Letter to Baroness D’Souza

Tonight TPQ carries a letter from guest writer Helen McClafferty that she sent to the Lord Speaker at the House of Lords on 13th June 2012. The letter was about the DUP.

The Lord Speaker
Baroness D’Souza
House of Lords,

Dear Lord Speaker:

I take the liberty of enclosing a recent statement of Terence Gerard McGeough, TCD (Hons) who is currently incarcerated at Her Majesty’s pleasure in HMP Maghaberry, Co. Antrim in the north of Ireland.

Along with many Irish-Americans who watch the proceedings of the British Parliament, I noticed that on April 5th you attended the Political Studies Association (PSA) Annual Conference in Belfast. It is reported that you spoke to attendees about the role of the House of Lords in the effective scrutiny of government and about how the House of Lords engages with the public.

May I therefore take advantage of the House of Lords’ active engagement with the public to draw to your attention a matter which is of such deep concern to Irish-Americans that on April 24th this year, there was a briefing of a delegation of eminent Irish-Americans about it at the US State Department. The briefing was led by Jake Sullivan, Hillary Clinton’s Director of Policy Planning.

Because the British media report next to nothing about what is currently happening in Northern Ireland, you may not be aware of the plight of this political prisoner, who in 2007 was arrested on 31 year old Troubles related charges while he ran as an Independent candidate in the 2007 Assembly elections.  In 2010 he was put on trial and sentenced to 20 years for an alleged shooting of a UDR man in 1981 during the ‘Troubles’ in which both he and his victim were injured but which caused no deaths.  Prior to his arrest, Mr. McGeough and his wife and children were living peaceful lives in the north.

Mr. McGeough, the prisoner in question and supporter of the peace process, had two heart attacks after his arrest and now have 6 stents in his heart. He has a wife and four children aged 11 and under. The Prison Medical Officer told him at the start of his sentence last year that he should not be in prison. His heart medication is not administered in a timely fashion and he is not given proper or timely medical treatment when needed.  His attorney has had to address these issues on numerous occasions since Mr. McGeough’s incarceration.

From the start of his sentence, Mr. McGeough has been the target of unrelenting attacks by the DUP in the media and our campaign has called upon the DUP, especially Lord Morrow, to cease his bigoted behavior. There is also sufficient evidence to substantiate the belief that Lord Morrow, with the DUP, engineered the arrest of Mr. McGeough.

Lord Speaker, Irish-Americans are appalled by Lord Morrow’s constant fueling of sectarian and aggressive propaganda against the prisoner and also feel this sectarian behavior reeks of anti Good Friday Agreement sentiments. You must realize yourself that Lord Morrow’s unrepentant attitude is bringing the revising Chamber of your Parliament into disrepute. We therefore request you to call Lord Morrow to order, and point out that any continuation of his blatantly sectarian conduct will not be tolerated.

May I conclude by pointing out that just because Lord Morrow’s activities in the north of Ireland are out of sight and therefore out of mind in your country, does not mean that his discreditable attitudes and conduct are not under extremely close scrutiny by Irish-Americans and our Department of State.  We trust therefore that you will attempt to rein in Lord Morrow before he causes any more irreversible damage in the north of Ireland. We Americans have always considered his ennoblement to be a grave error of judgment.

Yours sincerely,
Helen McClafferty
Chairperson - USA
International Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
 Encl: Gerry McGeough Statement
cc:     British Prime Minister David Cameron



  1. That's an excellent letter Helen, I sincerely hope it doe's not fall on deaf ears, I call those in the House of Lords, "The Sleepers" , because they are famous for falling asleep whilst debating.

  2. Another lying scheming bastard should be the opening remarks on any letter to this con artist!

  3. Marian Price has just been moved to an outside hospital.the, BBC teletext informs us that qsf and the sdlp have led a high profile campaign for her release.we knew they would claim the credit but for the bbc to be a qsf propaganda outlet like the Anytout news is a bit much,if I paid a tv licence then I would withhold it from now on the grounds that I dont subscribe to political party funds.Pat Ramsey from the sdlp and Derry,s Pauline Mellon deserves credit for their efforts in gaining Marians move the rest are just johny come latelys!

