A woman has been arrested in Northern Ireland after punching an anti-LGBTQ protester in the face at a Pride parade.
Former IRA gunrunner Gerry McGeough, 63, was protesting the “homosexual agenda” during the march in Cookstown, Northern Ireland when he was attacked.
McGeough, who was the first Irish Republican jailed for historic offenses after the Good Friday Agreement, was standing with a group of men praying and protesting those “glorifying the sin of sodomy,” the Belfast Telegraph reports.
A 44-year-old woman, who has not been named, approached McGeough, paused as if to say something, and then punched him in the face.
Gerry McGeough has clearly fallen down the fascist rabbithole of hate as he protests at the Mid Ulster Pride event alongside Niall McConnell. He does get some direct action though. Well done that woman, now that’s how you deal with fascists ✊ 👊 pic.twitter.com/nDYFXsL46M
— Ireland against Fascism (@IrlagainstFash) September 19, 2021
The woman was arrested and charged with common assault. She was later released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.
Mid Ulster Pride, which organized the march, said it was unaware of the incident but was “very sorry” to hear it had happened.
“We had made it clear from the beginning that we remain peaceful and don’t engage with protesters,” Molly Farrell, Mid Ulster Pride’s health and well-being officer, told The Irish News. “I don’t imagine it was anybody who was part of the parade.”
Farrell called the Pride parade “powerful” and a “great success,” adding that, despite protests, the “general consensus was that everybody wants to come back next year.”
A nationalist ultra-Catholic group later claimed that McGeough had suffered a heart attack following the incident.
“We were in Cookstown as Catholics praying a rosary in reparation for the offence given to God by those who were parading through the town promoting and glorifying the sin of sodomy,” McGeough told a local broadcaster.
“We were not protesting, we were simply praying a peaceful rosary when all of a sudden I was assaulted.”
McGeough has spent time in prison in both Germany and the U.S., the former for attacking the British army and the latter for trying to purchase surface-to-air missiles.
The anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion campaigner said he would continue to protest LGBTQ events and the “homosexual agenda,” including another Pride event in Omagh.
He also slammed his former political party, Sinn Fein, for backing Mid Ulster Pride, calling the party “anti-Catholic” and accusing them of “promoting something that…would have been utterly repellent to any self-respecting Irish republican in this part of the world.”
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