You are invited to the Albany LAOH and AOH 2018 Freedom for All Ireland Night on Friday, November 22, 2019. This year we will be honoring:
Recipient of the 2019 Father Murphy Award
Our special guest of the evening will be:
Relatives for Justice
Doors open at 6pm – Event starts at 7pm – Price $30.00 which includes Dinner. There will be raffles and door prizes.
The event will take place at:
Albany Hibernian Hall
375 Ontario Street
Albany NY 12208
Freedom For All Ireland (FFAI) is a National AOH/LAOH initiative that promotes One Island, One Ireland with peace, justice and equality for all. All proceeds raised by this event are donated to over a dozen worthy charities/causes throughout the North of Ireland.
by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair
FFAI ISSUES UPDATE
A- Six month deportation reprieve for Malachy McAllister-Less than 48 hours before his scheduled deportation, Senators and Congressmen supporting Malachy McAllister were told that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan would grant a six month stay. Belfast born Hibernian and key member of the AOH National FFAI Committee, Malachy McAllister was scheduled to be deported on April 30th, after 23 years, in America. He was ordered deported because he had been jailed as a Republican political prisoner for his alleged role in an attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The reprieve, achieved after intense campaigning led by National President Jim McKay and Treasurer Sean Pender, will end in six months without legalization before the deadline. Malachy McAllister had fled to America after a British agent led loyalist attack on his home. He became, as Senator Chuck Schumer described, “a valued member of the Irish American community who has done nothing but productive things since seeking asylum following an assassination attempt on him and his family.”
Because he arrived in America after the original list of Irish political deportee cases, he was omitted from the cases settled by Clinton’s Attorney General Janet Reno in 1997.Ironically the immigration judge who denied McAllister’s claim for asylum in 2000,was current President Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry. She implored the Attorney General to use his discretion to allow the McAllister family to stay in America. McAllister has had his deportation stayed multiple times in response to Senate and Congressional bills. Senator Lindsay Graham as head of the Judiciary Committee made a request for Malachy to be granted a six month stay but DHS refused. This refusal was followed by Congressional and Senate campaigning for Malachy, helped by the Irish government and Cardinal Dolan. Senators Schumer and Menendez, along with Congressmen Engel, Pascrell, King, Smith and Neal were in the forefront of a bipartisan effort. McAllister had to submit an airplane ticket to Ireland to DHS on April 15th and was making final preparations for his family when Senators and Congressmen were notified that McAleenan would give the six month stay. This is a temporary reprieve not a permanent solution. AOH Immigration and FFAI are working with other Irish American groups get a permanent legal status for Malachy. A possibility, suggested by AOH Immigration Chair Dan Dennehy would be a “TRIG Exemption,” exempting the actions for which Malachy was imprisoned from barring him from staying in America. His acts were part of a conflict that ended more than 21 years ago. Terrorism Related Inadmissibility Grounds (TRIG) can be exempted for the Irish conflict by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security in consultation with the Attorney General.
B–New Stormont Talks follow tragic Derry death-British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadker made a joint statement setting up new talks to restart the Stormont Assembly, dormant since January 9,2017. The announcement came after both heads of government attended the funeral of respected young journalist Lyra McKee, along with many Irish party leaders. Ms. McKee had been tragically killed in Derry by members of the New IRA ,who had fired at the PSNI constabulary during rioting. Her death inspired an outpouring of grief and anger and an emotional appeal at her funeral by Fr. Martin Magill. Stormont collapsed after the late Martin McGuinness resigned over the refusal of First Minister Arlene Foster to stand aside during an inquiry into the Renewable Heat Initiative scandal. Last year an apparent DUP-Sinn Fein agreement collapsed on Valentine’s Day 2018,when the DUP reneged on a compromise proposal allowing an Irish language Act along lines of similar measures in Scotland and Wales. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney held a follow-up press conference with British Secretary Karen Bradley. Some of the difficulties with talks immediately surfaced. DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr. demanded that Dublin should “butt-out” if they want to see talks succeed while members of the Ulster Unionist Party complained that “Dublin seem to be getting more information than we are.”