  4. Marty.

    Read that on BBC News N.Ireland, as for the BBC being a propaganda outlet, lets put it this way, they are british and told to support SF.


    The above link shows without a doubt that i was correct in 1972, Adams and Co made a deal and the were released to have talks about a ceasefire, Its surprising how many republicans deny it happened to this very day, documents released under the 30 year rule.

    I am glad Marian has been moved to hospital, the brits have done all the damage they could to her, so its time to let her go home.

  5. Marty-

    Marian getting moved to an outside hospital whilst Sinn Fein make that announcement-

    Bigger wheels in motion-

  6. Statements from McGlinchey and Price families and Bernadette Devlin McAliskey follow:


    The prison issued a statement this morning that Marian had been transferred to hospital. She remains in the prison.

    They had attempted to move her to a psychiatric unit as a prisoner but this requiires invoking powers under the mental health act - the prison medical officer has already given evidence last week that this course of action would be counterproductive and inappropriate as she is not psychotic.

    She is suffering from trauma created by her environment of incarceration.

    The chief medical officer has now sought to over ride this evidence today before the UN visit on Monday - to transfer her to the psychiatric hospital without her informed consent adds another dimnesion to the violation of her rights - her family is issuing a statement and I believe her lawyers will be trying to get into court today. So maybe we are at make or break.

    Urgent alert: e-mails to Ford would be good

    Statement from Price and McGlinchey family - June 22nd 2012

    Marian Price's husband Jerry McGlinchey and the Price family have concerns in relation to this latest move to a secure hospital unit in Belfast.

    Past moves made on medical grounds have proved detrimental and indeed exacerbated Marian's complex medical conditions.

    In recent discussions with medical consultants charged with Marian's care it was stated that an unsuitable environment would be 'counter-therapeutic'.

    In fact a doctor representing the state gave evidence that going to a secure hospital unit would compound Marian's acute illnesses and would mitigate against any beneficial treatment.

    We welcome the intervention of the UN doctors who will visit Marian over the coming days and trust that they will make a speedy report on her condition given the urgency of the situation.

    The family hope that this move to a secure unit is not a cynical ploy on the eve of a visit by UN doctors to stymie any criticism of Marian's treatment.

    We are also concerned that the media were privy to information about this move before her family were informed.

  7. Your comment Mickeyboy reminds me of the eejits that came here pre decommissioning,you know"wink wink not an ounce not a bullet big wheels in motion,have that from the highest authority" and we all know how that ended,now Mickeyboy if the bearded ones script writer Jonathan Powell had issued your last comment then I probably would have believed it, but to come from someone in a party such as qsf whose only input is "to obey orders" dont piss down my back a cara and tell me its raining, Mickeyboy I for one would be questioning who really turns the wheels inside that party,whats the odds the ard chomhairle give Martyboy the go ahead to shake Liz the brits bloody hand, fucking w##kers with egos and as long away from republicanism as you can get.

  8. Marty

    SF have given Mc Guinness permission to shake the British Monarchs Hand, The bearded one said, This is a Great Day for Republicans!, what planet is he from, Gerry never been in the RA, lying , manipulative British Puppet serving in the Dail.
    Now they are trying to jump on the band wagon over Marian , the Prison authorities gave out a false statement to the BBC, even before the Price and Mc Glinchey families new about it, now we find out she is in the prison Hospital, they are playing cat and mouse with marian, also with Gerry McGeough , he was at court today and the judge reserved judgement on the case.

  9. Its just been announced !SHOCK SURPRISE! qsf will kiss LIz the brits bloody hand,Martyboy WILL grovel to his commander in chief next month,bet the boys and girls on the ard chomhairle had a long one minute debate on that subject...

  10. Itsjustmackers two commanders-in -chiefs and two queens,one regal the other a drama kissing hands,both dripping in the blood of the innocent,thats what qsf have signed up to.....

