Nationalists Should not Remain Silent About Injustices

A letter to the Irish News from New York Attorney at Law, Martin Galvin which featured on the 9th November 2012

A chara,
Newton Emerson in his October 20th Irish News weekly “Look Back”, seems incensed that Dungannon-South Tyrone Council should dare vote to support Gerry McGeough’s release from Maghaberry. Mr. Emerson has every right to worry about Sammy Brush’s blood pressure and any “stress, strain and humiliation,” felt by the former UDR member who was wounded in an armed encounter with IRA Volunteers in 1981, allegedly by Gerry McGeough.

Does he deny nationalist councilors any right to be concerned that Gerry McGeough, now in his late 50s with four young children, has suffered two heart attacks since his arrest in 2007, and endures the “stress, strain and humiliation”, of protest conditions at Maghaberry? Must they ignore the Internment by License of Martin Corey and Marian Price with her serious health issues?

Meanwhile, Sammy Brush instructs us to “stop whinging” about Gerry McGeough, while recounting his own complaints. It appears that neither a 2 year early release, nor 20 year sentence, nor any sentence will satisfy the DUP. As was famously said,”Hell is not hot enough, nor eternity long enough to punish the Fenians.”
Sammy Brush must have known that nationalists in South Tyrone would not remain silent about injustices in deference to him.   Was the DUP surprised that Sinn Fein and the SDLP, to their credit, took a stand for Republican prisoners instead of submitting another “sorry initiative” apology?

Gerry McGeough’s arrest at the polls in 2007 raised unresolved questions about being railroaded in retaliation for his campaign as an Independent Republican. When charges, from 1975 and 1981 were brought against him, it revealed an apparent undeclared policy of selective amnesty. Why else were there no arrests forthcoming for Bloody Sunday or the Ballymurphy Massacre, not to mention collusion in murders by some former members of the UDR? 

In 1981 it was often said that “for those who understand no explanation is necessary. For those who do not understand no explanation is possible.”

It would be unnecessary to explain to some of your readers why Dungannon-South Tyrone would support Gerry McGeough, just as they had helped elect Bobby Sands MP. It seems impossible to explain why, in 2012, Newton Emerson should not understand their right to do so.


  1. TPQ has just recorded its 1,000,000th page view. This piece by Martin probably brought us over the line

  2. I shall also be expecting a Tesco voucher.

  3. Well done Mackers. Not surprised in the least.

  4. “If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

    ― Malcolm X

  5. Shit Newton you scared us!! Jumping out like that!

    Typical journalist, in the past you lot searched bins for scraps of information, today you search the web.

    If Liam Clarke's out there somewhere give yourself up....We know you're there.

  6. Newton,

    Excellent piece in this week's Sunday Times. Placed the Wilson arrest into context and poured some much needed extinguishant unto the Sinn Fein 'bush fire'.

    Alas, enjoyment comes at a price. The realisation that the theme music of Hawii Five-O is not providing the mood music to the deliberations of a disgruntled group of 'securorats' is somewhat disheartening. I had greatly warmed to the idea, provided by Gerry Kelly, of the existence of Detective Lieutenant Steve McGarrett like figures within the PSNI issuing instructions to "Book 'em Dano".

  7. Anthony; what do all those 0's translate to? A million? My maths is terrible.


    You'll have the advertisers after you soon!

  8. Congratulations Anthony,it s the end result of hard work and the willingness to allow people to have their say however obnoxious,the secret behind the TPQ is there is no secret open and frank.its a formula that works fairly well here and if the honesty and openness was reflected in those our society as a whole we would have a better and fairer system of government here and those carpetbaggers in power would be long consigned to the bins. Newton Emersons cloumn,s are about one of the few reasons I buy the Irish News,he usually is on the ball ,but I think he called it wrong on the Brush story..

  9. great stuff!!!!

    newton's stuff has had us in stitches too!!

  10. Big Mackers fair play to you.Being consistant and providng a platform for uncorraled opinion is to your credit.

  11. Belfast Bookworm,

    Like my own maths.

    A million

  12. Feel te love,

    Thanks. We try our best.

  13. Marty,

    thanks. We try to carry on in the tradition of The Blanket and allow free inquiry. I like the Newt too but think he called it wrong here. The decision to censor him at the BBC was abominable. I have always liked the Irish News but for the world of me why it continues with Jim Gibney as a columnist defies reason. It was evident from the first few pieces that he was hopeless. I would have no problems with a Shinner writing for the paper but he should at least be able to write. The problem with Gibney is that while he actually can write his column is one that seems to be written by a committee. Now, a column written by a committee is like a dance designed by one: robotic and dull

    Belfast Bookworm,

    Barney may as well talk to the brick wall when it comes to encouraging SF to bring dissidents in out of the cold or listen to the wider republican people.

    That sums it up. Their temperamental inability to have dissent precludes inclusion as an option.