POLITICIANS and representatives of a number of Republican groups and parties along with family and friends have attended a Gerry McGeough Justice Campaign Function at the Marble Arch in Dublin.
Speaking on the night, Fianna Fáil TD Mr Éamon Ó Cuiv said the justice campaign was of vital political importance to the peace process.
“I have to say that this is a lot bigger than Gerry because this in my view is a major step back for a peace process that Gerry bought into and that we all bought into and where we were putting the past behind us and building a better future for the young children”, he said.
“When I heard about what had happened I was contacted by a lot of people working in the campaign and I would like to salute all of you who take time and effort to work on this campaign because it is numbers that will win in the end.
“I have visited Gerry three times and we are visiting him again on the 5th November. The first time they tried to refuse me on a TD and a public representative visit. They had to give in on that. The first time they kept me a long time at the gate before I was let in and they held me for about an hour before they allowed me to see Gerry. The last day we went in, they opened the prison gates and allowed us to drive the car in. So it obviously does have an effect.
“But it also has an effect if you write letters, individual letters particularly, to the secretary of state in Britain, to the British Ambassador, to the Minister of Justice in the north of Ireland because if they think a lot of people are in the campaign they are much more likely to listen.
“We are looking at a number of different options. I have met the secretary of state, I have met the Minister of Justice in the north of Ireland, I have met the British Ambassador and we will continue to do that work. But we are also organising now, if we can succeed in doing so within the next month, a meeting in Westminster with the help of a Labour party MP, to highlight the issue right in the home of British democracy. So we are working on a campaign and what I would really like to do is to see that we are coordinating the campaign with all of you who are working so hard on the ground and who are giving us such support.”
Mr O’Cuiv said he could not guarantee a release date but vowed to keep working for one. He also commended the efforts of SDLP MAL Pat Ramsey for his work behind the scenes in highlighting the issue.
“Can I finally say it is amazing in life, you do things because you believe in a thing and you often get fantastic rewards out of it”, he said.
Right- Gerry McGeough pictured about a month ago.