Gerry McGeough found guilty of 1981 murder bid

The BBC reports the verdict in the trial of Gerry McGeough for the attempted murder of a part-time UDR soldier [who was working as a postman at the time of the attack] in June 1981.  From the BBC report

Gerry McGeough, who was arrested in 2007, was convicted of trying to kill Samuel Brush, who is now a DUP councillor in Dungannon.

McGeough was also found guilty of possessing firearms with intent and holding IRA membership.

Vincent McAnespie, who was also standing trial, was acquitted of the charges against him.

Adds  From the UTV report

The judge acquitted McAnespie of all charges because the only evidence against him had come from a husband and wife who claimed they had seen him shortly after the shooting when he told them he had hidden the guns in a house but warned them they were “under threat not to tell”.

However the couple, who were themselves suspects at one time, did not give evidence in the trial, which lasted from March to November last year.

We previously learned that a charge of attempted murder against McAnespie, a Sinn Féin party member and husband of a Sinn Féin councillor, was dropped following the withdrawal of two witness statements.

[Prosecuting lawyer, David Reid] said two witness were recently revisited by police and made statements but within two days other people came to see them on four separate occasions and, while no open threat was made, they were left in no doubt that they were to withdraw their statements.

“The threat was implied and the elderly witnesses were left in a very frightened state,” Mr Reid said.

“Later one of them was out shopping and was called a traitor.”

The UTV report also adds

The judge adjourned passing sentence until next month when pre-sentence probation and medical reports have been compiled but as was indicated by the defence McGeough may only serve two years in custody under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Update  NI Crown Court judgement available here.

And  According to a separate BBC report

[The Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew] said the prosecution “should not have happened” because the offence happened before the Belfast Agreement.

Mr McGeough’s barrister told the court he expected his client to be released within two years.

Ms Gildernew said that Mr McGeough should be released and allowed to return to his family in County Tyrone.

“It is clear that an anomaly has arised around some of these historical cases – a fact acknowledged by the British Government some time ago along with a commitment to rectify the situation.”

Is that the Sinn Féin position on all those “historical cases”?

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  • between the bridges

    ‘bravest and most loyal republican’ is he a fan of lizzy? gerry old chap if your reading this imho it’s a pity you wern’t brave enough to become a true irish martyr! but sure its good to see you get some small measure of justice in accordance with your criminal background.

  • padraig

    Perhaps , ‘Betweeen the Bridges’ you will pove to the world how brave you are by going out and getting yourself stiffed.

    Perhaps fighting for Her Majesty in that idiotic mess in Afghanistan.


    Thought not.

  • between the bridges

    padraig i am following your own fine example and restricting myself to being a keyboard warrior…..

  • Mark

    AH so the mask has finally slipped ?

  • between the bridges

    ah duh mark still on the zorro theme, told ya before tartan scarf.

  • Mark

    That one went well over you’re head ……again . They seem to have closed the Denver is an embarrassment thread but this thread is not for our row so see you some where else .

    Slan , did I get it right ? or does it have that little funny line above the a.

  • Whilst Unionists and Mr Brush in particular will quite naturally be happy to have someone. Mr McGeough, held to account for the surprise attack on Mr Brush, it would be helpful if they could explain why they are happy to see a marginalised PIRA foot soldier banged up, whilst much bigger fish strut their stuff in Louth and in Stormont.
    Whilst I accept UInionists regard themselves as British, they do display, in cases like this, the symptoms of myopia which is the hallmarks of alleged republicans like Mr Adams.
    Whilst we have to agree there is a political element in the timing, can Unionists explain to us neutrals why Mr McGeough gets lagged and Mr Big, the so called British Baron, can run for election just south of the border. Jesus or Barabbas?

  • between the bridges

    gerry gets a fools pardon because he has found jesus in his chessnut tree, it would be rather nice in an ideal world if all terror gang murders where locked up and the key thrown away but they are not and will not be, and as this thread mentions one, that fact may just give you a clue to the answer to your question.



