Irish Republican News · September 27, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: McGeough suffers heart attack
McGeough suffers heart attack

The trial of Gerry McGeough has been postponed after he became ill and required immediate heart surgery.

A former member of the Sinn Fein leadership, McGeough is charged with IRA membership in 1975 and involvement in an IRA attack in 1981.

Now an independent, he was the first republican to be tried with historical crimes since the 1998 Good Friday agreement.

McGeough, who had a heart attack last year, became ill hours after his trial reopened last Monday.

That day the court had heard excerpts from his 1998 novel Defenders, a tale about IRA, loyalist and British Army killings in County Tyrone. The novel forms part of the prosecution case.

McGeough said: “Later that night, I developed strong chest pains. I was taken by ambulance to Craigavon Area Hospital. They carried out various tests. An angiogram showed I needed three new stents inserted in my coronary arteries.”

His trial has been postponed for six weeks. McGeough lives in County Tyrone, with his Spanish wife Maria and four young children. Since his hospitalisation, a pressure group, Justice for the McGeough family, has been set up. It is lobbying local political parties, US politicians and is hoping to meet Cardinal Sean Brady.

Spokesman Conor Daly said: “There is growing anger at what Gerry McGeough is going through. We thought the Good Friday Agreement meant the past was the past and we can’t understand why he has been singled out for prosecution. The soldiers who murdered 13 unarmed civilians on Bloody Sunday aren’t being prosecuted.

“We are looking at this from a human point of view. The immense pressure Gerry McGeough is under is taking its toll on his health. This case is also having a negative effect on the peace process for many in our community.”

© 2010 Irish Republican News