Gerry McGeough released on bail

According to the BBC report, independent republican candidate Gerry McGeough has been released on bail of £500, surety of £2500 and was ordered to report to police three times a week. He had been arrested and charged, along with Sinn Féin party member Vincent McAnespie, with the attempted murder of a part-time UDR member in 1981. Last week Vincent McAnespie was released on bail when it was revealed that two key witnesses had withdrawn their statements in controversial circumstances.Also worth noting an attack earlier this week on the house and car of Cllr Sammy Brush, the former part-time UDR member who the attempted murder charges relate to, and who is now a DUP councillor. In response to that attack Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew stated..

Local MP Michelle Gildernew said: “It is not clear who was responsible for the attack on Cllr Brush`s home.

“However I am confident that republicans were in no way involved and that this was not motivated by any sectarian motive.

“I would encourage anyone with any information on this matter to co-operate with the PSNI.”

As the UTV report notes

Police do not believe at this stage that the incident at Mr Brush`s house was linked to supporters of the accused.

On Gerry McGeough’s bail hearing, from the BBC report

[Gerry McGeough’s] solicitor said later that the Police Ombudsman has agreed to investigate the circumstances surrounding McGeough’s arrest.

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  • The Lurgan Spade

    I’m no lover of Gerry McGeough’s politics (but at least he has some Republican principles left)but the circumstances of his arrest are to say the least odd.He has according to Court reports today been openly living in Dungannon since last September so why wasn’t he ‘lifted’ before now?Was there a political agenda?It certainly looks like it!
    Unfortunately Michelle Gildernew seems to be talking from both sides of her mouth(surely a strange thing for a Sinn Fein representative to do…),one minute condemning Police and the next minute asking to people to cooperate with the Police.
    If the Police are saying the attack on Sammy’s home had no link to Gerry’s arrest could it be supporters of Sinn Fein who carried this out so Michellle could come out with a statement supporting the Police.Either that or Sammy’s made a view serious enemies recently.I’ll let you conclude….My bets…..??

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TLS: “I’m no lover of Gerry McGeough’s politics (but at least he has some Republican principles left)but the circumstances of his arrest are to say the least odd.He has according to Court reports today been openly living in Dungannon since last September so why wasn’t he ‘lifted’ before now?Was there a political agenda?It certainly looks like it! ”

    Not really — he was lifted after the voting, so no influencing of the vote, iirc… He crashed and burned entirely on his own merits.

  • The Lurgan Spade

    Dread…I’m not suggesting for a moment that his arrest had any influence on the vote but surely it is strange it happened at the Polling Station within the full view of everyone there.
    I’m no nearer to guessing why it had to be done there but I do believe the charge made against him is a side issue in this episode!

  • gti

    I wish everyone – especially the police would get off their high horse and face the fact that they have no case against McGeough and McAnespie and never had. They prosecuting officer is going to come down to earth with a bang when they walk away scot free – and they will!!

  • Fermanagh Young Unionist

    I’m not suggesting for a moment that his arrest had any influence on the vote but surely it is strange it happened at the Polling Station within the full view of everyone there

    It happened outside in the carpark, no one knew what was happening before it was all over…

  • k

    The fact that it happened the day after the election shows that it was political. If he had been lifted during the campaign his vote would have increased greatly.
    There is no new evidence and he has been living openly in the north for years. The arrest is simply a message to any republican who has left sinn fein recently. Be quiet, accept what has happened. If you speak out you will pay the price………

  • Gerry Mc Who MLA

    Any suggestion that the attack was carried out by Ulster Unionists?

  • Rubicon

    I’ve rarely seen a thread on Slugger as pathetic as this one. It’s not the issue posed but the response.

    The charge is serious. Some think it was heroism – but the facts are it was cowardice. Shooting ducks for Ireland – only gobshites think that a worthy statement.

    If the arrest was before the election it would have been seen as political. That it happened afterwards WAS political – a decision not to interfere. But – those who have the right to take life don’t think that way. They’d have you believe being arrested in a car park offended Irish freedom – more than trying to murder an Irishman.

    This is a dogs in the street case. It’s unfortunate that it brings attention to SF’s old negotiating strategy that involved murder with disagreement. Its unfortunate that it ties old friends with new policies. I can see Gildernew’s problem. She’s not concerned about murder – to her it was justified and is justified today.