C-May gets Halloween extension to avoid “no deal” Brexit- The European Union granted Britain’s plea for more time before its exit from the European Union. Brexit, set for March 29th was given a new deadline of October 31st. The postponement allows Britain six additional months to avoid a “no deal” Brexit, without any trade or customs agreements. May was forced to ask the EU for a more time after Westminster voted down her 599 page Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. The EU is not expected to redo this agreement, reached only after lengthy negotiations. She requested a longer postponement but the EU granted 6 months. May is now in talks with the opposition Labour Party to get votes for her Withdrawal Agreement. “Brexiting” after May 22nd will require Britain to elect candidates to the European Parliament. Britain could also cancel Brexit by revoking their Article 50 withdrawal notice. May faces continued calls to step down. Brexit threatens economic disaster for Ireland. The Withdrawal Agreement, included a “backstop” to avoid a disastrous hard border across Ireland. Brexiteers within Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory Party, joined with the DUP, to oppose the “backstop” or safety net that would have only begun if a full trade agreement was not reached by the end of 2020.
D-Threat to bring Britain to a standstill over trooper charges- With as many as 200 former British Army troopers and Royal Ulster Constabulary members now under investigation for Troubles’ murders, former troopers are now threatening to bring Britain and the north to a standstill unless Westminster gives them an amnesty. The threats were made at a rally outside Belfast City Hall, called in support of the single British paratrooper charged for the Bloody Sunday murders. The rally was attended two DUP MPs Jeffrey Donaldson and Gavin Robinson. Donaldson called investigations of British troopers a “witch hunt”. Meanwhile Tory back-benchers are now preparing a bill for an amnesty in the form of a statute of limitations to include Troubles killings in the north along with killings in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time the mother of a Derry child shot dead by the RUC with a plastic bullet in 1981, has been told that the file on her 15 year old son will be sealed until 2059. Helen Whitters appealed to British Secretary Bradley to open her son Paul Whitters’ file now saying that “I will not be alive and no one who actually knew Paul will be alive” in 2059. Also the Ballymurphy Massacre Inquest heard testimony from a trooper who had married a woman from Ballymurphy and was in the area on leave. He said British troopers made up “ghost gunmen” to justify opening fire. He had been threatened by a British Army Captain, called a traitor and assaulted at his home by members of the Parachute Regiment to silence him. The inquest continues.
MARK THOMPSON-MARK McGOVERN BOOK LAUNCH TOUR
Mark Thompson and Professor Mark McGovern are launching a new book COLLUSION- COUNTERINSURGENCY in NORTHERN IRELAND in May and are planning to do an American launch from June 1st to June 10th. This groundbreaking book will put the lie to the claim that Britain forces were responsible for only about only 10% of the north’s killings and expose how they armed, directed, paid and protected their loyalist agents to carry out hundreds of killings then denied any blame. They have asked AOH help to plan and organize this tour.
I have a personal interest in the book because my close friend Liam Ryan, who lived near me in the Bronx and was murdered at the Battery Bar in Ardboe, (a site visited during the FFAI tour) is one of the cases of collusion included in the book.
I am asking for your ideas and help to set up the most effective schedule for them including book launch venues-political support-colleges-embassy receptions etc along with events where we can bring in people and help defer expenses.
FFAI TOUR-CHRISTMAS APPEAL RECIPIENTS
The following groups received donations from your contributions to the Christmas Appeal. These groups and amounts were based on written applications and recommendations from the National FFAI Committee with final determination by our National officers. Every designated donation to approved groups was honored and groups named for designated donations got additional monies because we wanted contributions to reflect your feelings.
- Relatives for Justice-supports the relatives of those killed or injured in the conflict-fights for legacy justice-provides counseling and support services with offices in Belfast and Dungannon-involved with campaigns like Ballymurphy inquest-, headed by Mark Thompson, and Carmel Quinn is one of the trustees.
- Pat Finucane Centre-Human Rights Advocacy group-based in Derry named after slain civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane – headed by Paul O’Connor, and connected to campaigns like Bloody Sunday.
- Holy Cross Ardoyne-headed by Fr. Gary Donegan, is actually the Houben Centre dedicated to peace with justice in the sectarian flashpoint of Ardoyne.
- EALU-(means Escape in Irish)is a center for Republican ex-political prisoners located in Dungannon, East Tyrone, we visited their offices and they provide an array of services including job training ,counseling for ex-prisoners and families, legacy issues, education classes in Irish culture, language and history.
- Greater New Lodge Commemoration Committee-maintains a memorial garden and commemorations for IRA Volunteers and Republicans who were killed by the British in the New Lodge area of Belfast.
