Mr Gevelinger was arrested in the car park of Hydebank detention centre, on the outskirts of south Belfast and taken to the Antrim interrogation centre for questioning. Under special legislation, he has now been interrogated for six days.


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There is no smoke without fire and the nice student may not be as innocent as his supporters claim. Otherwise the US would have intervened. I think the American Police would detain someone they suspect of terrorist activity and detain them a lot longer.

You could be right.

Has the mainstream news media covered this?

Nope. At least not in Ireland. Fox covered it in the States.


Here is the article that was in the Irish News on 10th July:

A US university student visiting a penpal in Hydebank women's prison has been arrested by detectives investigating dissident republican activity.

Zach Gevelinger was arrested after visiting Christine Connor who is on remand accused of trying to kill two police officers in a pipe-bomb attack.

Ms Connor (27) appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court last month charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of pipe bombs in relation to an attack on police in the Ballysillan area on May 28.

Although it is believed that Mr Gevelinger, from Wisconsin, had been communicating with the north Belfast woman on social-networking sites prior to her arrest, this was his first meeting with her.

He arrived in Dublin last Wednesday before travelling north.

He made contact with Ms Connor's mother who arranged a prison visit with her daughter for Saturday afternoon.

However, afterwards Mr Gevelinger was met in the car park of Hydebank Wood detention centre, on the outskirts of south Belfast, by detectives from the serious crime unit and taken to Antrim Police Station for questioning.

Police searched a room at Benedict's Hotel in south Belfast where he had been staying and seized his belongings, which included computer equipment. the US consulate in Belfast is liaising with the PSNI which successfully applied for an extension on Monday to hold the 24-year-old for a further 72 hours.

Independent Lisburn councillor Angela Nelson has been in contact with the consulate on Mr Gevelinger's behalf.

"this is a young man who was visiting Ireland as a tourist. His only alleged crime appears to be being online friends with someone who is perceived to be a republican," she said.

"He has now been held since Saturday using dra- conian anti-terrorist legislation in a strange country without any family support. He should be released immediately."

A police spokesman said officers from the serious crime branch had been "granted a further 72 hours to question a man in his twenties arrested in the Belfast area on Saturday July 6".

Last month Lesley Con-cannon (32) from the US state of West Virginia was released on £25,000 bail after being charged in connection with dissident republican activity. the Zumba teacher was charged with her husband Kevin Barry Concannon (39) after police raided their home at Beechwood Avenue in Derry. the court was told that Ms Concannon first came to Ireland on holiday three years ago and met her future husband during that visit.


The Irish News report today (16th July) that Zach Gevelinger was released yesterday, (15/7) after 9 days in custody.

His solicitor is reported as stating his intention to lodge a complaint with the police ombudsman about his client's arrest.

Rónán, I'm afraid there has often been smoke without fire, and the people we should expect to fight fires have sometimes been responsible for igniting the fire and then hiding behind a smokescreen.

Vry keen observaion Gerard.  It is a whole different set of rules and rulebook by which the powers that be play. They very frequently change the rules to suit their needs.

is this not the same everywhere?

No doubt the police service of Northern Ireland is not without its faults as indeed is An Garda SÍochána. I have been following the north all my life and I see massive differences for the better between the RUC/ B Specials of the seventies and the PSNI of today. I remember the British army of the eighties and the fear they created  among us when we were stopped at their checkpoints.As a regular tourist/ traveller to the North I have always found the PSNI to be correct. 

I am not surprised. It is why, even though I have friends in Maghaberry, I wouldn't ask for a visit when I am over there.

Whilst my friend Gerry was held in Maghaberry, I mailed his wife a Christmas package for their children, as I had done in years past prior to his imprisonment, Three months past Christmas and it still hadn't arrived so I had a trace placed. The official response was "your package went to a "law enforcement" holding area in Tyrone and was  subsequently destroyed for containing "subversive" materials. In the package was an autographed copy of my Childrens book for the youngest child,a jar of Salsa for the mother and University of Arizona t-shirts for the others.  Sadly, that was the last package I sent.


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