Letter To The Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza Re: Lord Morrow
May 31, 2012
The Lord Speaker
House of Lords,
Dear Lord Speaker:
I take the liberty of enclosing a recent statement of Terence Gerard McGeough, TCD (Hons) who is currently incarcerated at Her Majesty’s pleasure in HMP Maghaberry, Co. Antrim in the north of Ireland.
Along with many Irish-Americans who watch the proceedings of the British Parliament, I noticed that on April 5th you attended the Political Studies Association (PSA) Annual Conference in Belfast. It is reported that you spoke to attendees about the role of the House of Lords in the effective scrutiny of government and about how the House of Lords engages with the public.
May I therefore take advantage of the House of Lords’ active engagement with the public to draw to your attention a matter which is of such deep concern to Irish-Americans that on April 24th this year, there was a briefing of a delegation of eminent Irish-Americans about it at the US State Department. The briefing was led by Jake Sullivan, Hillary Clinton’s Director of Policy Planning.
Because the British media report next to nothing about what is currently happening in Northern Ireland, you may not be aware of the plight of this political prisoner, who in 2007 was arrested on 31 year old Troubles related charges while he ran as an Independent candidate in the 2007 Assembly elections. In 2010 he was put on trial and sentenced to 20 years for an alleged shooting of a UDR man in 1981 during the ‘Troubles’ in which both he and his victim were injured but which caused no deaths. Prior to his arrest, Mr. McGeough and his wife and children were living peaceful lives in the north.
Mr. McGeough, the prisoner in question and supporter of the peace process, had two heart attacks after his arrest and now have 6 stents in his heart. He has a wife and four children aged 11 and under. The Prison Medical Officer told him at the start of his sentence last year that he should not be in prison. His heart medication is not administered in a timely fashion and he is not given proper or timely medical treatment when needed. His attorney has had to address these issues on numerous occasions since Mr. McGeough’s incarceration.
From the start of his sentence, Mr. McGeough has been the target of unrelenting attacks by the DUP in the media, and our campaign has called upon the DUP, especially Lord Morrow, to cease his bigoted behavior. There is also sufficient evidence to substantiate the belief that Lord Morrow, with the DUP, engineered the arrest of Mr. McGeough.
Lord Speaker, Irish-Americans are appalled by Lord Morrow’s constant fuelling of sectarian and aggressive propaganda against the prisoner and also feel this sectarian behavior reeks of anti Good Friday Agreement sentiments. You must realize yourself that Lord Morrow’s unrepentant attitude is bringing the revising Chamber of your Parliament into disrepute. We therefore request you to call Lord Morrow to order, and point out that any continuation of his blatantly sectarian conduct will not be tolerated.
May I conclude by pointing out that just because Lord Morrow’s activities in the north of Ireland are out of sight and therefore out of mind in your country, does not mean that his discreditable attitudes and conduct are not under extremely close scrutiny by Irish-Americans and our Department of State. We trust therefore that you will attempt to rein in Lord Morrow before he causes any more irreversible damage in the north of Ireland. We Americans have always considered his ennoblement to be a grave error of judgment.
Chairperson – USA
International Free Gerry McGeough Campaign
Encl: Gerry McGeough Statement
cc: British Prime Minister David Cameron
POSTED ON BEHALF OF : by Helen McClafferty