Tyrone Times
21 February 2012
**Via Newshound

REPUBLICAN inmate Gerry McGeough is due to learn his fate next Tuesday (28th) when the judgement on his appeal against his jail sentence will be heard.

Last year, the Brantry man was found guilty of attempting to murder DUP councillor and former part-time UDR member Sammy Brush in 1981.

McGeough is to serve two years of a 22-year sentence for the offence.

According to a spokesperson for the campaign to have McGeough freed, the 53-year-old has been informed by his attorney that the ‘judgment’ on both his Appeal, which was heard November 16, 2011, and his Judicial Review, which was heard on January 6, 2012, will be handed down on February 28.

“The fact that both decisions will be handed down simultaneously, on the same day, is not a coincidence”, said the spokesperson.

“Gerry believes this directive is coming from the highest political level within the British government.

“All we can do now is wait and hope for a positive outcome.”

Speaking from jail on the one year anniversary of his imprisonment, McGeough described himself as ‘a political hostage’.

“My imprisonment and continued incarceration make a mockery of the Good Friday Agreement and proves that political repression and the sectarian discrimination remains central to the existence of this statelet”, he said.

“Sinn Fein leaders are deeply embarrassed by this whole scandal, as it calls into question their negotiating skills and exposes their utter lack of any real power and influence.

“Thus, they put more time and effort into trying to discredit and silence our campaign rather than stand up to the British on behalf of our people.”

McGeough shot Mr Brush as the part-time soldier worked as a postman in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone.

Despite being injured, Mr Brush was able to return fire and injured McGeough.

If McGeough fails to win a judicial review he is still due for release in April next year.

His lawyers have argued that the Royal Prerogative of Mercy should be granted to ensure equal treatment with other convicted terrorists who benefited from it.

At a hearing in January, the judge was told the warrant was used to free others such as James McArdle, the Armagh man responsible for the 1996 London Docklands bombing.

Sean Devine, counsel for McGeough, said: “What seems to be the elephant in the room is this was a political device where political motives effectively seemed to trump the legal framework that was in place.”

He stressed that no criticism was being made of it, adding that some consequences of the political process and Good Friday Agreement were “distasteful”.

One of those was that some men convicted of atrocities prior to the peace accord were being released after as little as two years in jail, the court heard.

He claimed it was “equally distasteful that because the Good Friday Agreement is in the bag and because Mr McGeough is no longer a member of Sinn Fein and perhaps seen to be more vulnerable” that he should receive unequal treatment.