- Conway Mill Trust-located in Pittsburgh funds 8 community based organizations in the north including one in the Garvaghy Road, four in Belfast and three in Derry.
- Tyrone AOH– foster Irish history ,culture, language and issues in an area of Tyrone where all things Irish were suppressed-they hold a special memorial for a local Hibernian killed in 1916,campaign against the environmental destruction of the Mass Rock and Sperrins area and also assist on legacy issues and other issues.
- Cairde Strabane-serves Republican ex-political prisoners in West Tyrone which provides job training, education, counseling, and a historical museum.
- St. Patrick Centre-cross community charity and exhibition, and cultural centre about St. Patrick in Downpatrick.
- Duchas Oiriall-South Armagh organization promoting and studying the unique culture and history of South Armagh.
- Bridges beyond Boxing-cross-community boxing club based in Belfast.
- Down Patriot Graves-maintains graves,organizes commemorations and promotes history of Irish patriots in South Down.
- Green Cross-provides money and help to the families who lost loved ones during the conflict.
- Belfast National Graves-to commemorate and maintain the graves of those who gave their lives for Irish freedom.
- Omagh Basketball-cross-community basketball team in Omagh.
- Omagh Choir-cross-community choir.
These donations were presented during the tour which meant that a number of AOH and LAOH members handed out checks and showed that these contributions represent funds raised by a national organization. The reception we received is a credit to each member of the AOH-LAOH who works on FFAI or contributed to the Christmas Appeal. Your work matters and is deeply appreciated!
FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN
Please check for the monthly FFAI Bulletin on the New York State and National AOH web sites. We want to give you monthly updates on key events in the north with short analysis and explanation.
by Martin Galvin
NYAOH FFAI Chair
FFAI ISSUES UPDATE
A- Brexit chaos as Westminster rejects May deal-Britain’s exit from the European Union, Brexit, due March 29th was delayed as Westminster vetoed Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal with the EU. Multiple parliamentary defeats made May ask the EU for an extension. No one knows what will happen next. Had Britain accepted May’s withdrawal deal with the EU nations, Brexit could have gone ahead on May 22nd. Brexit could go ahead without any deal on April 12th or Britain could ask for more time and even renegotiations. Exiting after May 22nd, would require Britain to elect candidates to the European Parliament. Britain could also cancel Brexit by revoking their Article 50 withdrawal notice.
May survived a no-confidence vote within her own party two months ago, after pledging to step down before the next British election or further Brexit negotiations. Alternative Brexit plan were voted down in “indicative votes.” May’s defeats in Parliament have prompted renewed pressure to replace her now.
Meanwhile Brexit chaos continues to threaten economic disaster for Ireland. The EU and May negotiated a 599 page Withdrawal Agreement, including a “backstop” to avoid a disastrous hard border across Ireland. Brexiteers within Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory Party, joined with the DUP, to oppose the “backstop” or safety net that would only begin if a full trade agreement was not reached by the end of 2020.
No deal Brexit would make the six counties Europe’s land border with Britain, requiring customs, tariff and immigration checks. The EU invited the north to remain in the customs union, with customs, immigration controls etc beginning in the Irish sea, (meaning at entry points into England, Scotland or Wales). This favored position would benefit the north. However the DUP rejected the backstop proposals as a “backstab” denouncing even preferences for the north as a slippery slope towards a united Ireland.
B-Token prosecution for Bloody Sunday as Bradley says crown force killings were not crimes-Only one British trooper will be prosecuted for 13 murdered and 15 wounded by British troops on Bloody Sunday. Up to 18 troopers were expected to be charged. The trooper, identified only as British “Soldier F”, was charged with the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Patrick O’Donnell, Joseph Friel, Joe Mahon and Michael Quinn. The families of the other victims were described as “heartbroken” and “devastated.” Derry author Eamon McCann renewed his charge that no officers, or commanders were charged for murder or cover-up.
The announcement came days after Karen Bradley, Britain’s six county administrator told Westminster that fewer than 10% of conflict killings were at the hands of the British Army or Royal Ulster Constabulary and these killings “were not crimes. They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duty in a dignified and appropriate way”.
James Wray’s brother Liam said that while his family was relieved, he was “very saddened for the other Bloody Sunday families who have not got justice here and whose hearts must be broken”.
