Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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Welcome Home Gerry

Guest writer Helen McClafferty with a short piece on Gerry McGeough's homecoming after some years in a British prison.

It was such a pleasure to be in County Tyrone to celebrate Gerry’sfreedom and to finally meet the co-chairs of the Free Gerry McGeough campaignwho have done such a fantastic job in keeping Gerry’s plight in the forefront of the media and never stopped lobbying politicians in the Dail, Stormont, Westminster and the Government of Catalonia.
Congratulations to Damian Herron - Northern Chair.  Brian Halpin - Dublin Chair.  Luz Retuerta – CataloniaChair and Moya St. Leger – London Chair, on a campaign well run.

A special thank you to Eamon O’Cuiv, TD Fianna Fail, whocourageously took on the responsibility as the International Chairman of theFree Gerry McGeough Campaign. To Pat Ramsey, MLA SDLP, who worked hard toensure that Gerry, as well as the other political prisoners, were treated with dignity and did what he could to help bring about a settlement to the protestsin Maghaberry prison. To Emmet Doyle, Mr. Ramsey’s adviser, who always followed up in a timely fashion to address any infringements upon Gerry’s rights whilein prison, especially when it came to ensuring Gerry received his heart medication on time and on a consistent basis. To Mayor Jordi San Jose Buenaventura of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, responsible for getting a motion passed unanimously by all 21 members of his party calling for the immediate release of Gerry McGeough.

To the numerous Irish Americans who supported the Free Gerry McGeough campaign from day one including John McDonagh, Sandy Boyer and Liza Butler of WBAI Radio Free Eireann,  Pam Somers who designed the freegerry.com website and helped to keep it updated on a regular basis for almost 6 years, and to Martin Galvin whose legal advice and input was invaluable throughout the campaign.

To the AOH in America and others who were so generous and consistent in their support of Gerry’s family over the years.  To Anthony and Carrie McIntyre of The Pensive Quill whose writings are mightier than the sword.  To the AOH Tyrone County Board, the National Board of Erin and to all those here and afar who campaigned relentlessly to help free Gerry and who are still campaigning to highlight the plight of those prisoners still unjustlyincarcerated by the British Government, I say "THANK YOU".  It has been my pleasure to work with all of you over the years as the U.S. Chairperson of the Free Gerry McGeough campaign. 

God bless.


15 comments:

AM said...

A message from Gerry McGeough:

A chairde,

Just want to take this opportunity to thank all who turned out for the great night we had in Dublin last weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and it was wonderful to meet-up again with so many old friends, as well as get to see and talk to many more new ones.

The Druids are a magnificent group and richly deserve the accolades they've received for their music and performances. In addition to that they are also really good guys and it was an honour to meet, converse and be photographed with them.

Brian, Mick, Anto and all our friends in Dublin did a magnificent job in putting the event together at relatively short notice.

The previous weekend's F√°ilte Abhaile in Tyrone is STILL being talked about and I have to thank Damien, Noreen, Barry and all who took part in the organizing for the brilliant night that was enjoyed by everyone in the huge crowd that turned-up.

Once again, the Irish Brigade excelled themselves and it's easy to see why they've remained so popular over the years. Apart from being excellent musicians they are also good personal friends and neighbours and it meant a lot to have them there

There are so many people that need to be thanked and rest assured that the help and support of one and all during this difficult period of injustice for my family and I are deeply appreciated. May God bestow bountiful blessings upon you.

Beannachtaí,

Gerry McGeough.

Ardoyne Republican said...

So pleased for Gerry and his Clann to see him free again. Good luck to him in the future...

AM said...

Gerry McGeough Is Out Of Prison But He Is Not A FreeMan


I don’t think anyone realizes that although Gerry McGeough wasreleased on February 1st, 2013, after serving two years (under theGFA) of his 20 year sentence on 37 year old Troubles related charges, Gerry isstill not a free man. Gerry was releasedon an 8 year license (probation) which means that he can be lifted andre-incarcerated to serve out the remainder of his 20 year sentence at any timefor any reason at the whim of the British Government. In addition to this Gerry will not be allowedto return to his profession as a teacher and his travel will be limited to Ireland.

THIS IS NOT FREEDOM!

Alec said...

AM,

This is fucking disgraceful but not surprising. This is a modern day version of the 'cat and mouse' provision which allowed the state to return political prisoners to jail for a multitude or reasons. It was use against republicans in the past.

It is becoming clearer by the day who calls the shots here. The new sentencing guidelines 2008 removes 50% remission and replaces it with determinate, indeterminate and life seentences. In the first two cases that portion of the sentence not served is now suject to a probation order. The probation order requires the person to inform his/her probation worker of all personal details to do with work, travel, family circumstances etc. All of this was brought in to deal with sex offenders but is now being applied to everyone, including political prisoners. Gerry will be a hostage of the system for anothe 8 years whether he be in a prison cell or not.

marty said...

And they called it the "Good Friday Agreement" wasnt good Friday the day Jesus was crucified after betrayal by a friend maybe it is the correct name so such a fucking betrayal,as Alec has said from a prison cell to open prison,some new beginning,

itsjustmacker said...

