Belfast Telegraph

Stop whining, failed pardon bid ex-Provo is told by man he tried to kill

By Alan Erwin

A former IRA man is accused of “whinging and whining” after he failed in a legal bid to be freed over attempted murder.

Gerry McGeough claimed he was being treated differently to other so-called political prisoners who benefited from the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

But dismissing his judicial review case, a judge at the High Court in Belfast ruled that his comparison cases were invalid. Mr Justice Treacy said: “The applicant's contention of unequal treatment is, in my view, untenable.”

McGeough's victim, DUP councillor Samuel Brush, was in court for the verdict.

He hit out at the “whinging and whining” by a man convicted of trying to kill him, who is due for release in just over a year's time.

McGeough (53), from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, is serving a 20-year sentence imposed last year for the shooting in June 1981.

Mr Brush was working as a postman at the time, and making a delivery near Aughnacloy when he was attacked.

McGeough was convicted of his attempted murder, possession of a firearm and ammunition, and IRA membership. But under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement he is expected to serve only two years of his sentence.

Lawyers for McGeough claimed he was being treated differently because he was no longer a member of Sinn Fein.

Part of his case is that it would be unlawful to draw a distinction between him and others because he previously served jail terms in Germany and in the United States.

Mr Justice Treacy was told the Royal Prerogative of Mercy was used to free others such as James McArdle, the Armagh man responsible for the 1996 London Docklands bombing.

But the judge held that McGeough was not comparing like with like.

“No ground of challenge has been made out and the judicial review must be dismissed,” he said.

Outside court Mr Brush was scathing in his assessment of the case ever being brought.

“I will carry my injuries to the grave, there's still shrapnel in my chest,” he said.

“While he's serving a two-year sentence and whinging and whining, I have to get on with my life.”

Belfast Telegraph

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