Jaw Dropping Lack of Awareness

Guest writer Moya St Leger with a report on the recent public meeting in the British House of Commons which was organised for the purpose of highlighting British state abuses of Irish prisoners.

The public meeting at the House of Commons on Tuesday 20 November did not have a popular theme. It had been called by the Justice Campaign to examine and discuss the justice issues surrounding the imprisonment of Irish prisoners Gerry McGeough, Marian Price and Martin Corey.

No British MPs attended. At the very start of the meeting the Chairman, John McDonnell MP, told us that Unionists had been briefing against the meeting in House, saying it was offering succour to terrorists, possibly deterring some MPs who might otherwise had come along out of curiosity. Full marks to the two peers present though, Baroness O'Loan, former Police Ombudsman in the North of Ireland and Lord Dubs.  Dr John Hillery, son of former Irish President, Patrick Hillery, was also there to hear Conor Murphy, Monsignor Dr Raymond Murray, Moya St Leger and former Fianna Fail cabinet minister Eamon O Cuiv TD hit out hard about the abuse of legal process in these three cases.

The British media have remained silent on these cases. One speaker suspected a D-Notice had been issued.  Only a tiny number of people on what the British fondly call 'the mainland' have heard of the prisoners' plight. So some of those present were literally open-mouthed at what they were hearing. One young lady said to me afterwards, ‘my jaw was on the table.’ 

Conor Murphy spoke eloquently about Martin Corey who still doesn't know why he is in prison. Neither does his lawyer. But Conor was also strongly critical of the abuse of the law which put McGeough into Maghaberry. ‘Everyone is entitled to due process and to a fair trial, and they are being denied this.’  He went on to say their treatment ‘represents a serious breach of their human rights and their continued imprisonment undermines the justice system. We are against the use of “revocation of licences” as a substitute for due process.’

Campaigning vigorously in support of Marian Price, Fr Murray spoke movingly of what appears to be the malicious persecution of Marian. He described her current condition in cold clinical detail, providing us with an up to the minute report.  A quotation from a speech he made at a civil rights in August is on the leaflet advertising the event: 

All of the wrongs and injustices that I have campaigned against for over forty years still exist today. (Monsignor Raymond Murray Aug. 2012)

Fr Murray has had come out of retirement to campaign against British human rights abuse 14 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Listening to the most famous human rights' campaigner in the North of Ireland - now in his seventies - was a bizarre experience, like encountering a denizen of Kafkaland on another planet.

I spoke about Gerry McGeough from a very personal point of view.  As his prison visitor in Germany I got to know him well and have been in touch with him for 25 years.  I was not at all surprised that McGeough had been put on trial and gaoled for a shooting incident 30 years ago in which no-one was killed.  I put it down to what I called the "mindset of the English ruling class" which hasn't changed one iota down the centuries. ‘McGeough had outwitted the English time and time again’ I observed, ‘and for that there is a price to pay.’

I also drew attention to the fact that because war had never been declared in the North of Ireland, the Army's Rules of Engagement which limit what an Army can do in an armed conflict had never applied. Ergo, a 53 year-old cardiac patient and First Class Honours graduate of TCD who never killed anyone is behind bars while members of the British security forces and known loyalist killers involved in the murders of 83 civilians in the North of Ireland including the solicitors Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson, remain at liberty and are still not required to account for their actions.

Eamon O Cuiv spoken passionately about his involvement with Northern prisoners from an early stage, before the GFA. McGeough.  He had heard about McGeough's imprisonment from myself and at first had doubted the story. Since discovering it was true he has visited him 3 times and is due to visit again soon.

Reporting on the impact these cases are having in the Dail, O Cuiv said there were twelve people on the hoc group. Six from Fianna Fáil, one from Sinn Féin and five from the Technical Group looking at these cases. The European Parliament had also been in contact with him. There was, he said, a lot of interest at a high political level and the Tánaiste has asked them to report on their next visit to the prisoners in the north.

All in all, a good meeting even if MPs who needed to come were not present.