  11. So Martin McGuinness is going to shake hands with Elizabeth Windsor. I'm sure she is a nice old lady and a better human being than he is, but the notion of monarchy ought to have died out with the dodo. All that's left for the Shinners to do now is to sit on the green benches and tug the forelock.

  12. Alfie the notion of shaking hands ,which in turn is a sign of respect and a sign of no concealed weapons(if I were Lizzie I would wear a stab proof vest I mean can anyone actually trust the weasel Mc Guinness) should be anathema to any republican,never mind Irish republicans,this disgraceful decision by qsf must ask what their real credentials are, they surely cannot be republican.and all this behind closed doors,one must ask who is the most embarrassed?

  13. The most laughable thing about qsf,s decision to prostrate themselves before the bloody commander-in -chief of prefidious albions armed forces is not the decision itself,for anyone with half a brian cell knew rightly that this was going to happen,the whole charade around "will they wont they,and its a big ask "would have been an eyeopener if they had decided not to greet Lizzie, but then when it comes to making decisions and bad ones at that well no one matches the bearded ones..

  14. Heading down the road with a black flag to join Eíríí,s demo against Liz the brit,never mind "a big ask" the question never entered my head,giving recognition to the head of Englands armed forces on the very week that her government knocked back a public inquiry into the blatant murder of what is now known as the Ballymurphy massacre(the bearded ones neighbours)is a small example why I and many others find qsf,s behaviour more than an insult to the people from this community,

  15. Big turn out at the city hall,the speakers were all people who had family members murdered by the so called security forces, Maura Drumm the daughter of the late Maura Drumm the indomitable spirit of modern republican resistance,chaired this well turned out event,the message was sent loud and clear to Mc Guinness and his cronies that republicans are not buying the shit qsf is trying hard to sell, even one of their own councillors turned up at this event.

  16. From Helen McClafferty:

    In 1945 They Said: "We Didn't Know"

    The surreal world that exists within the walls of Roe House in Maghaberry Prison is a stark contrast to the world that we experience on the outside. It was described in a phone call from Gerry McGeough.

    “In the cell next to me is a protesting prisoner. He must have been let out for a visit and his cell door was wide open. As I worked my way past doing the ‘Maghaberry Shuffle’ to avoid the pools of urine and excrement mixed with industrial cleaner and water, the smell from the cell was dreadful. It almost knocked me out. The ceiling and walls of the cell were black with smeared excrement. Locked inside that cell twenty three hours a day in a matter of fact existence is that man’s his life within this surreal world.

    “Food trolleys are lined up along the corridor and then at around four in the afternoon, another emission of urine and excrement was poured and pushed out beneath a cell door. The intense smell as you can imagine hung in the air. It was so bad I was almost sick.

    “Protesting prisoners have told me how they can be lying on the bed and the dried excrement will sometimes flake and fall off onto their blanket, or land like flies on their faces.

    “Constant hosing as prison staff in white industrial protective suits and gas masks wade through the liquid, making their way from cell to cell, with each of the protest cells being cleaned about once every six weeks.

    “Nothing happens in here during lock-up. Every few hours, the door flap opens and a gas mask peers in. There is no library or classes to attend, nothing. People simply exist in here. We do not choose to live like this. The refusal by authorities to implement an agreement has forced these prisoners into a protest. The state of affairs and the acceptance that this is how we now survive from day to day, is simply taken for granted.


  17. From Helen McClafferty (continued)

    “I’m not complaining and I respect the right of prisoners to pursue a dirty protest, but the system which operates within these walls is designed to drain you. I can sometimes get out of my cell for maybe four or five hours, but it’s a case of staying in or out. If I stay out I walk in circles around the enclosed yard. Naturally, I prefer the yard, regardless of the weather. Even outside, if I’m talking with or walking past a protest prisoner, I can smell the excrement and urine on their clothes. Imagine the outrage, the media coverage, the intervention of the RSPCA if a pig was discovered living in these conditions. Instead, as human beings, we have concealment and smokescreens. In time, the truth will emerge”.