    I am a unionist but I agree totally with what you say but I’m afraid I’m a tiny minority. Unlike most unionists, I am truly British in the sense of the typical liberal fair minded Mr Pooter one would meet in a tea room in Dorchester and not like the sourfaced grumps my fellow constitutional travellers happen to me.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “That’s a bit hysterical, if he had been an ‘illegal enemy combatant’ in your neck of the woods he would still be in Guantanamo being waterboarded 5 years from now, waiting to find out if he would ever go before a military commission.”

    You might have a point except for the following:

    (1) the adverse inference from silence applies to everyone and not simply illegal enemy combatants like McGeough;

    (2) Maggie did not otherwise claim that he was an illegal enemy combatant but instead mere criminal (crime is crime is crime).

    (3) we aren’t waterboarding to extract confessions to use for ccriminal prosecution purposes, quite the contrary, as attested to by the recent criminal prosecution resulting in conviction, meaning we did seek to introduce any of the tainted statements into evidence against him and he retained his right to silence with no adverse inference to be drawn from the same;

    (4) your history is the opposite of that and witness in this respect the one Euro judgment speaking to condemnation of the use of the five techniques, which you all used, unlike us, for purposes of obtaining incriminating statements to be used at trial against those subject to the five techniques.

    (5) so, to sum, you didn’t return to the rack and hot pincers, but instead the five techniques. Didn’t otherwise surrender the use of those on your own but were compelled to do so by your Euro mates. Following that you still pretend that you’ve a right against self-incrimination when the penalty for exercising that right is the adverse inference, which might as well be self-incrimination as it has that same effect.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Sorry, omitted a word there in (3), and so should be “we did NOT seek to introduce…”

  • lamhdearg

    the sonner Iran gets the bomb the better.

  • Reader

    slappymcgroundout: You might have a point
    (1) People draw adverse inferences from silence all across the world. Your constitutional protection from self-incrimination is not absolute, universal or intuitive. Youse just have your own interpretation.
    (2) “Illegal Enemy Combatant” is *your* national take on Gerry’s hobby. That’s sort of why we don’t have the equivalent of Guantanamo, which was my point.
    (3) Gerry’s confession was freely, and stupidly, given. What you found sinister a couple of days ago was the court’s decision to draw an inference from Gerry having a bullet wound and not being willing to talk about it. Even under your own system the wound would have been strong circumstantial evidence.
    (4) Your country has no objection to use of the techniques for intelligence gathering, even for months and years after the victim has been removed from circulation, and before he has been convicted of anything at all. Does that seem sensible to you? Maybe you could have got Gerry to help you to convict Vincent that way? By the way – do illegal enemy combatants in front of your military commissions lose any other constitutional rights?
    (5) For the likes of Gerry, he would be worse off under your system in every respect but one. Maybe it makes up for the UK system being so comparatively wimpy in other respects.
    If you really are worked up over the right to remain silent, maybe it would have been more prudent to raise the matter when Slugger was discussing an ODC instead of a terrorist.

  • slappymcgroundout

    “That’s sort of why we don’t have the equivalent of Guantanamo”

    What was internment? You didn’t think we were originals in this respect, did you? Our military tribunals are otherwise one up on your Diplock courts, since at least there is usually a form of a jury (military officers, plural, serving as judge and jury).

    I’m not otherwise arguing the other points. You want to retry the human with a jury, no adverse inference, and no confrontation violation and that would be okay with me. All I am saying is that in this trial, to borrow from our law, the accused was deprived of liberty without due process of law and the judgment of conviction should be vacated on that basis. I wouldn’t otherwise see the point of a retrial, though, given that the argument could be made that it is all a waste of resources given that he won’t do much time given the GFA/BA.

    Lastly, believe it or not, in protecting his right to a fair trial, I am protecting your right to a fair trial. See Christy Walsh’s materials as well. He too had the adverse inference drawn. You all run that risk. And if you don’t want to have the right against self-incrimation, then don’t have it. Your call. But don’t get all hypocritical and say that one has a right against self-incrimination except that you will draw an adverse inference if the right is exercised. Kind of like saying that you’ve a right to free speech, but when you speak, you are cited and fined.

  • slappymcgroundout


    Almost forgot, but in calling Gerry M an illegal enemy combatant, I am borrowing from you all. Recall that one of the charges was his membership in the PIRA, which charge is the charge of being an illegal enemy combatant.