O Cuiv finished his speech with the words of another prisoner Terence MacSweeney:

It is not those who can inflict the most, but those that can suffer the most, who will conquer.


  1. "No British MPs attended".
    I for one didn't expect Gerry Adams,Martin McGuinness, Gerry kelly, etc, to be there.

    The main problem is the Draconian laws which have been brought into the U.K, and, we all know that the British think that 6 counties of Ulster (Glad its not the nine of them) are there's, all this is being done by MI5/6, this can't be legal in European Law.
    The secret evidence by MI5/MI6 which the accused nor his brief is allowed to hear goes against any legal system, especially in Europe.
    My question is, "Why has these cases been brought to the EU court of appeal, or am I missing something?.

  2. Great work Moya. Abuse of Irish republican prisoners has long characterised British state behaviour. We must always work to expose and halt it.

  3. Thankyou for covering this AM and Moya.When I raise the plight of prisoners in Maghaberry amoungst people I know in England who have an interest in social and political justice it is usually met with an embarressed silence. Unless you follow the issues specifically here in England you simply don't get the infomation.
    Ádh mór,
    Stefan Gillies

  4. No brit mp,s were present,apart from Murphy no quisling $inn £ein mps showed their faces now why does that not surprise me? the other stalwarts of democracy we are told were easily influenced by the weasel words from unionists and as one would have expected from a democrat ie I hear what you say ,but if you,l excuse me now I,ll listen to the other side of the argument now before I make my mind up, no fucking chance, its ok for unelected mps from the "mainland"with no mandate whatsoever to intern Irishmen and women at the whim of their faceless wonders in Whitehall but dont expect the other Westminster mps to take any interest in norn iorn affairs,expense accounts and all that old chap,its like pre 69 norn iorn, may have been a different planet for the interest those elected reps showed and looked how that ended up,unless the british working class especially wake up to whats happening in norn iorn then they may be in for a hell of a gunk, once the technique of selective internment and secret evidence is honed to perfection here,Moya the lesson learned here is that the solution to the Irish problem lies within Ireland and that the brits are nothing but a negative influence,well past time to say to them SLÁN ABHAILE..

  5. If Mc geough is so smart, how come he shot a man who returned fire ?Why has this Einstein spent so long in prison? Why did he only win 3 per cent of the vote in Tyrone when he stood for election ? Reminds us of the Japanese who were still fighting WW2 in 1970 when they were found on a Godforsaken pacific island. If Mc Geough had a working brain he would be dangerous ?

  6. I love the island of Ireland but it's populatoin leave alot to be desired. It is sickenning to be part of a nation full of useless cunts.I dont care any longer if there will be a united Ireland.the amount of betrayal in this place is shattering.I know not all Irish people are touting bastards but the scum that are touts,are enough for what the brit scum want. If i had my finger on the button i wud gladly end this so called nations national ?. What a bunch of idiots u all are talking about this and that and doing fuck all. Even those charged with responsibility for leading republicanism turned out to be a bunch of wankers/brittish henchmen.Dont know about quisling SF Marty,from what i have seen it is a nation of quislings. Have spent over forty years living amoung you and my opinion is you should all do at least one communal act and commit collective suicide.

  7. Fee te love lol a cara we fucking are it death by austerity its slow and painful..

  8. Hide Marty,hide u all,u all have much to hide from.Ur Irish and you cant fight ur foe,so join to him,,like u do.

  9. marty i dont live in your world but my body does,more the pity.The arabs have it right.fuck the lot of you.I wish.It would give me great pleasure to end this world.A big gerry magee yee ha mite be e nuff.lol

  10. Feel the Love,
    You would need to enlighten me about your last comment. It didnt wasnt love. Certainly had no feeling either. I would like to construct a pesonality of you. In fact it was nothing short than, a rant that wouldnt be out of place at a fascist rally. Also, how do you know I am a cunt, when you dont even know me. Your generalisations were nothing short than very grim. Extending on that back up anything than you mean. Perhaps you are a "Man of mean, and vile personality. Maybe a scorned lover? the list may be endless. I mean how can you love a country for 40 years but not the people? Do you like trash music and stick you tongue out? Perhaps bark at the moon? Strange old bean YOU. Hope I wasnt chained to a raditor,in some sweat hole stripped to the waist for long with you.lol