On Bloody Sunday, January 28, 1972,the British Army paratroop regiment responsible for the August 9-11 “Ballymurphy Massacre” opened fire on a civil rights march against Internment without charge or trial. It convinced many civil rights supporters that a regime which answered civil rights marchers with bullets would never give justice. The killings were judicially whitewashed by the Widgery Tribunal but after decades and the Saville Inquiry, Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that the killings were “unjustified and unjustifiable.” However only one token prosecution has been initiated. Meanwhile former British troopers are planning protests against any prosecutions and flags have appeared in Carrickfergus and other loyalist heartlands supporting the paratroopers and British “Soldier F.”
C-Finucane Supreme Court victory– Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that the crown failed to carry out any effective investigation as required by European law into the state’s involvement in the murder of civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane. The De Silva inquiry where Judge Desmond de Silva reviewed written reports instead of calling and hearing witnesses, did not satisfy the crown’s obligations to protect the right to life under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. They ruled that there had never been any state investigation which could establish the key facts or the guilt of those responsible for the murder.
Pat Finucane was a Belfast civil rights lawyer, who represented Bobby Sands and also testified in American political asylum cases for Sean Mackin and was scheduled to testify for Gabriel Megahey. Because of his success in British non-jury Diplock Courts,he received threats from the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Republicans who requested him as counsel were told that they should ask for someone who would be alive to finish the case. British MP Douglas Hogg threatened him under privilege in Parliament.
On February 12,1989,loyalists entered Pat’s home and murdered him in front of his wife and children. Republicans realized that British crown forces were involved but the British crown denied any complicity and their Ambassador accused me personally of being a “scurrilous liar” for briefing members of Congress about collusion in the murder and getting a Congressional protest letter. The Ambassador said the crown “would never stoop to such methods”. It has since been proven that British agents were in fact directly involved.
The family campaigned for a full public inquiry and Pat’s murder was included in the Cory Report as part of the Good Friday negotiations. Finally in 2004, the British Secretary for the north promised a public inquiry in a parliamentary statement. Prime Minister David Cameron invited the family to London but announced the Da Silva review instead of the expected public inquiry.
D-Loughinisland Film Journalists interrogated by Constabulary-Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey the prominent Belfast journalists who produced the documentary “NO STONE UNTURNED” were brought in for interrogation by constabulary in what is viewed as a further attempt to silence and intimidate anyone who investigates collusion by British crown forces. Six victims in Loughinisland were murdered while watching Ireland play Italy in a World Cup soccer match in 1994. The film names and shows the murderers, and reveals that besides evidence available from the car, weapons, and clothing the wife of one of the gunmen had telephoned and written confessing her involvement and naming the gunmen. Despite everything, no one was ever charged. The two journalists were arrested last August and charged with stealing documents. They were forced to appear and be interrogated in an attempt to make them to name confidential sources.
Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International said “when police are arresting journalists who have investigated police collusion in the killing of civilians, rather than the killers and those who helped them get away with murder, people everywhere should be worried”.
MALACHY MCALLISTER DEPORTATION FIGHT
Malachy McAllister’s fight against deportation is still at a critical point. He is an example of Britain’s policy of making political points with Irish victims. Malachy has multiple grounds which should entitle him to legal permanent residence under American law. He is a prominent AOH member, key member of the National FFAI Committee, and respected member of the Irish-American community. He was a political prisoner decades ago in a war that is long over.
Malachy is a pawn in an old British game of criminalization. The British think they can brand anyone who dares oppose them as a criminal. That was true of the patriots they shot in 1916. That was true of George Washington who himself said to the “Patriots of Ireland” in 1788 “had I failed the scaffold would have been my doom.”It was true of Bobby Sands and the Hunger Strikers who suffered torture and death rather than be masqueraded as criminals for Margaret Thatcher.
The British want America to brand Malachy a criminal by deporting him. The human cost to Malachy and his children does not matter to Britain. The AOH, led by our National President Jim McKay, Treasurer Sean Pender, Immigration Chair Dan Dennehy and FFAI, together with other Irish American organizations are fighting back. Already a Call to Action, answered by state chairs in Texas and South Carolina, has gotten important support.
Things are moving quickly. The AOH-LAOH will need to respond quickly and I urge everyone to check the national web site, FFAI updates respond to Calls for Action. We have to win for Malachy and his family!
MARK THOMPSON BOOK LAUNCH TOUR
Mark Thompson and Professor Mark McGovern are launching a new book COLLUSION – COUNTERINSURGENCY in NORTHERN IRELAND in April and are planning to do an American launch from June 1st to June 10th.
