Gerry McGeough Update: November 2011

Tonight The Pensive Quill features guest writer Helen McClafferty providing the latest information pertaining to the political imprisonment of republican activist Gerry McGeough.

British Agent within Sinn Fein Targeted McGeough

28 October 2011

Following the recent revelations of a British agent working as an aide in Sinn Fein against Gerry McGeough in the 2000 election now explains the subsequent years of character assignation to denigrate him politically.  His arrest during the 2007 election and his 20 year sentence handed down by the Diplock court was a deliberate political act to censor him.  Gerry’s arrest and incarceration on 37 year old charges has not only censored him, but it has also rendered him helpless with regard to ever being able to go back to teaching.  

The selective persecution of a man who supports peace, husband and father of 4, graduate of Trinity College, President of the Tyrone County Board of the AOH and a cardiac patient runs counter to the Good Friday Agreement.  The British government doesn't give a damn about Irish human life.  The English treat their dogs better than they do Irishmen, woman and children.  It’s up to you and me and all those who want to see justice done to get involved in the ‘Release McGeough Campaign’. 

Gerry’s now proven political arrest and incarceration is a disgrace and YOU should all be outraged about it and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!    ACTION IS REQUIRED and you have all been advised what you can do to help Gerry and his family. You have been given the information/details on numerous occasions so now it’s time to follow through on your support and promises.   PLEASE DO IT NOW!   Your ACTIVE participation is required and greatly appreciated by the family of Gerry McGeough.

McGeough Judicial Hearing Postponed by NIO until February 1st, 2012????????

02 November 2011

Gerry McGeough’s ‘Judicial Review’ has now been postponed by the NIO until February 1, 2012.  He won his right to a judicial review in September, yet they refused to schedule his review until December 12, 2011.  Now they have added insult to injury by deliberately postponing his right to a review until February 1st, 2012 which would be approximately 5 months from the actual date he won the right to a review of his case.   Tell me this isn’t a deliberate and vindictive move on the part of the NIO to make sure that Gerry is not given a timely hearing?   What the NIO office is hoping for is that Gerry McGeough will die in prison before they are obligated, under the Stormont Agreement (I can no longer call it the Good Friday Agreement) to release him on humanitarian grounds not to mention his illegal interment.

At present, Roe House is being tested for Hepatitis and other serious diseases which seriously endangers Gerry’s health even further.  It also needs to be noted that Gerry’s wife and 4 children were kept waiting one hour and a half last week for their weekly visit to see Gerry and were only given 10 minutes to visit and it was the day of his daughter’s 11th birthday.  Tell me this isn’t additional and deliberate harassment by the prison authorities to ensure that McGeough and his family be ‘kept in their Irish place’!
So, tell me…what are you going to do about it over there?   Sit back and take it?   Sit back and let a fellow Irish republican die in prison at the hands of the English?   Sinn Fein said they were ‘on top of the McGeough case and demanded his immediate release’…does it look like that to you now?   I have tried to be fair in my reporting of those in power who are supporting the McGeough family, but now that push comes to shove….what is Sinn Fein, the most powerful political party in the north, actually doing for McGeough?   If the ‘powers that be’ were really on top of this issue…why the further delay in Gerry’s case hearing?  

Let’s get real here.   My intentions are not to ‘offend’ any political party, but the McGeough family is being sold a ‘bill of goods’ by those in power and this further delay in Gerry’s judicial review hearing is proof of the pudding.   As I’ve always said…ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!   Anyone can make a ‘press statement’ supporting whatever they want and make it sound good, but where is the follow-through?    What have any of the political parties delivered to date?   As an Irish-American, who has been politically active since 1969 in supporting civil and human rights in the north of Ireland and a re-united Ireland; and actually lived illegally in the north for 2 and ½ years during the hunger strikes, I am shocked at the lack of cohesive and consistent support of the McGeough family.

Since the signing of the Stormont Agreement, the war may be over but in my opinion this ‘Agreement’ only helped to further silence Irish republicans.   It appears since that ‘Agreement’, everyone is afraid of their own shadow to the point the majority won’t even speak out about this injustice.  The McGeough family deserves more than what they have been dealt and it’s up to you to do the right thing to help them regardless of your political affiliations.   It took the Diplock court 3 and ½ years to bring Gerry to trial and the NIO is now trying to ensure he never gets his legally won ‘judicial review’ hearing.   ONLY YOU CAN MAKE THAT DIFFERENCE!


  1. Helen,
    there are a lot of people who care very deeply about this time of injustice.
    Marian Price, Martin Corry and a whole host of other prisoners are enduring this injustice also.
    What has happened to Gerry and his family is despicable there is no doubt about that.
    However, I don't think it is a case of people being deliberately inactive, more like peeople feeling lost and more than a bit apathetic.
    People seem to have lost their belief in their ability to render any serious justice from a system built on injustice.
    People have had to sit and watch those who promised so much deliver nothing.
    People are more than a little bit lost here but it does not mean they don't care.

  2. Fionnuala
    Totally agree. After all is said and done people feel all they can do is get on as best they can with their lives. SF turned out to be social climbers with bombs for others to throw.
    There are some awful cases of pointless harrassment and persecution but people are anethsetised to an extent.

  3. Please follow the Pat Finucane center's instructions below and make those contacts. Peter Corrigan is a decent family man, a good attorney and he is being deliberately harassed by the PSNI. Peter was successful in winning Gerry McGeough his right to a judicial review back in September 2011. The review date was set for 12/15/11. Now postponed by the NIO until 2/14/11? In the interim Peter has now been arrested by the PSNI. What next...imprison all the attorneys who represent Irish republicans? The situation over there is getting 'way out of hand' again and the RUC/PSNI has not changed its stripes. They are evil and will always be the 'B Specials' no matter what new name they call themselves.

