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February 02, 2006

Malachy McAllister Trying To Avoid Deportation

News about Ireland and the Irish

PH 01/02/06 McAllister Trying To Avoid Label, Deportation
SF 02/02/06 Adams - Govts Need To Reassert Politics
SF 02/02/06 FF Denies Govt's Obligations Under GFA


Irish Convict In NJ Trying To Avoid Terror Label,

Matthew Verrinder
Associated Press

WALLINGTON, N.J. - Malachy McAllister has been hunted by
black-masked Irish men with assault rifles and black-suited
American men with deportation orders.

Both failed to find him because he wasn't home when they
stormed his houses - and both wanted him for the same
reason: a crime he committed in the haze of Belfast's
bloody "Troubles."

In 1981, McAllister pulled a ski mask over his broad face
and acted as a lookout for an ambush that wounded a British
police officer outside a pub called the Rose & Crown. The
crime sent him to Northern Ireland's Long Kesh prison for
more than three years.

He and his teenage children now live quietly in this suburb
of vinyl-sided homes 15 miles west of New York City,
fighting the U.S. government to stay. The government
considers McAllister a terrorist and wants to deport him.
Others see him as a freedom fighter who has served his time
and should be granted asylum.

"My family and I are no threat to society," said
McAllister, a stone mason. "I've paid my dues."

U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman agrees. Rothman has introduced a
bill that would stop McAllister's deportation by having the
House Judiciary Committee review their case. Rothman has
also gotten 40 other legislators to sign a letter to
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff lobbying
against the deportation.

"With Malachy, you have a situation where someone was
judged to have committed a crime, was sentenced and served
his time and released by the authorities as having paid his
debt to that society," said Rothman, D-Fair Lawn. "He's
been in the U.S. for over a decade living a quiet, peaceful
and productive life as a construction worker."

But some don't see McAllister, a former member of the Irish
National Liberation Army who was convicted of conspiring to
kill, as a reformed criminal.

Sohail Mohammed, a Clifton immigration attorney who has
represented scores of Muslims detained after Sept. 11, said
that Rothman backs McAllister solely for the "political
gain" of votes from Irish-Americans.

"If you make his name Mohammed not McAllister, the rugs
would be pulled from out under his feet and he would be put
on a plane and sent back," Mohammed said.

Rothman said there is another reason McAllister shouldn't
be shipped back to Belfast: The same British loyalists who
stuck assault rifles through the windows of his home in
October 1988 and fired 26 rounds are waiting for him now.

Immigration court documents described the scene: McAllister
and his wife, Bernadette, were on vacation in Spain. Only
Bernadette McAllister's mother, Anne Robinson, and their
four children were home. Robinson was downstairs watching
television when the barrel of an AK-47 poked through the
window of their Belfast home and fired off shots. As two of
the children went upstairs to check on the youngest, a
baby, more shots rang out. Soon, the lights had been blown
out and the only sound was water leaking from a damaged

"They face serious bodily harm or death if they are
returned," Rothman said. "We have heard from various
sources that the loyalists in Northern Ireland still hold a
grudge and are looking forward to harming Malachy and his
children if they can get a chance."

The McAllisters came to Wallington, a predominantly Polish-
American town, in 1996 after a six-year quest for asylum in
Canada. They crossed the U.S. border as tourists, but
overstayed a 90-day visa, said their lawyer, Eamonn Dornan.
McAllister filed for political asylum shortly after and his
violent past was discovered in immigration court, Dornan

Dornan said his argument to U.S. immigration courts all
along - through two federal deportation rulings that have
been successfully appealed up the legal ladder - is that
the definition of a terrorist under U.S. law is too broad.

"The definition of who could be a terrorist under
immigration law could be applied to almost anyone who had
engaged in a violent attack on another individual here or
abroad whether that person was acting on behalf of a
terrorist organization or not," Dornan said.

McAllister wasn't home in November 2003 when U.S. homeland
security agents stormed his house at dawn. They didn't
identify themselves but told Bernadette, who died the next
year from cancer, that they were looking for the owner of a
black truck - like McAllister's - which they said had been
in an accident.

