Tyrone man fights deportation
In a packed Manhattan courtroom on Thursday 25 Feburary, Clogher
man Brian Pearson who is facing deportation from the United
States over his past IRA activities, took the witness stand.
Throughout the 10 hour testimony Pearson, with obvious distress,
gave an account of the atrocities in the Six Counties during the
1970s which led to his politicisation and active involvement in
the republican movement.
He also outlined to the court the events leading up to his arrest
and claimed that he received numerous British army interrogations
in Omagh, during at least one of which he was repeatedly struck
on the back of the head . He said he became dizzy and
disorientated and after two days of little food or sleep a gun
was held to his head and cocked. At that stage he told his
interrogators ``write whatever you want and I'll sign it''. These
original statements with typed signatures were produced in the
court, with Martin Galvin, Pearson's attorney, mocking the
absurdity of the ``unbelievable contradictions and phrases'' which
In a letter to the court Cardinal O'Connor of New York asked that
discretion be exercised in Pearson's favour, seeing as his
offences were ``political and not criminal''.
The hearing is expected to continue on 21 March.