FEARS over the health of jailed former IRA man Gerry McGeough have grown after he was removed for emegency heart treatment last week.
McGeough was jailed in 2010 for the attempted murder of a part-time soldier in County Tyrone 31 years ago.
Samuel Brush, a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, was shot in 1981.
According to his supporters, McGeough was rushed from HMP Maghaberry to hospital to have a 7th cardiac stent inserted.
“He was back in prison the same day and is now feeling very sick indeed”, they said.
“There is a legal provision in Northern Ireland which empowers a Secretary of State to ‘release a life prisoner on licence if he is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist which justify the prisoner’s release on compassionate grounds.’
“If this category of release is possible for a life prisoner, which ‘exceptional circumstances’ may I ask can be taken into consideration for the release to a prisoner, who has been told by PMOs and outside doctors that he should not be in prison and who is now in a critical condition?”
His supporters quote an independent medical expert, which claims that McGeough could be suffering from a ‘dangerous and life-threatening condition’.
In the run-up to the 2010 trial McGeough had a heart attack and a second one during the trial. He now has seven stents in his heart.
In November 2011 he had a further heart attack in prison and had to be rushed to hospital where he had a further stent inserted.
Mr McGeough has been visited by a stream of VIPs, including the Primate of all Ireland Cardinal Brady and former Irish cabinet minister, Eamon O Cuiv, who has been campaigning for his release.
Under the Good Friday Agreement McGeough should serve no more than two years in jail, which means he should be released by next April.