  11. Irish Government Cross Party Political Delegation Visits Maghaberry On Wednesday 28th November 2012

    by Damian Herron on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 6:38am ·

    Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuiv leads a cross-party political delegation on a visit to Maghaberry Prison where they will meet privately with Gerry McGeough and then with a number of other prisoners. They will then visit Marian Price after which, they will meet with Minister of Justice David Ford. This will be followed by a meeting with the SDLP and Sinn Féin Stormont.

    From left, Independent TD Mick Wallace, Fianna Fáil TD Éamon Ó Cuiv who is also the International Chairperson of the Free Gerry McGeough Campaign, Sinn Féin TD Aengus O’Snodaigh, United left Alliance TD Clare Daly, Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan, Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly and Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White.

    Libertad para Gerry


  12. It was stated recently that “as has been demonstrated with Gerry McGeough…decades after the event, there is always time for justice”. However, decades after the events, members of the UDR, RUC and British Army who did commit murder against unarmed and innocent civilians have not faced prosecution or imprisonment.

    This is a blatant inequality and the selective imprisonment of Gerry McGeough or any Irish Republican on historic offences prior to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 cannot be termed as ‘seeking justice’ unless those who claim to seek justice show as much determination in ensuring members of the British Armed Forces involved in the conflict are investigated and subjected to robust and rigorous legal processes to ensure prosecutions and imprisonment with the opportunity of applying for early release after serving two years, provided they meet the required criteria for accelerated release, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and the commitment given effect by the British Government in the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998. Equality in seeking justice and is a challenge that Unionist politicians have failed miserably to overcome.

    Damian Herron, Northern Chair
    Free Gerry McGeough

  13. Mackers no brit will do one day for murdering or carrying out torture on Irish people and well you know it.Irish people are simple and there is no escaping that.Why else wud you tease them with the facts.

  14. Feel te love-

    " no brit will do one day for murdering or carrying out torture on Irish people-

    Some brits will do a few days inside-even fewer were found guilty
    but after a few months inside they were sent back to their regiments and the brit army sent the message to the brit law and goverment-fcuk yous- even yesterday a SAS member got out of prison whilst still guilty of breaking his own countrys laws-the brit army is above british law-and you call us Irish simple-

  15. "No British MPs attended".

    Not sure why Moya wrote that as he contradicted himself when he mentioned John. I understand the frustration and anger some comrades feel towards SF and they undoubtedly could do more, but when one of their prominent members does speak out in England he should be encouraged not put down.

    Murphy's speech at the meeting was worthy of support in my view, I have reposted a bit below.

    "“They are detained on the basis of secret allegations by British Intelligence agencies which they are unable to challenge, contest or refute. Everyone is entitled to due process and to a fair trial – Marian Price and Martin Corey are being denied this. This represents a serious breach of their human rights and their continued imprisonment undermines the justice system.

    “We are against the use of ‘revocation of licences’ as a substitute for due process.”

    Gerry McGeough, he said, should not have been arrested and should be released immediately.

    “We have made this position clear publicly on many occasions since Gerry’s arrest, including during the course of many meetings with both the British and Irish governments. Several of our MLAs have visited the prisoners in Maghaberry many times over the course of the past two years.

    “They have met with Gerry McGeough and discussed his predicament. They have repeated our position to him personally. Indeed, during these visits Gerry has expressed his appreciation for the efforts Sinn Féin has made on his behalf. Most recently, Sinn Féin tabled motions at a number of councils, North and South, calling for his release.”

  16. One wonders wether the succesor to Cardinal Sean Brady will continue in a similar vein doing all he possibly can to help with Gerry’s release.
    Contenders include Fr Aidan McGrath from Banbridge, Co Down, Dominican Paul Murray, who is from Belfast, Msgr Hugh Connolly, who is from Dromore and Derry’s diocesan administrator Eamonn Martin.

