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Ex-IRA man to miss son’s Communion

A former IRA man jailed for the attempted murder of an off-duty UDR soldier 30 years ago has been refused temporary release for his son's first Holy Communion.

Lawyers for Gerry McGeough, who is serving a 20-year sentence for shooting Samuel Brush in 1981, argued he was an exceptional case who merited compassionate bail.

It was claimed that an unidentified SDLP councillor was prepared to escort the 52-year-old during his proposed release period.

Barrister Sean Devine also contended that McGeough was likely to be released in two years and had achieved “exceptional qualifications and held positions of great responsibility” since the events for which he was jailed last month.

Mr Devine described the Holy Communion as a huge milestone for his client's son.

But Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, sitting with Lord Justices Higgins and Coghlin, replied: “Whether he is in for two years or 20 years, he is in as a sentenced prisoner.

“The exceptional thing is he is going to get out in two years despite the fact he's been convicted for the attempted murder of a postman.”

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