    Don’t knock her for being consistent in wanting to murder those that disagree with her – or excuse those that tried but failed. McGeough is charged with a serious crime.

    Are SF’s here – with their new-found support for justice – suggesting murder is OK. Or is it that murder WAS OK – but not now?

  • Dave

    It seems very pointless arresting him knowing no prosecution would ever happen. Besides the man he attempted to shoot was hugging Sinn Fein members this week after claiming for years that he wouldn’t look at them.

  • Ex-POW

    The arrest of Gerry McGeough and Vincy McAnespie shows that political policing is still happening.
    The HET will no doubt arrest more Republicans in the coming months (although they will probably have a “cessation” until the Stormont Executive is up and running). The Shinners failed to have the OTR issue properly dealt with which will see future arrests if “certain outstanding cases” aren’t dealt with and some Republicans happen to be stoppe at a PSNI/RUC checkpoint while taking a chance up North to visit family.
    And there is also the issue of the marching season and the political policing attendant on that.
    A BBC journalist on Talkback on Tuesday was saying that because of Monday’s Paisley/Adams meeting the issue of Drumcree/Garvaghy Rd would soon be solved. I doubt if that is the view of those who live in the Garvaghy road where I heard the average voter turnout in the Assembly election was low and later confirmed at less than 50%. The overall voter turnout in Upper Bann was 61.1%.
    Given that the combined SF/SDLP 1st preference vote in Upper Bann for the Assembly weighed in at 38% of the overall total, compared to 36% at the 2003 Assembly, SF and SDLP seem to have both lost a lot of votes in Portadown while their combined total rose elsewhere in the constituency.
    Could it be that the majority of nationalist/republican voters in Portadown no longer trust either SDLP or SF.
    After all, Seamus Mallon, as Deputy First Minister, made a famous/infamous visit there during Drumcree in 1998 trying to get an Orange march down that road and was heckled out of the area by women in full of the view of the media. Have people there been expecting a similar visit and request from Adams and McGuinness and is that maybe the reason the vote was so low?
    A few well-known and prominent Republicans in North Armagh have also recently resigned from SF, some before and some after the special Ard Fheis. While these “disaffected comrades” haven’t aligned themselves to any other grouping, could they become the straw that breaks the (Executive’s) camels’s back this summer.
    And what can SF do to stop them other than be more active in opposing an Orange march along garvaghy or ormeau roads. That wouldn’t win friends in the DUP and to do otherwise would leave people asking questions ofwhat they voted for.

  • BogExile

    Ex-POW/convicetd terrorist
    (since you’re fond of the odd slash)

    ‘The arrest of Gerry McGeough and Vincy McAnespie shows that political policing is still happening.’

    Policing is always political in the sense that decisions to arrest, charge etc are subject to a range of tests and influences.

    I don’t much care about the timing. The prospect of unreconstructed,unrepentant killers masquerading as democrats is a greater threat to peace and stability than the belated arrest of one man.

    ‘Further arrests’ of loyalist and republicans implicated in murder are not antithetical to the peace process. in fact they may help its ultimate survival and credibility whatever the outcome of the legal ‘process’ which results.

    There needs to be a reckoning for all the unsolved hurt caused during the troubles. Neither the SF ot the DUP will mind sacrificing a few bloodied fellow travellers along the way.

  • Gerry Mc Who MLA

    I havn’t heard Tom Elliott condemn this attack thus far.

    This adds more foder to rumours that it was UUP members/supporters who attacked cllr Brush’s home.

  • mcclafferty

    Gerry McGeough’s arrest was most definitely politically motivated and a warning to those republicans who do not follow party line, plain and simple!

    I’m sure if you look at the backgrounds of the majority of those serving on the Executive Board of Sinn Fein, and even the DUP, you could probably find reasons to arrest them as well on similar alleged charges. However, they are all towing the line, therefore as long as they continue to do so they will be safe. But for those republicans who support the peace process like Gerry, but do not kowtow to the RUC/PSNI and Paisley, are in danger of having their lives and future destroyed as seen by the blatant arrogance of the same crown forces, now going by another name.

  • As a former Vice-President of Sinn Fein(1965) and former Editor of Republi8ican News (1972-75), I believe that Gerry Mc Geough is an honest and honourable man.

    My heart goes out to his wife and his three, little children. I spoke to one of them, aged six years of age.

    I sincerely hope that this charge against him is soon dropped so that he can resume his family life and political work for the Irish nation.