Fighting For Release

Tonight The Pensive Quill carries a report from guest writer Martin Galvin on developments in the case of republican political prisoner Gerry McGeough 

Gerry's hearing today lasted more than 4 hours  as his solicitors  argued for his entitlement to release under the Good Friday arrangement. The first challenge was whether the Court had any authority to review the crown's power to grant or withhold pardons. His solicitors contended that when pardons are granted or withheld on arbitrary grounds that are clearly discriminatory such as withdrawing a pardon from Gerry McGeough because of his political opinions and candidacy in an election,that such matters are indeed re viewable and subject to court rulings to correct abuses of discretion.

The British then argued that while Gerry's solicitors had asserted that he was not pardoned because of his political opinions they could not offer proof on that issue. His solicitors answered that the crown had offered no affidavits as to any other explanation for his being denied a pardon,even though all of the officials, records and documents should have been under their control. The crown's failure in these circumstances supported Gerry's contention.

The Court then heard arguments on Gerry's imprisonment in Germany and the USA on IRA related charges and why it should count towards the two year early release scheme.

Gerry's case, it was acknowledged may become an important precedent for several others, including some Sinn Fein supporters.The Court asked why there were no supporting affidavits from Gerry Kelly or Sinn Fein.  These have been requested but refused.

Gerry's solicitors were given until next Friday to provide additional supporting documents from Sinn Fein.The record will be then closed and the decision may come any time thereafter.

Sammy Brush of the DUP did attend the hearing but was not given an opportunity to speak. Gerry McGeough was not brought to court from Maghaberry.


  1. Wouldnt be holding my breath for Kelly,s affidavit,

  2. Thats a very well compiled Report From Martin Galvin, I will be extremely surprised if Gerry Kelly, and, or, SF deliver any supporting affidavits, But, that would be the most logical thing for them to do.
    unless they can give an HONEST and LOGICAL explanation as to why they should not supply supporting affidavits. They have got to a very critical stage , and that is, they cant keep on fooling people, they are now fooling themselves, so this is a plea to all supporters of Mr Adams and Co, please take your blindfolds of, tell the bearded one that this, No matter what Gerry McGeough's differences are, he was a combatant and done his bit, I dont agree with the good friday agreement i honestly believe it was a massive big con for political gain, taking the queens shilling, now does that leave me in the same boat as Gerry McGough?
    If it does, then , "I AM A VERY PROUD MAN", just like all those who spoke out and gave a truthful opinion, but just remember one thing MR Bearded one, this is not the 1970/80's, now think that one out, you may be the next one in the diplock Dock Oh Bearded one, with your MLA's who have done nothing for the working class/unemployed, ex prisoners in deep depression working for corrupt builders!!!!!!! for pittance. do the decent thing and send supporting affidavits, that is the very least you can do for an ex COMRADE".

  3. Just had a very interesting call from a mucker, he Said to me, "When did you take the queens shilling", F'ing and Blinding ,RANTING and NAME CALLING Me, I said Loudly FFS,shut your trap Micky and listen to me, you have had a few drinks, i have never taken the queens shilling,and you know me better than that, you have misread my comment, look for the coma ",", its intended to SF who are taking the queens shilling, naturally I accepted his apology and told him to enjoy his pint, sorry but i had to get this sorted in case other readers thought the same.

  4. Don't see why SF couldn't do something. It would fit perfectly with its mulipersonality political persona. Perhaps upsetting their fellow unionists is more important now than 'appearing' nationalist?

  5. From Helen McClafferty:

    McGeough was arrested because he ran as an Independent candidate in the 2007 Assembly elections.

    Gerry put himself through Trinity College and became a teacher and editor of The Hibernian Magazine for God and Country. He left Sinn Fein because of their pro-abortion stand. He was living openly with his wife and 4 children in Tyrone for years but was not arrested until he ran in the 2007 elections.

    The ‘spin’ the media gives on Sammy Brush's 'innocents' is pathetic. Even the British government acknowledged there were members of the UDR who were also members in the UDA aka UFF.

    Gerry's arrest and incarceration is purely politically motivated. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that. Just the way his whole case has played out these past 4 years (5 come March 2012) tells you... 'dirty politics' is at play!

  6. I am personally writing to Gerry Kelley and e-mailing him to release the documents needed. Hopefully he will do the right thing.

  7. From Helen McClafferty:

    When I study this case it is so obvious that a LOT is going on here BEYOND the courtroom moves and countermoves and beyond the ploys by the English, their allies, and by Sinn Fein. Gerry's a chess piece, unfortunately. And I ask myself WHY? Could it be they're afraid of him? But if so, why leave him alone unmolested for so many years? I ask myself…what else can lead to this situation? Is someone gunning for him out of a private vendetta? And if so, who? And if so, again, why wait so many years to launch a frontal attack?

    I understand that if the British government and Sinn Fein can get away with this, a lot of antagonist forces can use this precedent and these ploys again in other cases. Is that enough to explain this level of continual severe obstacles and entrenched resistance?

    On the one hand, all the legal maneuvers have to be fought in court on the surface, without digging below that overt level. At the same time, this has unfolded in such a way that at EVERY inch, Gerry and his potential rights have been blockaded and inexorably steamrolled over as "nonexistent" ghosts.

    This goes beyond a picture of someone just wanting Gerry to "fall on his sword". What is there (1) about Gerry, and/or (2) about this case, as a case or precedent, that is so threatening or important (valuable?) that he keeps being slammed over and over and over, and why NOW? The British government knew Gerry’s exact whereabouts in 2003, according to a document that has recently emerged, and yet they waited until he ran in the 2007 elections to arrest him? Sinn Fein has the answers – and we should be asking them these questions, however they have refused to meet with anyone concerning McGeough, including some of their own party members.

  8. Extensive coverage of the prison crisis in the A'town news. Front page carries a photo of Damien McLaughlin resembling a Blanketman of old with the heading, 'ECHOES OF 1981'. The editorial demands the full implementation of the agreement and calls on people to support the reasonable demands of the prisoners.

    This represents a big breakthrough for the Belfast based Families and Friends group who have been campaigning on these issues for almost two years. Information is the key to building wider support for the prisoners within the host communities.

  9. Helen happy new year hon,even if you or anyone else was to get a meeting with qsf leadership do you think you would be told anything truthfull?

  10. Helen

    I am not so persuaded by arguments that this case is driven on personality issues or his dissention from the SF fold. He may simply have fallen most conveniently to malevolence and it was irrespective if he remained a loyal SF supporter or not. The case does much to embarrass SF because they are now State Actors in their own right, their calling is to now augment, bolster and defend the institutions that they once objected to and GMcG is a sort of litmus test, as are other things such as acceptance of Diplock courts, coninued use of emergency powers, baton rounds, orange marches, border maintenance, etc, etc. (and their token gestures of indignition are tactical rather than real).

    SF are masters at playing the game; one only need look at the last election --in an area where emotions were high regarding the McG Case SF polsters recommended that Gildernew vein hardline republicanism in order to protect SF share of the vote. GmcG will not be released one minute before the State is ready to do so.

  11. Alec thats some good news however small at last.

  12. From Helen McClafferty:

    Gerry McGeough had a visit yesterday from an AOH delegation from the USA. Gerry was very pleased with the visit and how well informed the delegation was regarding his plight. Gerry said “the delegation expressed their genuine commitment to continue to campaign for his release.” Gerry thanks the delegation, for taking time away from their hectic schedule to visit with him, and he extends his heartfelt thanks to all members in the AOH who have been so supportive of him and their kindness toward his family.