Anti-gay ex-IRA man punched at Cookstown Pride parade

In a moment that was caught on camera and circulated on social media, a man was punched in the face at Cookstown Pride.

Still of the moment just before a women punched homophobic Gerry McGeough at Cookstown Pride

Gerry McGeough (63) is the anti-gay ex-IRA gunrunner who was punched in the face at a Pride parade in Cookstown on Saturday, September 18.

The former Sinn Fein ard comhairle member attended the event with eight men who were saying the rosary and holding a statue of the Virgin Mary, praying for those who participated in the parade and “[glorified] the sin of sodomy”.

Moments before the attack took place in Cookstown, a woman approached McGeough, spoke to him and then punched him in the face. She was arrested without delay by nearby police who saw the incident take place. A report was submitted to the Public Prosecution Service but it is understood that the woman has now been released.

“We had made it clear from the beginning that we remain peaceful and don’t engage with protesters,” said Molly Farrell of Mid Ulster Pride to The Irish News.

Although she was unaware of the incident, she said she was “very sorry to hear what happened”.

“I don’t imagine [the woman arrested] was anybody who was part of the parade.”

In closing, she confirmed that aside from the punching incident the parade was a great success.

The mid-Ulster Pride event was backed by McGeough’s own former party, Sinn Fein, as well as clergy, the Social Democratic and Labour Party and People Before Profit. McGeough left the party because of their stance on abortion and he has criticised them for their involvement in the Pride parade, saying that “Sinn Fein is an anti-Catholic organisation.”

Continuing his homophobic spiel, he said, “When I was a member of the Irish republican movement, it was standing by Catholicism especially in places like East Tyrone. Now we have Sinn Fein out promoting something that during the time of the hunger-strike 40 years ago would have been utterly repellent to any self-respecting Irish republican in this part of the world”.

McGeough, who was himself imprisoned in 2011 for the attempted murder of Sammy Brush in 1981, has not been deterred by the incident at Cookstown. He plans to attend Omagh’s first-ever Pride parade this coming Saturday, September 25, as he is committed to challenging the “homosexual agenda”.

Of the upcoming Omagh Pride parade, its organiser, Cat Brogan said, “It will form and strengthen connections based on compassion and empathy, while sending everyone the message that LGBTQ people are loved – wholly and unconditionally.”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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