This groundbreaking book will put the lie to the claim that Britain forces were responsible for only about only 10% of the north’s killings and expose how they armed, directed, paid and protected their loyalist agents to carry out hundreds of killings then denied any blame.
They have asked AOH help to plan and organize this tour.
I have a personal interest in the book because my close friend Liam Ryan, who lived near me in the Bronx and was murdered at the Battery Bar in Ardboe, (a site visited during the FFAI tour) is one of the cases of collusion included in the book. I am asking for your ideas and help to set up the most effective schedule for them including book launch venues-political support-colleges-embassy receptions etc along with events where we can bring in people and help defer expenses.
EASTER COMMEMORATIONS AND DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
A century ago representatives elected in the 32 county election of 1918, assembled as a National Parliament in 1919, and voted Ireland’s Declaration of Independence. An important theme for this year’s Easter Commemorations is the mandate the Irish people gave to the Easter Rising and 1916 Proclamation first by their votes in the British controlled general election and second by ratifying 1916 in the Declaration of Independence. The British instead of recognizing the democratic will of the Irish people responded with Black and Tan terror and ultimately partition. Speakers are encouraged to include the Declaration of Independence and its historic import in all Easter Commemorations.
FFAI TOUR-CHRISTMAS APPEAL
Anyone who doubts the importance of the AOH-LAOH to people in the north should read the full FFAI tour report in the upcoming Hibernian Digest, or speak to any of the 37 Hibernians who attended. We were met by leading figures in Belfast, Derry, Tyrone and Dublin. They met us because they regard us as their voice, as our National President says the “voice of the Irish in America.”
They count on us to put pressure on the British, to highlight injustice and for our donations to key groups. The reception we received is a credit to each member of the AOH-LAOH who works on FFAI or contributed to the Christmas Appeal. Your work matters and is deeply appreciated!
FFAI MONTHLY BULLETIN
After getting behind because of the Christmas Appeal and FFAI tour, I am trying to get the FFAI Bulletins back on a monthly schedule. I held this to include the latest news on Brexit. Please check for the monthly FFAI Bulletin on the New York State and National AOH web sites. We want to give you monthly updates on key events in the north with short analysis and explanation.
AOH National Immigration Chairman
IMPORTANT: PLEASE HAVE COUNTY AND DIVISION PRESIDENTS DISTRIBUTE ASAP
Brother & Sister Hibernians and All Friends of the Irish Peace Process and Unity,
Malachy McAllister, a Brother from New Jersey Mercer County AOH Division 1, having fled his birthplace with his young family, based on proven death threats from Loyalist Death Squads, now faces imminent deportation on April 25, as we remember the 100th Anniversary of Ireland’s Republic.
Malachy McAllister, here for the past 19 years, is raising his young family, is a productive businessman and employer and is acknowledged by many as a key promoter of the Irish Peace Process.
1) PLEASE call your member of the House of Representatives TODAY.
The number for the House Congressional Switchboard is (202) 225-3121.
2) Give your zip code when requested and ask to speak to your Congressman’s Office.
3) When directed to that Office, ask to speak to the Legislation Officer or Immigration Liaison your Representative.
4) If they aren’t available, ask to leave a message stating: “I would like to hear from the Congressman, the Chief of Staff or the Representative’s Immigration person as soon as possible. Ask then for an email address in order to forward Congressman Crowley’s letter.
5) If they are available, tell them that (a) You support Congressman Joe Crowley’s request that ICE exercise its discretion (as it has done previously) by taking quick action to suspend the deportation order against Mr. McAllister as he is no threat to this country. (b) Ask your Congressman to contact Congressman Crowley and sign onto this letter!”
6) If your Representative indicates to you their support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, THANK
THEM! If your Representative indicates opposition, ask them to reconsider that position and thank them for their time.
7) Please call or email me immediately after you have made contact, so that we may follow up on your efforts
Brothers, this issue is now crucial and requires immediate action on the part of every Hibernian.
I will be happy to provide you with any supporting information that you require.
Thanks in advance for all your efforts and yours In Our Motto,
Dan Dennehy, Immigration Chair
Letter From Congressman Joe Crowley and Concerned members of Congress.
The Honorable Jeh Johnson
Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Secretary Johnson and Director Saldaña,
We respectfully urge you to continue to grant deferred action to Mr. Malachy McAllister, who fled with his young family from Belfast in 1988 following a sustained gun attack on his home by Loyalist paramilitaries.
