Republican shooter Gerry McGeough claims British ghosts assaulted him while saying the Rosary

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.

Hours after the incident last September, the father-of-four – who suffers from coronary heart disease – suffered a heart attack and required emergency surgery.

But this week a woman was convicted in court for carrying out the attack without warning, which led to the anti-gay activist being hospitalized later in the day.

Coalisland mother-of-four Michelle Anne Robinson Lyttle has been found guilty in the attack that devastated the McGeough family.

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 her home asking for a comment, we were told she was unavailable.

Eyewitnesses to the assault told the Sunday worldMcGeough’s 44-year-old attacker stepped forward and a second before she punched him he said, “What about MI5 now, Gerry?”

His attacker also mumbled something about the IRA before punching McGeough in the face.

Last night friends of Gerry McGeough said he still believed the British Secret Service had helped encourage the attack.

Cops who witnessed the incident immediately jumped on Robinson. Officers grabbed her by the neck and took her to a nearby ATM where they handcuffed her.

Robinson was heard saying, “I obey. I comply. And as she was placed in the back of a police jeep, Robinson waved her middle finger at her shocked victim.

A video of the incident recorded on a mobile phone by a member of the public went viral when shared on social media.

But hours later – after resting at home – Gerry McGeough suffered chest pains and was rushed to hospital.

And while his condition was being monitored, he had a heart attack in the middle of the night. Surgeons immediately transported him from a ward to an operating room, where a stent was inserted into his heart.

And this week, Gerry McGeough’s attacker, Mitch Robinson, was granted an 18-month suspended parole when she appeared in Magistrates Court.

A legal source told us that on a scale of 1 to 10, the assault on Mr McGeough was rated between 3 and 5.

But The Sunday World 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 in front of a statue of the Virgin Mother.

The boys would have been appalled that someone wanted to hurt their father in this way.

McGeough’s daughter – who was in Spain visiting relatives – when shown video footage of her father being assaulted while praying, was said to have been seriously affected by what she saw.

And Gerry McGeough’s Spanish-born wife is also said to have been deeply traumatized by the incident, which is still having a negative effect on her health.

Although he has an MA in history, McGeough still works on the family farm at Brantry, near Eglish in County Tyrone.

He was at one time a leading member of the IRA’s East Tyrone Brigade and a senior member of Sinn Fein.

In 1988, Gerry McGeough was arrested in Germany. He was caught in a car with two AK 47 assault rifles.

And he was charged and convicted of causing an explosion at a British military installation and being sent to prison.

But in 1992, he was extradited to America to be questioned about crimes dating back almost 10 years.

McGeough was convicted of attempting to purchase Stinger surface-to-air missiles and was jailed for three years.

Eleven years ago, Gerry McGeough became the first Republican to appear in court charged with prior violations of the Good Friday Agreement.

He was jailed for two years for injuring Sammy Brush, a part-time UDR man, who was working as a postman when he was shot. McGeough was injured in the same incident, when Brush returned fire.

Although still a committed Irish Republican, Gerry McGeough cut all ties with Sinn Fein and the IRA.

He is currently a member of Siol na hEireann, a group that defends and promotes traditional Catholic values.

Mr McGeough described the attack on himself as an attack on the Catholic Church.

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