McAliskey testifies in daughter's extradition case
McAliskey testifies in daughter's extradition case

Former MP Bernadette McAliskey told a court yesterday that she could never see her daughter Roisin allowing herself to be extradited to Germany to stand trial for an alleged IRA attack on a British Army base in 1996.

Mrs McAliskey said her daughter still suffered from the trauma of being in the family home at Coalisland, County Tyrone, during an assassination attempt by unionist paramilitary gunmen in 1981.

"My daughter will never walk up the steps of a plane to go to Germany, ever, ever," Mrs McAliskey said at the Recorder's Court in Belfast.

Fighting back tears, Mrs McAliskey said: "If she is forcibly taken there she will not cooperate. She will roll up in a ball and die and I can't stop her doing that."

Mrs McAliskey - the former Mid-Ulster MP Bernadette Devlin - was opposing an extradition application by the German authorities - the second in 11 years.

Her daughter Roisin was arrested last May when she was released on bail and was not in court for the opening of the application to extradite her.

The original case was abandoned in 2000 after then British Home Secretary Jack Straw ruled that there was no case for the 35-year-old to answer.

Roisin gave birth to her daughter, Loinnir, in the course of a harrowing prison experience during the first extradition bid.

Mrs McAliskey said Roisin was aged nine when sectarian gunmen tried to kill her and her husband.

"She was the eldest of the three children and suffered the most traumatic effect," she said.

"She had an over-riding fear they would come back. She kept having panic attacks and often went to bed with her clothes on, maybe out of fear she should have to get up quickly.

"I don't think I have been able to have a rational conversation with my daughter since then."

She said Roisin appeared to be on "automatic pilot" following her arrest last May.

Leading English civil rights lawyer Gareth Peirce, who appeared for Ms McAliskey six years ago, said inquiries had established that Ms McAliskey could not have been in Germany at the time of the IRA attack.

Ms Pierce gave evidence that the McAliskey suffered abuse in Castlereagh RUC station in 1998 and later in Belmarsh High Security Prison in England.


US Senator Charles Schumer has intervened in the McAllister family deportation case by asking the nation's 'Department of Homeland Security' to grant Belfast man Malachy McAllister and two of his four children more time in the U.S.

Schumer's eleventh hour intervention came in the midst of frantic efforts by supporters to secure some form of relief for the family from the US House of Congress.

Schumer, in a letter to the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Julie Myers, urged "deferred action" in the marathon McAllister case.

Speaking to reporters from his New Jersey home, Malachy revealed he could be deported any day.

"The decision has been made to throw me and the kids out. The thing is, we haven't been told when it will happen. It could be today, next week, next month or next year," he said.

"What we are hoping is that the Senate can introduce legislation that will allow my family and I to remain here before the deportation takes place."

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