Despite intensive efforts by the United States government over the past two decades to support peace in Northern Ireland, Mr. McAllister has been caught in a limbo that appears at a minimum to be inconsistent with the spirit of change and compromise that has animated U.S. foreign policy towards the region.
We understand his application for political asylum and other efforts to adjust his immigration status have been denied as a result of events that transpired over 30 years ago, and long before the United States brokered efforts to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland. As a result, the fate of Mr. McAllister now rests in your hands at the Department of Homeland Security.
For the past 20 years, Mr. McAllister has lived in the Tri-State New York/New Jersey area, contributing to American society and raising his family in safety and security. We urge you to consider fully his current contributions and weigh them against the circumstances surrounding his previous convictions, which we believe provider a greater context that is critical to developing an understanding of Mr. McAllister’s background.
Growing up as a young man in a heavily militarized conflict zone in Northern Ireland, Mr. McAllister joined an attack on a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and played a role in planning another attack, which did not transpire. As all observers of the conflict and the emergent peace process in Northern Ireland are aware, the RUC was widely viewed as a notoriously sectarian organization implicated in numerous brutalities directed largely at members of the Catholic population. The force was also suspected by many human rights organizations of collusion with Loyalist terror groups to target and assassinate human rights activists and those who supported a united Ireland.
The reputation and history of the RUC presented such a major impediment to progress that reform of that organization and the greater security services in Northern Ireland was one of the central features of the much-lauded Good Friday Agreement, brokered by Senator George Mitchell and supported by numerous Secretaries of State and United States Presidents. In fact, the problems of the RUC were so severe that the RUC was essentially disbanded in 2001 and reformed as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (“PSNI”) in efforts to recast policing services which would be acceptable to all the people of Northern Ireland.
Notwithstanding the well-documented and widely acknowledged brutalities and miscarriages of justice carried out by the RUC, Mr. McAllister has time and again expressed his regret and remorse for those actions taken over thirty years ago, which have led to his current predicament. He had been arrested and tried for his offenses, and served four years in prison for his actions. Mr. McAllister has been honest and forthright about his past, and it is undeniable that tens of thousands of similar every day, decent people were caught up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland in a situation that came to resemble a war zone.
Upon his release from prison, having served his debt to society, Mr. McAllister sought to put his past behind him and focus on raising his young family. However, his home was attacked by the Red Hand Commandos, a pro-British group, which fired 26 shots into his house while his mother-in-law and children were at home. This attack compelled him to flee his homeland, first to Canada, and then to the United States, where he applied for political asylum in 1999.
Following a hearing, Mr. McAllister’s application for asylum was denied in October 2000 as a result of his previous conviction.
However, Immigration Judge Dogin later granted asylum to his wife and children, finding the attack on Mr. McAllister’s home by Loyalist paramilitaries to be “[t]he most striking and blatant act of persecution, and the one that undoubtedly stands on its own as evidence of past persecution.” The Immigration Court found that “[i]t is clear that the McAllister home was deliberately targeted” and that the RUC (police service) had “stated that it suspected that a Loyalist paramilitary group called ‘The Red Hand Commandos’ had carried out the attack.”
Mr. McAllister presents no threat to the safety and security of the United States, or to any other country, and his offenses are historical, committed over 30 years ago in the course of a now much-resolved centuries old political conflict. He clearly meets the Department’s guidelines for prosecutorial discretion on a number of different grounds, not least because he has resided here for decades and has a very young U.S. citizen child and family who depend on him, and which will suffer significant adverse consequences of his removal.
Mr. McAllister is a responsible and well-known member of the Irish-American community, having hosted Senator George Mitchell as then-President of the United Irish Counties Association of New York, and having served in the prestigious position of aide to New York Police Chief Ray Kelly who was the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal. Mr. McAllister has operated a longstanding construction business and has recently opened a restaurant in New York City, with both businesses employing Americans.
We believe that the above provides sufficient reason alone to grant Mr. McAllister deferred action. But in addition, critical new information about the depth of his personal danger came to light in late 2012 through an official U.K. government-backed inquiry into collusion between state security services and loyalist paramilitaries during the Troubles.
In late 2012, with the support of United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, Sir Desmond De Silva was commissioned to draft a report into collusion by official, government security services into the murder of Patrick Finucane – one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent human rights attorneys. Consistent with Mr. McAllister’s claims during his asylum application, the De Silva Report publicly acknowledged that the U.K. (government) security forces had provided leaks of information to loyalist paramilitary groups – the same groups that were carrying out attacks on Catholic or nationalist civilians.