    We are constantly being asked to move forward and to respect the traditions and the culture of others in the interests of peace. If we choose to move forward, we have the freedom to do so. For Gerry McGeough, the words ‘move on’ are redundant. His attempt to ‘move on’ was met by the reality of British democracy and justice that exists in the occupied counties of Ireland which dragged his family into this nightmare scenario. Placed before an English judge in an invalid and corrupt British Diplock Court which is reminiscent of a Medieval Inquisition, Gerry was then sentenced to twenty years imprisonment based upon unproven allegations dating as far back as 1981.

    Dragged away from his wife and children and locked up in Maghaberry, Gerry has been actively prevented from moving on. When he is released, his future will hang on a thread. He will not be able to pursue his career as a teacher. For the next eighteen years, his freedom of expression can be denied. If he refers to the men and women of 1916 as patriots, the British can interpret that simple phrase as a call to arms, such is the power of the British Viceroy in one of the last colonies of the British Empire. As a gifted political figure, a simple remark, worded in a manner to suit a particular audience, something we all do in our everyday lives, can be enough to have him dragged off to prison. He exists within a system that thrives on serious human rights abuse, sectarianism and intimidation. Survival within a world that is hidden away and obscured because so many choose to be silent and indifferent.

    In 1945, the German civilians of Weimar were brought to the Buchenwald concentration camp. They saw for themselves the evidence of the atrocities. They said “We didn’t know”.

    Libertad para Gerry

    The Free Gerry McGeough Campaign Committee
    USA, Occupied Six Counties, Dublin, Spain

  18. Marty,

    expect nothing better from BBC NI. It is said they are trying to make up for a conscience deficit they so ably displayed during the conflict. Which means its coverage is still as piss poor in a number of areas. They might try to term it affirmative action but it amounts to little other than bias and manipulation.

  19. From Helen McClafferty:

    A British Viceroy Appointed by a British Queen Wields the Power of His Predecessors in The Days of Colonial India

    In 1964 Paisley demanded that the Irish Tricolour be removed from Sinn Féin offices in Belfast. In 2012, Nigel Dodds, that fervent supporter of peace and reconciliation, who as an MLA until 2010 accepted the financial benefits of the Stormont Assembly, was shocked at the "attempt to provoke a reaction through erecting a large sign on Black Mountain". In 2012, Jim Allister, following in the footsteps of Paisley called on the police to "immediately remove the large sign". In 2012, Loyalists responded to these demands from Unionist politicians with mob violence. We have moved on.

    During this apparently 'historic' moment of peace and reconciliation, amid calls for our communities to move forward and when many are promoting the Irish Peace Process as a model on which other countries can base their own conflict resolution processes, Unionist politicians have once again shown how incapable they are of respecting our culture and respecting the flag of the Irish Nation.

    The mentality of Unionist politicians who take offence at the sight of an Irish Tricolour is locked in the era of the B-specials and the days of the English Lord Craigavon. In some cases, that mentality has never evolved since the 1600's.

    The true intentions of Dissident Unionist Politicians and the British Government towards peace and reconciliation can be seen in the incarceration of Gerry McGeough who is now into his second year of imprisonment in Maghaberry. How does that promote peace and reconciliation? The presence of Gerry McGeough in Maghaberry prison on alleged activities dating back to 1981 makes of mockery of the assertion that we have moved forward, as does the internment without trial of Marian Price and Martin Corey.

    It is now five years since Gerry McGeough was arrested because he stood in an election. The issues surrounding his arrest and imprisonment have not been resolved. A British Viceroy appointed by a British Queen ordered the arrest of Gerry McGeough. A British Viceroy appointed by a British Queen will decide when and if Gerry McGeough is released from prison. A British Viceroy appointed by a British Queen retains the mentality of his predecessors who wielded power in the days of Colonial India, the 'jewel in the British crown'. Ériu is our Queen, the Queen of Ireland. by Damian Herron, Chairman of the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign in the north of Ireland.

    Libertad para Gerry

  20. From Helen McClafferty:

    Now that all of the hullabaloo about the Queen’s visit isover, I would like to remind Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, that while he“is now looking to the future” and Peter Sheridan, former assistant constableof the PSNI and chief executive of Co-operation Ireland thinks the handshakebetween the Queen and Martin McGuinness “says a lot about healing, humandignity and treating each other with respect,” Gerry McGeough, Marian Price and Martin Corey continueto rot in prison unjustly at the hands of the British Government.