    Please do everything in your power to look into this personal attack on Peter Corrigan, esq. And follow the lead of the Pat Finucane Center. We must get justice for all those who are being politically targeted by the PSNI and that includes the Boston College IRAhistory tapes fiasco in the USA as well.

    Thank you
    Helen McClafferty

    See below

    Pat Finucane Centre


    PSNI & Peter Corrigan

    Thu, 3 Nov 2011 14:38:27 -0000

    Peter Corrigan

    The PFC is seriously concerned at reports the PSNI intended to question leading human rights lawyer Peter Corrigan of Kevin Winters & Co but then 'rescheduled' the interview following protests.

    In general human rights defenders play an important role in upholding the rule of law and there have been significant concerns in the past regarding intimidation and harassment of lawyers in Northern Ireland. It is wrong and dangerous to identify lawyers with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their professional duties as legal representatives.

    In this instance we are especially concerned about the circumstances of this proposed arrest just a few days before Mr Corrigan is due to lead the defence of one of the accused at one of the most high profile murder trials of recent times.

    RFJ issued the following action alert which we would endorse

    As an urgent alert we are urging people to contact Secretary of State Owen Paterson and PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott or his NIO address - PSNI CC Matt Baggott c/o

    PFC 67 Upper English St, Armagh BT61 7LA Tel 02837 515191 email PFC Derry office-Unit B8 Rath Mor Centre, Blighs Lane, Derry, BT48 0LZ see regular updates on PFC website at email - follow the Pat Finucane centre on Facebook

  4. If anything happens this man I wonder will the LVF be resurected to coveniently take the blame...AGAIN.

  5. November 3, 2011


    Gerry, a chara,

    As you read this letter, Gerry McGeough sits in a prison cell in Maghaberry Jail for being a member of the IRA in the 1970's. Recently Gerry was taken to an external hospital to have another stint put in his heart. The doctors told him that his condition has deteriorated rapidly due to lack of exercise and poor nutrition i.e the dire conditions in Maghaberry Jail.

    In light of our recent pledge at the Ard Féis to support Gerry's release, on behalf of the Benny Connolly Cumann (Walkinstown) i would like to ask you: What has Sinn Féin done since the Ard Féis? What do Sinn Féin intend to do? Will Sinn Féin co-operate with Gerry McGeough's legal team? and Who in Sinn Féin is responsible for Gerry's safety?

    I trust that you will give this matter the attention it deserves. Sinn Féin members throughout the country are greatly disturbed by this case and we do look forward to your response.

    Best wishes - Brian Halpin,
    Benny Connolly Cumann,
    Walkinstown Sinn Féin.

  6. From Helen McClafferty

    November 7, 2011.

    Mr. O’Cuiv is an Irish Fianna Fáil politician and the grandson of Fianna Fáil founder, first Taoiseach and third President of Ireland, Éamon de Valera. Eamon met with Gerry McGeough today in Maghaberry Prison after 4 months of being denied a visit by the Prison Authorities. Hours before Mr. O’Cuiv’s visit, Gerry McGeough was informed that his judicial review hearing, which was postponed last week by the NIO until mid-February, has now been rescheduled to take place on December 1st. The NIO has also just agreed to grant Gerry his Appeal hearing next week.

    According to Gerry, they had a very productive meeting/visit and they discussed the protests, the horrible conditions within Maghaberry prison and the current political state of affairs in Ireland and the UK.

    Gerry and The Free Gerry McGeough Campaign is thrilled to share this good news with all of his supporters and would like to thank Mr. O’Cuiv for his courage to head up this International campaign.

    Gerry is asking that everyone support Mr. O'Cuiv's efforts in obtaining his release.

  7. From Helen McClafferty:

    Éamon Ó Cuív, Irish TD who recently visited Gerry McGeough in Maghaberry Prison. He is now going to play a leading role in the campaign to free Gerry McGeough Radio Free Eireann will be broadcast on Saturday November 12 at 1pm New York time (6pm Irish time) on WBAI 99.5 FM and Try to catch the show for his interview today.

  8. From Helen McClafferty:

    Please contact Ms. Fowler below and advise her about Gerry's bad heart, his 3rd heart surgery a month ago and the mismanagement of medications, in addition to the filthy conditions with Maghaberry prsion, the lack of proper diet, exercise and follow-up care that is deliberately lacking in order to keep Gerry's in stable condition.

    Thank you.

    Helen McClafferty

    -----Original Message-----
    From: bbc_complaints_website
    To: Helen McClafferty
    Sent: Fri, Nov 11, 2011 11:49 am
    Subject: Complaint – BBC News

    11 November, 2011

    Ms Helen McClafferty

    Dear Helen

    Complaint – BBC News

    I’m replying to your complaint about coverage of the case of Gerry McGeough by the BBC’s news services. You suggest that there is a “media blackout” around reporting of this case and allege that the BBC is abiding by it.

    To the best of our knowledge, there are no restrictions surrounding the reporting of this case, and the BBC is certainly not operating under any form of media embargo or blackout.

    BBCNI’s local news services have reported on this story on several occasions in recent months. We reported on Mr McGeough’s sentencing in April of this year and have also reported on his successful application for judicial review and his bid to obtain a Royal Prerogative of Mercy. We have not been made aware of any deterioration in Mr McGeough’s state of health.

    The news stories covered by BBC news services are based on sound editorial judgements, which include an assessment of whether publication reflects new information. Should you learn of any further developments in relation to Mr McGeough's health, please feel free to contact our Fermanagh district journalist, Julian Fowler, by email at

    I hope that this is useful.

    Yours sincerely

    Michael Cairns
    Head of Newsgathering & Political Programmes – BBCNI