I am no emissary; and my ambition was to hold a place among the deliverers of my country--not in power, nor in profit, but in the glory of the achievement!”

    I ponder on how the epitaph might be worded…
    “No, I am no emissary; and my ambition was to hold a place among the deliverers of my country--not in power, nor in profit, but in the glory of the achievement!”

    “not in power, nor in profit, but in the glory of the achievement!”
    Should the inglorious miss achievers pen an epitaph after all they are not tainted with power or profit?

  11. Powerfull Tain Bo nuff said!

  12. Tain Bo, right on the noggin. I see a few Westminster MPs gettin done for fraud. Maybe a few Stormont rep's should have their morgages investigated among other things.
    No principles, hang their grannies for a brucie bonus.

  13. Larry

    Those elected officials who enter the sacred halls of Stormont are beyond reproach.
    Speaking against their corruption might earn you place on the peace wreckers list.

  14. Tain Bo i noticed that. I'm sure i'm on it long ago; like immediately after i fist posted on here. Yeah we're all out to wreck and expose their gravy train...oops i mean the GFA. Pitty about them.

  15. fionnuala hope you are not joking
    about wanting to see the oath-

    [ i swear by almighty god that i
    will be faithful and bear true
    allegiance to her majesty queen
    elizabeth, her heirs and successors according to law
    so help me god ]

    atheists [not my word ] are allowed to replace almighty god by saying that they solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm there allegiance,

    the royal familys english law forbids them to marry a catholic,
    sounds like a family of bigots to me.