    It appears that those in power in the north are very quickto say “it’s time to move on” but they certainly don’t practice what theypreach. If this handshake is trulysuppose to represent the beginning of “reconciliation” then that“reconciliation” should include the immediate release of Gerry McGeough, MarianPrice and Martin Corey. No strings attached.

  21. Marty,

    ‘the eejits that came here pre decommissioning, you know "wink wink not an ounce not a bullet big wheels in motion, have that from the highest authority’

    It was so clear that they were going to decommission and yet the gullible swallowed the guff, even to the point today where some still pretend it never happened. Morrison, despite being wholly unable to see it coming, nevertheless called it right in terming it surrender.

    MLM had a hard time explaining it all to Vincent Browne. It was just put so bluntly to them that they were now Stickies! She even said she believed Marty when he said he left the IRA in 74. Thought it funny that Micky Colbert in his enthusiasm for the meeting between Marty and the queen described Marty as the former head of the IRA.

    *A message from the Free Martin Corey Campaign*

    Republican Martin Corey From Lurgan, Co. Armagh was sentenced to Life Imprisonment in December 1973.

    He was 19 years old. He spent the next 19 years in jail and was finally released without signing anything, in June 1992.

    WITHOUT WARNING on April 16th 2010 he was taken back into custody.

    No Reason was given to Martin at the time or since his return to jail.

    This Website is to help secure his release and update on the situation - please go to the Page in regards to the Petition and Sign.

    Martin Corey is being held Hostage by the British Government because of his Political Beliefs, all those who believe in justice and equality must support this campaign.


    If you would like any further information please contact:

  22. From Helen McClafferty:

    Perfidious Albion: Like A Banana: A Little Yellow: A Little Soft: Not Quite Straight.

    by Damian Herron
    Chairman - Occupied Six Counties
    Free Gerr McGeough Campaign

    The hypocrisy of British Government policy in the occupied counties of Ireland can be seen clearly in the words of former British Secretary of State Peter Hain.

    “If we get stuck in the past we will never make progress…the past is the past…everybody is turning their backs on the past of horror and violence and moving towards peace”.

    The icing on the cake, when it comes to hypocritical statements by Peter Hain is as follows:

    “And Republicans…are benefiting from it as well”.

    This is the same Peter Hain who, as ‘Minister of the Crown’ played his part in the non-implementation of the Weston Park Accord, which, as acknowledged in a recent speech, has allowed the British Government to renege on many other peace agreements and not just the issue of prisoners.

    This is the same Peter Hain who then ordered the politically motivated arrest of Gerry McGeough. As a British Secretary of State, he himself actively prevented progress and ensured that not all Republicans and their families will benefit from peace. Only some will benefit.

    This is the same British Secretary of State who implemented British policy of inequality, division and conflict and proved once again how the British Government is simply incapable of learning the lessons of history.

    Peter Hain should know all about politically motivated arrests and show trials. He himself was subjected to a politically motivated arrest having been ‘framed’ for an alleged bank robbery by South African State Security and put on trial in 1976 due to his opposition to Apartheid.

    The work that went into building peace was thwarted by Peter Hain and continues today with the incumbent and arrogant British Secretary of State Owen Paterson. Old battles are now being fought at the behest of the Dissident B-special mentality Unionists in the form of Maghaberry prison.

    Once again ‘Perfidious Albion’ has, in the words of former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith proved itself to be “like a banana, a little yellow, a little soft, not quite straight and goes black when subjected to pressure” because they kept “moving the goalposts”.

    Recorded examples of British perfidy go back as far as 1415, well before they reneged on the 1691 Treaty of Limerick, so to expect them to honour peace agreements with the Irish Nation in 2012 simply through acts of reconciliation by Republicans are futile. The British Government needs to be politically bulldozed into implementing the Weston Park Accord and releasing Gerry McGeough immediately, to end the use of internment without trial and release Martin Corey and to find the ‘lost’ pardon and give freedom to Marian Price.

