Hepatitis C Blog

Greg Jefferys Hepatitis C blog deals with all the issues associated with hepatitis C

Vale Gerry Nealon

Gerry Nealon: Social Activist. Here Gerry is campaigning for sensible, sane and compassionate drug policies.

In Memory of Gerry Nealon

A couple of days after Gerry died last week I decided to write a memorial to this man who so quietly helped so many people.

At the time it seemed like it would be an easy enough thing to do but I soon realized that trying to condense a life of 62 years into a few lines, or even pages, is no easy task. Particularly when the fact was that I had only known Gerry for five years and only via email and Facebook. We had never sat down for a cup of tea or a beer or whatever, with time to chat and share on that level.

Yet, despite that limited form of communion, I felt very close to Gerry and his passing affected me deeply.

So here is my attempt at a memorial for Gerry Nealon

Meeting Gerry: A Smugglers Tale

Gerry Nealon and I first met by email back at the beginning of 2016. Gerry had Hep C and had heard about what I was doing, organizing the shipment of generic Hep C medication to people with Hep C, all around the world.

Gerry, like me, had caught Hep C through sharing needles during drug use and was feeling the effects of the virus in his system. At that time Ireland only offered Interferon based Hep C treatment.  Gerry had tried to cure his Hep C with Interferon through the Irish health system but had failed the treatment. He told me that the side effects of the Interferon had been horrific and probably caused more damage to his liver and general health than Hep C.

By 2015 the Hep C was really starting to bring him down so the prospect of effective treatment without side effects caught his attention and raised his hopes of finally getting rid of the Hep C virus.

At that time Ireland, like many countries in Europe, would not allow citizens to import generic Hep C medication for personal use. It was a policy the Irish government-enforced very strongly. Gerry had heard that I would do whatever it took to get people their meds so we worked out a way.

Because the UK had the opposite policy to Ireland in regards to importing medication we decided to send the meds via the UK. The UK allowed its citizens to import just about any medication for personal use. So Gerry arranged for his meds to be sent to a friend in Northern Ireland and he slipped across the border, picked up his generic Harvoni, and returned home.

That was the beginning of a long friendship.

As soon as he had his medication Gerry started helping other people in Ireland and people across all of Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, to access generic Hep C treatment.

But more importantly, Gerry became very active in various online Hep C forums, particularly on Facebook and particularly in the Facebook group I founded with Gitan and Alexander Macrae, called Hepatitis C Treatment Without Borders. He saw that the online forum as a great way to help people who had no other way of getting access to Hep C treatment or even good information about Hepatitis C.

When Hepatitis C Treatment w/o Borders was hijacked by Jacki Chan and I was blocked from the group that I co-founded, Gerry played an important “under-cover” in W/O Borders role to alert members to what had happened and he personally moved many hundreds of members across into my new Hep C group Hepatitis C Treatment Cure and Community. Gerry’s help in the early stages of my new group launched the group and ensured its growth


Gerry Nealon: Social Activist

Gerry is known in the Hep C world as a leading advocate for people with Hep C. He did a lot of online work helping people to access Hep C treatment and was always there for people needing information about Hepatitis C treatment options.  As I mentioned Gerry helped me set up the new Facebook group Hepatitis C Treatment, Cure, and Community and was on the Admin team from the beginning.

Gerry’s dedication to helping people was such that he basically stayed online and active in the group 24 hours a day, offering advice, support and guidance when it was needed and keeping things running smoothly. However because he took his role in the group so seriously it began to wear him down and after a couple of years, he gave up the formal Admin role and opted just to be a helpful group member.

Apart from his work with Hepatitis C Gerry was an advocate for many other social justice issues including the decriminalization of drug use.

Gerry Nealon’s early life

Gerry was born in Dublin 1959 on the 30th of May, into a good Irish family. He was the fourth child of eight. Gerry had two sisters and five brothers. His brother John was telling me that all the kids were born almost exactly a year apart.

The family was comfortable as their father was an advertising agency director. Gerry got the nickname “Taste”, because he was always hungry and he loved biting things. John went on to tell me that they were a happy family and always went away down the country for the summer holidays.

People who knew Gerry growing up, say that he was his own man and he wasn’t influenced by others around him.

When he was around 19 or 20 he got a local publican/ politician’s daughter pregnant. Her father thought he wasn’t good enough for his daughter (as I think he was working in McDonald’s at the time). Gerry followed this girl over to England where her dad sent her while she was pregnant to have the baby adopted. It was probably while he was in London that Gerry started smoking weed and getting into other drugs.

