Ciaran Ferry deported
Ciaran Ferry deported

Irish republican Ciaran Ferry has been deported to Ireland in a low-key end to his incarceration by US authorities who refused him residency status.

Mr Ferry, a former IRA prisoner released early under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, has an American wife and young daughter.

Originally from West Belfast, he was arrested and detained for allegedly lying about his past in the IRA on an application form.

Now back in Ireland after almost two years behind bars in the U.S., Mr Ferry is considering new grounds for appeal.

Earlier this year, a US court backed claims by the US Homeland Security Department that he had commited acts of “moral turpitude” and ordered him deported.

Ferry’s deportation was shambolic as the Department of Homeland Security, refusing him permission to fly, removed him from a plane which he had been placed on by members of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A shouting match ensued in the airport terminal between duelling groups of federal officials, and a wry Ferry was forced to spend a final night in a US jail.

“It was bureaucratic nonsense,” he said. “There was a lot of what the f... is going on here.”

Ferry’s departure from the U.S. followed his agreeing to give up his ‘habeas corpus’ bid to allow him to return to his wife Heaven and daughter Fiona in Colorado.

The move caught activists and supporters by surprise. Speaking from Belfast, Ferry told reporters that he was glad to be out of prison, but sad that he was thousands of miles away from his wife and child.

“We had our wee plan, so we were fairly psychologically prepared for the separation,” he said. “Our major concern was that Fiona would have a nice Christmas.”

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