The agents stayed parked up the street for days, waiting
for McAllister to return. Instead, he stayed away until
Dornan filed another appeal to block his detention and

The case now rests with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals, which could rule at any time to deport McAllister
or allow him to stay.

"We could be sent back to a country that we were lucky to
escape from with our lives," McAllister said. "It plays on
my mind every second of the day."


Adams - Governments Need To Reassert Primacy Of Politics

Published: 2 February, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP was today joined by
party colleagues Arthur Morgan TD, Michelle Gildernew MP,
Caitriona Ruane MLA, Gerry Kelly MLA and Chief Negotiator
Martin McGuinness MP at a press conference in Belfast. Mr
Adams said that his party 'was not prepared to simply wait
on the DUP to grasp new political realities' and he
challenged the two governments to reassert the primacy of
the political process'.

Mr Adams said:

"The IRA have dealt decisively with the issue of arms. It
cannot be done again. Those opposed to this process are
attempting to bring all of us down a cul-de-sac.

"What we need to see is the process of change, which is
going forward, accelerated and developed.

"We want to see the political institutions put back in

"We want to see further progress on the all-Ireland agenda.

"We want to see the other outstanding matters including
policing, human rights and equality issues resolved.

"The two governments have stated that they wish to see
rapid progress made in the time ahead. This is possible, if
the two governments display the necessary political will
and the primacy of the political process is asserted. They
need to match their rhetoric with action.

"The IMC has set aside every democratic principle known.
People have democratic mandates, the IMC has none. The IMC
is a child of the governments and they have to now deal
with this reality.

"Sinn Féin remain committed to seeing the promise of the
Good Friday Agreement developed. But we are not prepared to
simply wait on the DUP or anyone else grasping the new
political realities which exist. The situation has been
transformed in recent years. The potential for political
progress and stability is there. Challenging and crucial
months lie ahead but whatever happens it is clear that the
process of change will continue." ENDS


Minister Denies Government's Obligations Under Good Friday

Published: 2 February, 2006

Speaking after a debate with Junior Justice Minister Frank
Fahey Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human
Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh accused the Minister of not
understanding the Good Friday Agreement and of being
unsuitable for his position.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "By admitting that he does not
accept that there is a shortfall between the equality
protections in this State and those in the Six Counties and
by arguing that the Government is not bound by equivalence
provisions of the Good Friday Agreement, Junior Minister
Frank Fahey has shown a complete lack of understanding of
the Agreement and hence his unsuitability for his position.
Frank Fahey needs to sit down, read the Good Friday
Agreement and listen to the Equality Authority.

Speaking during the debate in the Dáil today Deputy Ó
Snodaigh accused the Government of not living up to its
Good Friday Agreement commitments by failing to deliver on
obligations under Strand 3 to ensure in this State "at
least an equivalent level of protection of human rights"
with that pertaining to the six counties and he called on
Justice Minister Michael McDowell to bring forward
amendments to equality legislation to bring human rights
and equality protections in line with those in the North.

He said, "In 1998, when the Irish people cast their vote in
favour of the Good Friday Agreement they correctly believed
and expected that the rights protections won by Republicans
under the Agreement would benefit them also. The Minister
has been whittling away equality protections and refusing
to entertain any notion of a rights-based society - he is
trampling on the expressed will of the people of this

"The joint report of the Equality Authority and Commission
re-affirms Sinn Fein's conclusion and proves that the
government has failed to deliver on its obligations under
Strand 3 of the Good Friday Agreement. And that the
government have failed thus far to ensure in this state 'at
least an equivalent level of protection of human rights'
with that pertaining to the six counties. And consequently
is also in breach of its own Programme for Government
statement that full implementation of all aspects of the
Good Friday Agreement is the government's 'top priority'."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister "when will he deliver
these long overdue acts of completion and when will he
address the 'equivalence failings' identified by Sinn Fein
and now also identified by the Equality Authority and
Commission including:

:: limitations in this state's European Convention on Human
Rights Act 2003;

:: limitations in the scope of this state's equality
legislation with regard to disability, public function,
political opinion, and enforcement and remedies;

:: limitations in the treatment of transexual people and
gay and lesbian people in this state; and

:: the absence of positive duties to promote equality."

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