McGeough (64) was punched in the face as he led friends in prayer during a street protest against a Gay Pride parade in Cookstown
McGeough (64) was punched in the face as he led friends in prayer during a street protest against a Gay Pride parade in Cookstown.
Within hours of the incident last September, the father of four - who has an ongoing coronary condition - suffered a heart attackand required emergency surgery.
But this week, a woman was convicted in court of carrying out the no warning assault, which resulted in the anti-gay rights activist being hospitalised later that day.
Coalisland mother of four, Michelle Anne Robinson Lyttle, was found guilty of the attack which has left McGeough family devastated.
Known locally as ‘Mitch Robinson’, McGeough’s attacker is a well known member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in mid-Ulster.
And when the Sunday World called at her home asking for a comment we were told she wasn’t available.
Eye witnesses to the assault told the Sunday World, McGeough’s 44 year-old assailant stepped forward and a second before she hit him said: “What about MI5 now, Gerry?”
His attacker also mumbled something about the IRA before smashing McGeough across the face.
Last night, friends of Gerry McGeough said he was still convinced the British Secret Service had a hand in encouraging the assault to take place.
Cops who witnessed the incident, immediately pounced on Robinson. Officers grabbed her by the neck and removed her to a nearby cash machine where they slapped handcuffs on her.
Robinson was heard to say: “I’m complying. I’m complying.” And as she was placed in the rear of a police jeep, Robinson made a middle finger gesture in the direction of her shocked victim.
A video film of the incident recorded on a mobile phone by a member of the public went viral when it was shared on social media.
But hours later – after resting at home - Gerry McGeough suffered pains in his chest and was rushed to hospital.
And as his condition was being monitored, he suffered a heart attack in the middle of the night. Surgeons immediately removed him from a ward to an operating theatre, where a stent was inserted in his heart.
And this week Gerry McGeough’s attacker Mitch Robinson, was given a conditional discharge suspended for 18 months, when she appeared before the Magistrates Court.
A legal source told us that on a scale of one to 10, the assault on Mr. McGeough was rated as being between 3 & 5.
But the Sunday World has also learned the incident had a devastating effect on McGeough’s young family.
The attack was witnessed by McGeough’s two young sons who had joined their father in a decade of the Rosary before a statue of the Virgin Mother.
The boys are said to have been appalled that anyone would wish to harm their father in this way.
McGeough’s daughter - who was in Spain visiting relatives - when she was shown video footage of her father being assaulted as he prayed, is said to have been seriously affected by what she saw.
And Gerry McGeough’s Spanish-born wife is also believed to have been deeply traumatised by the incident, which still has an ongoing negative effect on her health.
Although he has a Masters Degree in History, McGeough still works on the family farm at Brantry, near Eglish in Co.Tyrone.
He was at one time a leading member of the East Tyrone Brigade of the IRA and a senior member of Sinn Fein.
In 1988, Gerry McGeough was arrested in Germany. He was caught in a car in possession of two AK 47 assault rifles.
And he was charged and convicted of causing an explosion at a British military installation and sent to prison.
But in 1992, he was extradited to America to be quizzed about offences dating back nearly 10 years.
McGeough was convicted of attempting to purchase Stinger land to air missiles and he was jailed for three years.
Eleven years ago, Gerry McGeough became the first republican to appear in court charged with pre-Good Friday Agreement offences.
He was jailed for two years for wounding part time UDR man Sammy Brush, who was working as a postman when he was shot. McGeough was wounded in the same incident, when Brush returned fire.
Although still a committed Irish republican, Gerry McGeough has cut all ties with Sinn Fein and the IRA.
He is currently a member of Siol na hEireann,a group which stands up for and promotes traditional Catholic values.
Mr. McGeough has described the assault on himself as an attack on the Catholic Church.