    Stefan Gillies

  17. Mick a cara I honestly believe Murphy,s and his cronies words are for the optics, there is a hell of a difference in what they say AND do when it comes to one of their own, now normally I,d say fair enough first rule look after your own and all that but these fuckers are the government here Mick and with that responsibility they are mandated to protect the human rights of ALL the citizens here something I believe Murphy and his cronies in quisling $inn £ein have failed miserably to do,Clever words from the likes of Murphy for selective audiences does not cut it for me I,m afraid a cara ..

  18. Mick a cara Moya st Leger is a woman good looking one to a cara ..

  19. I would like to apologise for any offence or hurt caused by some recent posts. If it is acceptable to Mackers,I wud ask that you remove any of the offending comments. Needless to say alcohol and rage do not make good bedfellows. Sincerely sorry.

  20. Feel te love,

    ideas are ok, even if they are off the wall. But we don't want people threatening others or hurling gratuitous insults around. Argue your case whatever it is and you will be here as long as you want.

  21. Feel the love.
    My ideas and opinions probably dont fall in line with the other bloggers here. But you will have a voice unlike many other blogs I could mention. I am here to listen, learn and if needby cross reference a statement I disagree with. No man is the finished article on all the topics covered here. Viewpoints, dialogue, cross referencing and general "was that how it felt for you at the time". In opinion only broadens the mind, compassion and understanding. There are many, many, many versions of history in Ireland and worldwide knocking about. If I wanted just to stay on a particular blog that only supports my already opinion, sure how naive, one demensional and ignorgant would I be to the two sides of the story effect. In saying that I aint on that many, as most of the set up here in Ireland is just pure lies, smoke and mirror type of reporting. We all feel the rage at the minute, I certainly do, at how this world is constructed based on lies via media, education system, church, A the list goes on. TO have a inquistive mind is the real jewel. I wouldnt worry about the drunked rant had my fair share in my time. Leave you with this one from Napolian "Better be a tiger for a day, than a sheep for a thousand years".

  22. Feel to Love!.

    are you on the bottle?.

    "Hide Marty,hide u all,u all have much to hide from.Ur Irish and you cant fight ur foe,so join to him,,like u do."

    Well, I can tell you, I have never and never will hide from No Brit, except on occasions , being chased by them.

    Its hard to read into your posts, you are either trying to run the Irish down, which in my honest opinion would place you as a drunken ex British Soldier, or, Disgruntled RUC./Royalist.

    So please enlighten us all, which is it.

    I am far from simple and will blog with anyone who posts a genuine legit post, be it a question or sincere comment, but you are not the norm.

  23. James thank you,i can at times, be a complete header.lol,that would be the rage and the father jack in me.

    Justcreamcracker,i am not what you think,infact i am probably more simular to you in political outlook than you may believe.

    I am an Irishman who feels frustrated by all the talk of peace while we still live in a Brit state.Peace is all well and good when it is real but the peace here is in place because of money,smoke mirrors and the latest brand of Irish betrayal.

    I seen like many others how the Brits entrusted the running of long kesh to the IRA in an experiment to test thier ability to control the rank and file.

    I along with many other Irish people were imprisoned,i was a member of the IRA.That idiot Sean Lynch nor P Wilson asked me did i want to surrender IRA weapons.The answer wud have been no.

    SF are masters at manipulating thier own community,they dont act on behalf of the republican community,no,the community is supposed to bend to whatever way they say the wind is blowing.

    If I had to choose to guiloten Gerry Adams or Margaret Thatcher,gerry wud be going for a hair cut.I know what Thatcher is and was but for someone who has been held in the status as patriarch and holder of the baton of republicanism in our community to fail so miserably in his job,is depressing to say the least.

    Adams went to Louth for the same reason Sean Lynch had to have IRA guards put outside his cell in long kesh,when he was attacked by another man from fermanagh because Sean was turning from poacher to gamekeeper.Aside from that Sean Lynch was as charasmatic as Pol pot.