Gerry then went through most of his adult life going from job to job. He never stayed anywhere for a long time. He had become a stoner, as they called people then who liked to have a smoke. When he got back from London Gerry stayed in Dublin.

Gerry was always fighting for a good cause and it could be a different one every so often, but normally a very worthy cause.

You could never argue with him about said cause at the time because he would blow you out of the water with facts, figures and dates. He was very knowledgeable and was a great supporter of the old IRA, and republicanism in Ireland from 1916.

He was a great guy who took on a good deed and stuck with it. Gerry has another two grandchildren along with his treasured Holly who is Matt’s daughter. Then only last year Gerry discovered that he had another son in Australia called Brian, who also had a daughter who was called Erin. For reasons best known to herself, Brian’s mother never got in touch with Gerry to even say that she was pregnant. So in the last two years, Gerry suddenly had two sons and a daughter and three grandchildren who he sadly never got to meet.

He was only diagnosed with cancer around October or November last year.

Thin Lizzy, Joan Armatrading, The Beatles are all music that he loved growing up.

Gerry Nealon with his father in 1976. Gerry described this as him moving into his “hippy phase.”

Gerry with some of his mates in the late 1970’s


 I would just like to add that Gerry made time to comfort, provide solace, empathise with others when they were in a fragile place. He was extraordinarily kind and could just be present with people when they needed someone.
Haha! I sure had. One kid is 40,another 30,then we skip to this century. I will include Brians address in a while.
Cool. I have yet to meet this son. 2 kids found me in the last year, then this crap happened. It will take time to heal. But I cant even stand on my own 2 feet.
Gerry sent April 3
My youngest grandkid and the only one who lives in Ireland
Yes, even in hospital i will see her every 2 weeks. She is a real tonic.
Sean sent July 1 at 10:27 AM
When I met Gerry he was living in a tiny flat on his own in an area called Kimmage. Close to the city centre and could be quite a rough area with gang wars etc
He never seemed to fit the stereotype of a hard-core Dublin street junkie at all. He was too educated and gentle
I wish I had more stories or anecdotes but unfortunately, I don’t, not off the top of my head. Maybe I’ll remember something
We did meet up several times though and had good chats about our lives. We even went for drives and walks in the countryside a couple of times but I haven’t seen him for 3 or 4 years now. Eventually, we just communicated by Messenger etc. I’m sorry Greg, I wish I had more

Gerry’s Politics

Gerry was very left wing and had very strong Irish Republican views. Sometimes he had a short fuse in political discussions but tried to be understanding that others were entitled to opposing views.

Brian B Dulin
One of my last deep convos with Gerry Nealon..I thought I’d share…bless
Thanks Dul.
I actually thought that you were based in Ireland!
But I sympathise with you living there. I have a few very good friends who live in the US, and it pains me to see what is happening.
I have nothing against the people, but the politicians are getting more and more right wing. Trump being elected was a huge mistake, though I would have problems with Clinton too. I see Bernie Sanders as being the only person who has always looked after the people throughout his career. Imagine the reaction of the rest of the world if he had been chosen to run instead of Clinton? The US would have enormous respect, and we would live in a much safer world.
But when it comes to Hep-C, we are all on the same page. So we can work on that, and try forget about politics. It’s great to see the advances being made, and more States are finally making treatment available to all.
I have much respect for you also, and it’s great to be connected with Greg. I found him by joining a few HepC groups in ’15,when he was still doing treatment himself. I was F3, and still being refused treatment here. I only started online in 2014, and hadn’t any experience with computers, or even smartphones. So it was like a Godsend when I found Greg could get the meds for me! I will keep trying to get more people treated, and help people through the process.
Much respect, bro…. Gerry
Greg Jefferys

Greg Jefferys


  •    Reply

    Excellent memorial Greg. He truly was a humble warrior and an all round good guy. He never had a bad word to say about anyone.

  •    Reply
    Carolyn Brackett July 8, 2021 at 3:23 am

    Although I disagreed on some political issues I admired he stood up for what he believed I
    in, how important it was to him to help others. I loved seeing the photos he shared of his family. My heart is sad that he is gone in body but I know the spirit is eternal. He is missed.

  •    Reply

    Beautiful memorial Greg. ❤️

  •    Reply

    Thank you Greg for taking the time to create his memorial. You did an Awesome job!!!

    Gerry is an Awesome man!!!

Leave a Comment