Solidarity as McGeough/McAnespie trial resumes
Solidarity as McGeough/McAnespie trial resumes

Republican activist and author Gerry McGeough has expressed his thanks to supporters as his juryless “trial” restarted in Belfast this week.

On Thursday, an alleged statement admitting involvement in a 1981 IRA attack by McGeough for the purposes of a Swedish asylum application was presented by the prosecution in the Diplock court in Belfast.

It is now over three and a half years since McGeough, and his co-accused, Vincent McAnespie, were arrested and charged, causiung outrage among republicans.

The arrests came on the day of the count in the Six-County Assembly elections. Both men had lived and travelled openly in the Six Counties for years before their arrests.

The court also heard a retired Garda detective claim privilege after he was questioned about a former British intelligence officer who he denied knowledge of.

It is alleged that Mr McGeough, following an IRA attack on a British soldier, was treated for a gunshot wound in a Dublin hospital before being transferred to Monaghan County Hospital, but escaped.

Former detective John McCoy, who has claimed he was guarding McGeough, refused to even discuss MI6 whistleblower Fred Holroyd in order to “protect the State”, he said.

Holroyd has previously said the Garda detective known as ‘the Badger’ had previously passed information on Irish republicans to British intelligence.

“These arrests and prosecutions should not have taken place,” Sinn Fein’s Caoimhghin O Caolain said this week.

“Former prisoners, convicted for actions which took place long after those for which these two men have been charged, have long since been released under the Good Friday Agreement,” he said.

He said Vincent McAnespie was a highly respected member of the community, and the father of six children. The raid of the family home in 2007 when Vincent was arrested had brought “further distress” to a family that suffered the loss of Vincent’s brother Aidan McAnespie who was murdered by a British Army sniper at Aughnacloy in 1988.

“The arrest of Gerry McGeough, a candidate in the Assembly elections, at the count centre, was equally outrageous. Like Vincent McAnespie, Gerry McGeough had lived openly in County Tyrone for years.

“Whatever the outcome of this case, its prosecution is indicative of a residual securocrat influence which should be ended.”


Mr McGeough dismissed the trial as a persecution of him for his opposition to the political process in the North.

“By now, you will all be aware of the fact that this charade has nothing whatsoever to do with justice and everything to do with continuing the war against the Irish people by other means,” Mr McGeough wrote.

“It is raw, brute political intimidation and censorship in its most blatant form.

“This persecution against me is being driven by elements from within the British-Unionist establishment who hate with a passion everything that is Irish nationalist and Catholic. They are blinded by bigotry.

“Needless to say, I have never been impressed or intimidated by this outfit in the past and most certainly will not bow down to them now.

“Irish-Catholics will not be pushed around in our own country and the sooner these people face that reality the better.

“My patience has been sorely tested by these anti-Irish, anti-Catholic wretches and I believe that the time has now come for the establishment of a broad-based Independence Movement that will demand the end to foreign misrule in our country.

“Our ancient Irish Nation requires freedom, unity and full independence from Britain ... as of now.

“As an Irishman, I am sick to the teeth of the English presence in our country. England has nothing to offer our people but misery and captivity. This is our nation and we want it back. England, get out of Ireland and take your pathetic little Diplock courts with you!

“Remember, the Irish Nation will never be beaten and Irishmen and women everywhere must stand up and be proud of our ancient heritage and noble history of resistance to the foreign enemy!”

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