Irish Republican News · February 21, 2008
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
US Homeland Security turns vindictive

The US Department of Homeland Security has deported Mark James McAllister, the son of former Irish Republican prisoner Malachy McAllister, to Ireland.

Known as Jamie to his friends and family, McAllister junior has lived in the U.S. and Canada for 20 years, since his father left Belfast in 1988 after the unionist ‘Red Hand Commando’ paramilitaries came within inches of killing his family.

Like his father, Jamie had been reporting in monthly to the Department of Homeland Security in New Jersey since December 2003, under an order of supervision, which was subject to the same immigration conditions as his father.

Unlike his father however, Jamie was denied political asylum because of a relatively minor offense when he was a teenager in Ireland.

On Friday, February 1 McAllister junior was told that a computer glitch would necessitate his return to the Department of Homeland Security last Thursday, February 7 to complete his order of supervision for the month.

However, when he returned he was arrested by Homeland Security agents, then removed to detention and deported to Ireland the following day.

Eamonn Dornan, the lawyer who has been a long time representative for the family, said, “I would say that Jamie is looking at a 10 year bar before he gets back into the United States. His father is very disturbed by all this, needless to say, as is Jamie’s American wife, Noelle.”

“Jamie has a job, community, friends here -- he went to school here. He’s now being literally dumped in a country that he has no familiarity with.”

It is understood that McAllister junior is now living in Belfast with his aunt and uncle, where he is reconciling himself to the fact that he cannot return to his life in the US.

Malachy McAllister is upset at the decision. “That’s his whole future sent out the window. Who are they supposed to be going after? Is it terrorists or just destroying families?”


Meanwhile, H-Block escapee Pol Brennan will remain in a Texas immigration holding facility until at least March 11 after he was forced to ask a U.S. immigration judge to postpone a surprise hearing last week in order to secure legal representation.

Brennan told the media by phone that he was only notified about the early morning hearing on the night before, making it impossible for his lawyer to attend.

Brennan was detained at a US immigration checkpoint 100 miles from the Mexican border on January 27 when a border patrol guard noticed that his work permit had expired. He and his American wife had been driving to visit friends in Texas.

A computer background check revealed that he was one of 38 IRA prisoners who escaped the infamous Long Kesh prison in September 1983.

US authorities have known of his whereabouts ever since 1993, when he was jailed. Britain sought his extradition in federal courts until he was finally released in 1998.

Brennan has since lived a quiet family life while working as a carpenter in California. He is still waiting to see if the US will deport him for using an alias to enter the States in 1983, while a political asylum application is pending.

Since his “capture” in Texas, he is being held in punitive solitary confinement and moved only in leg-irons and handcuffs - restrictions he said he hasn’t seen imposed on any other detainee. He is told this is because he is “a danger to the security of the facility”.

Brennan said that he spends most of his days “pacing the cell,” as the facility has no library to draw reading material from, nor does he have a TV or radio in his cell.

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© 2008 Irish Republican News