    Without serious political pressure on the British Government to honour the peace agreements in full, the Irish Nation will always be constrained in their attempts to build peace and replace conflict with dialogue or mistrust with respect.

    Libertad para Gerry

  23. From Helen McClafferty:

    I am very sorry to report that Gerry's attorney just informed me that he is back from Court this morning and that the Court of Appeal ruled against Gerry's Judicial Review Appeal. There will be a further update with more details later today.

    Helen McClafferty
    Chairperson - USA
    Free Gerry McGeough Campaign

  24. From Helen McClafferty:

    “If You Continue To Ignore An Inherited Problem, You Become Part of the Problem”

    by Damian Herron, Chairman, Free Gerry McGeough Campaign - Occupied Six Couties.

    Judgement on Gerry McGeough’s Judicial Review Appeal was handed down this morning. As expected, the judgement was not in his favour. Despite all attempts at peace and reconciliation, the British Government has once again sent a clear message to the Irish Nation. The British Government has told us they are in control and will do as they like, regardless of the consequences. This is how the British Government has always responded to the Irish Nation. With oppression. It shows the contempt they have towards our people, our politicians and our church leaders who have worked towards a peace and reconciliation. It makes a mockery of the recent ‘handshake’ as an act of reconciliation in the interests of peace and reconciliation.

    Progress has been made and society has been transformed but in 2012 Gerry McGeough remains incarcerated in Maghaberry prison. His family pay the price of a political failure to deal effectively and immediately with attempts by Dissident Unionist politicians and the British Government to carefully foster inequality and division and thwart all attempts at moving the peace process forward.

    The issue of OTR’s which was dealt with under paragraph 20 of the Weston Park Accord (2001) came about through negotiations. When the former British Secretary of State Peter Hain withdrew the proposed draft legislation that referred to paragraph 20 on 11th January 2006, it was clear then, that the British Government had no intention of acting in the interests of peace and reconciliation.

  25. From Helen McClafferty - Continued:

    Dealing effectively with the issue of prisoners for pre-1998 activities was instrumental in allowing the peace process to develop. Dealing effectively with the smaller number of OTR’s who did not benefit from the early release scheme due to their circumstances at that time, was essential to ensure all involved were treated equally and as agreed by the Irish and British Governments “it would be a natural development of the scheme for such prosecutions not to be pursued”.

    However, as recently stated in a speech, “if you continue to ignore an inherited problem, you become part of the problem”.

    The problem was ignored time and time again since it began with Gerry’s arrest in 2007. Rather than insist on a dedicated round of negotiations to deal specifically with ensuring full implementation of the Weston Park Accord, occasional statements and lack of co-operation with the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign were the order of the day.

    Once again the British Government has shown what they think of peace and reconciliation and reaching out by Republicans. Once again the British Government have shafted the Irish Nation. Correction, they have shafted only some of us.

    If it wasn’t for people like Fianna Fáil TD Eamon O’Cuiv, SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey, Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan and others who have stood alongside our campaign and taken a stand against injustice and the serious abuse of human rights within Maghaberry prison, Gerry McGeough would be left to rot in his cell for the next 19 years. Let’s not forget there are others within Maghaberry prison who suffer injustice and human rights abuse and of course we have the situation in which Marian Price finds herself.

    It is fourteen years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed and Gerry McGeough is now into his second year of imprisonment. This has nothing whatsoever to do with peace, reconciliation or justice. This is nothing more than the British Government spoon feeding the bigoted and sectarian desires of Anti-Good Friday Agreement and Anti-Peace Process Unionists such as the English Lord Morrow, the smirking Arlene Foster who benefits financially from the peace process by feeding herself with £200 dinners and their tag along wannabe B-Special Brush.

    We are past the point of meaningless statements and need to see a dedicated round of effective negotiations to have the Weston Park Accord implemented in full. The failure to ensure full implementation of this agreement does not only affect Gerry McGeough. It affects others and will continue to do so until the “inherited problem” has been resolved.