Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Republican murder bid case begins

Gerry McGeough
Gerry McGeough is charged with attempted murder

The trial has begun of a prominent republican alleged to have attempted to murder a UDR man almost 30 years ago.

A court heard that Terence Gerard McGeough, known as Gerry, was shot in the chest by the intended victim Samuel Brush as he fought back in July 1981.

Mr McGeough, from the Carrycastle Road, Dungannon, is accused of attempted murder, possession of two revolvers and being in the IRA between 1975 and 1981.

Another man faces a number of charges including helping Mr McGeough escape.

Vincent McAnespie, 47, from Aghabo Close in Aughnacloy, denies possessing the guns and ammunition with intent to endanger life and under suspicious circumstances and impeding the apprehension of Mr McGeough by hiding the pistols.

A prosecution lawyer opened the case by telling the court that given the security situation at the time, it was Mr Brush's habit to carry his legally-held, .38 Smith & Wesson revolver loaded and in a shoulder holster.

It is the prosecution case that Mr McGeough, who stood in the 2007 Assembly elections, was the gunman who was shot by the intended victim as he was later treated for a gunshot wound at a Dublin hospital before going on the run.

The crown also alleges that Mr McAnespie hid the guns in a neighbour's yard.

He allegedly told those neighbours "Don't say that you saw me - you are under threat now".

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