WTF is going on, I just can't fathom this, and, that's the gods honest truth, this is not Justice, this is British Persecution at the extreme, but, not only British, SF(british as well), Fucking bastards SF are, they can get there own out, No qualms, no questions, yet, we all know what this means for Gerry, 24/7 surveilance, speak to any one who is SUSPECTED of Being ANTI against the GFA and he will be arrested, well truly fucked up laws, SF had better come out and make a statement on this, because I'm sure they know all about it, and, If michaelhenry is really an SF councilor, let him speak his mind here on TPQ, Maybe he is on holiday, who knows, but its been a while since he posted on here, maybe he will respond to me, because he normally does. Gerry a cara, That is terrible news, I had no idea, I thought once you were released, that was, time done, freedom of movement, but to stop you to continue your teaching, stops you from earning an income, that is well against the geneva convention, and your human rights, British MI5 Bastards, fuck, my blood was boiling last night blogging with certain people, steam is coming out of every were in my body. CRUEL BRITANIA. any spelling mistakes pleas ignore. SF fuck you bastards for allowing this to happen, and, to a comrade. pathetic lying pieces of garbage. that's it have had my honest say. sorry for the swearing Anthony.

itsjustmacker said...

Anthony:

I think after hearing that news about Gerry being under that 8 year draconian law, this is the best place to post this link about the other "LYING GERRY ADAMS".

"Adams 'hiding in Dail' to avoid questions on Jean McConville" He is well being put under pressure and rightly so, lying scum.

Adams 'hiding in Dail' to avoid questions on Jean McConville

AM said...

the statement about Gerry being out of prison but not being a free man was distributed by Helen McClafferty. She worked tirelessly on the campaign to free Gerry

Alec said...

In the future no republican prisoner will be a 'free man/woman' until they have severed the full term of the sentence in one form or another. As I explained in my other comment all sentences now have a probation order built in after a prisoner is released from custody. The lenght of this order is specified by the court at sentencing. So for example a ten year sentence breaks down as five years in custody and the remain five years to be serverd on probation. The court now has the power to decide how the full term of a sentence is applied. Fifty persent remission is no long an automatic entitlement.

Alec said...

Since the signing of the GFA the criminal justice system has become measurably more dracoain. Stop and Search provisions, seceret evidence and the use of covertly recored evidence, sentencing structure, all are new weapons available to the state for the purpose of suppressing dissent. Was it not the job of Sinn Fein to reduce the more punitive aspects of British laws in Ireland? Based on the evidence, excuse the pun, they failed miserably in this task as they failed in so much else.

Surely the democratic measure of a state is to be found in its laws and strictures. The checks and balances built into the system are there to protect the rights of citizens, are they not? The ongoing treatment of Martin Corey and of Marian price throw up serious questions vis-a-vis the British legal system. For these are not simply individual abuses rather they are infringements within the system. Seen in this light they have serious implication for the administration of the law and for civil liberities.

itsjustmacker said...

sorry about the dead link.
Will re-find it and post.

AM said...

Alec,

the critique you make is probably best made from a liberal side of the liberal-democracy equation. Although your comment on civil liberties acknowldeges this.

If you want to see a side of the British state that you don't often read about in the papers pick up Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain. It addresses the very democratic concern of a secret state. I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough. If The Walking Dead or Stephen King frightens you, wait until you read this. Marty, having read it, is of the same opinion.

marty said...

As Alec quite rightly says we are facing ever more Draconian laws and measures to restrict our freedom,and movement this says more about how weak and pathetic the governments position really is than an interest in the rights of the citizen.the gfa and the new beginning crap is a perfect example of this,quisling $inn £ein have set back the fight for nationalist /republican rights by generations.

marty said...

I cant agree more with Anthonys comments re Cruel Britannia,its a must read,it lets us see exactly what sort of vindictive evil lying scumbags that quisling $inn £ein work for,

Alec said...

Mackers.

A republican critique would be harsher than the one I have just offered. I view these laws as oppressive and deliberately designed to crush dissent. They are part and parcel of the vast array of weaponary, legal and extra legal, used by the British state against oppositional republicans. They fit neatly in to the Kitsonian strategic approach to supperssing state opponents.

As one who continues to find himself before the courts it is clearly evident that the system is rigged. Judges openly display an unashamedly anti-republican attitude which is fair enough. The Dliplock process is talior made to deal with political offences bypassing many of the safegaurds of the criminal law. Thousands of republicans, and to a lesser extent loyalists, went through this system druing the war years. As the result Long Kesh had more than its fair share of miscarraiges of justice that passed largely unnoticed.

Since 2000 several high profile cases have collapsed because of serious irregularities. Sean Hoey, Colin Duffy, Brian Shivers and the loyalist supergrass trial. It would appear that no mater how many times this happens the system finds new targets to concentrate on. Within the legal profession it is widely believed that the conviction of Brendan McConnville and John Paul Wotton should never have occured based on the evidence.

Sadly not enough is being done to highlight these injustices. Many of the old justice campaigners are gone or have left the field. This important work is now left to legal representatives who do their best to expose systemic failures, but solicitors are not political animals. We need a new focus on the criminal justice system in order to shine a light on these important matters. To be silent is to be complicit.