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January 17, 2005

01/17/05 - IAUC Outraged At US Treatment of Ciaran Ferry

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Monday, January 17, 2005

For Immediate Release -

Washington, DC – Judge Andrew Somers (ret), the National President of the Irish American Unity Conference (IAUC), has expressed outrage with the U.S. government’s treatment of Irish born Ciaran Ferry.

Ciaran Ferry, a former Irish political prisoner, was released under the terms of the US brokered Good Friday Peace Accords. Following his release, Ciaran Ferry came to the United States with his U.S. citizen wife after his life was under threat from Loyalist paramilitaries. Following the birth of their only child, Fiona, the Ferry's determined to remain in the United States free from threat or fear of persecution, Ciaran applied for a “green card” based on his marriage to a United States citizen.

Instead of being granted a hearing on the merits of his application, Ciaran was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on a bogus charge of having “overstayed” his visa and denied any opportunity to challenge the illegal actions of the DHS. More disturbingly, Ciaran was denied the right to a bond hearing, which is a right that is deeply embedded in our constitution, and spent 690 days in a jail cell without ever being charged with a crime.

Facing the prospect of continuing unlawful and indefinite confinement throughout 2005, and after close consultation with family and legal counsel, Ferry was forced to concede his removal to Ireland before Christmas. Before he was deported, he ensured his right of appeal to a Federal Court of Appeals and will continue his long fight for justice and the right to live in the United States with his wife, Heaven, and their 3-year-old daughter, Fiona.

National President Somers stated: “Decision after decision from the Supreme Court of the United States has held that it is unconstitutional to detain an immigrant in Ciaran Ferry’s situation for more than six months. An Irish national has now been deprived of his liberty for almost two years, and treated by the DHS as a danger to the safety and security of this nation. In doing so, the DHS has not only broken the law, but has snubbed the clearly expressed opinion of a dozen of our congressional leaders, as well as other Irish American groups, who consistently informed the DHS that Ciaran Ferry presented no danger to this country.

The treatment of Ferry by this administration is illegal, unconstitutional, and a clear slap in the face to Irish Americans and their congressional leaders. Irish Americans have given their all to the security of this nation, and have in turn been treated abominably. The IAUC asks all other Irish organizations to join us in demanding an immediate congressional inquiry into the actions of the DHS in this matter, as well as its treatment of other Irish deportees.“

At this time Ciaran Ferry has several court cases in progress in the United States, and the IAUC will continue to support his campaign.

The Irish American Unity Conference is a nationwide, nonpartisan, nonsectarian, U.S. chapter-based human rights organization working for justice and peace in Ireland.



For further information or to send much needed donations:

Irish Deportees of America Committee
P.O. Box 914
Farmington, MI 48332

Contact: Deanna Turner
National Office
611 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #4150
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tel: 1-800-947-4282

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