More importantly, the De Silva report makes explicit reference to an incident that, from its details, clearly describes the attempted assassination of Mr. Malachy McAllister. The report indicates that the state security services were aware of the planned assassination attempt, but had failed to warn Mr. McAllister or his family of the threat to their lives.
“On 21 September 1988 Nelson reported that L/24 had shown him a number of photographs of PIRA members, including T/12. Nelson noted that the photographs had come from his intelligence dump. A MISR was raised on 13 September which included Nelson’s comment that an attempt on T/12 would probably be made the following Monday, but I have been unable to find evidence that T/12 was warned of a threat to his life. On 2 October 1988 three loyalist gunmen smashed through the window of T/12’s home and fired into the living room. T/12 was abroad on holiday at the time.”
The report went on to condemn the general conditions at the time with respect to how British security services provided information on nationalists, as well as “a willful and abject failure by successive Governments to provide the clear policy and legal framework necessary for agent-handling operations to take place effectively and within the law.”
In short, Malachy McAllister had been targeted, and his children were almost assassinated, by a loyalist paramilitary group in an operation that was known in advance by the British security services, in an environment found by Sir Desmond de Silva to be not just accidental, but purposeful, failure to act legally. Indeed, the PSNI is currently pursuing leads into the gun attack, which has been reopened as an active investigation.
We believe it would be grossly unfair and contrary to the spirit of the U.S.-sponsored peace process to return Mr. McAllister to a place he fled because the lives of his children had been put in jeopardy. Even if a judge claims his convictions must render him permanently ineligible for asylum or adjustment of status, Mr. McAllister’s circumstances highlight the type of situation that the authority of prosecutorial discretion is designed to address.
Furthermore, the Good Friday Agreement much later led to the release from prison in Northern Ireland of thousands of combatants and moved past a narrative where every combatant was simply designated to be a “terrorist,” allowing former prisoners to pursue political efforts and to even take up high political office in Northern Ireland. Indeed, the Department regularly authorizes waivers of inadmissibility for such individuals to permit them to enter the U.S. as non-immigrants.
Along with the people of the region, the United States deserves every ounce of credit it has received for its role in bringing an end to the Troubles – one of the world’s longest running conflicts – including its role in ushering in the reform of the RUC. Consecutive Department of State and White House administrations, as well as many Members of Congress, have worked long and hard to untangle and address these issues.
We believe that guidelines established by this Administration with respect to prosecutorial discretion in immigration removal proceedings can readily support these efforts, which would continue to defuse decades-old tensions that have been addressed successfully in the past by engaging all parties to the conflict.
We strongly and respectfully urge you to take into account the history of Northern Ireland and United States efforts in the peace process as you consider this decision. We believe that Malachy McAllister meets numerous criteria for prosecutorial discretion, and in light of these facts and the complex history of the conflict, we urge you to halt deportation proceedings and continue to grant deferred action to Mr. McAllister.
Member of Congress
Peter T. King
Member of Congress
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress
CC: John Kerry, Secretary of State
Talking Points for Malachy McAllister Case
- Imminent deportation – Order issued on 3/25/2016 to report for deportation on
4/25/2016, so urgent action is required
- Has been granted Deferred Action Status by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) since 2006, indicating that there are no national security or public safety
concerns that would warrant Mr. McAllister’s deportation and that DHS has found
compelling factors in his case for exercising its discretion to allow him to remain in
the United States.
- Case history:
- Wife and three children granted asylum by Immigration Judge Henry Dogin in
2000 based on severe persecution suffered in Northern Ireland, including an
attack on the family home in Belfast in which Loyalist gunmen fired 26 shots into
the house while the McAllister children were inside. Mr. McAllister was denied
asylum due to conviction in Northern Ireland in 1983 for participating in armed
resistance to British rule. His participation was in the context of the severe
persecution he suffered at the hands of the British military and the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC), the militarized police force of Northern Ireland, and of a
political struggle against British rule in Ireland.
- Mr. McAllister appealed his denial to the Board of Immigration Appeals,
which upheld the decision in 2003.
- The case was appealed to the Third Circuit, which upheld the denial of asylum
- An Adjustment of Status application has been filed for Mr. McAllister based
on an approved I-130 petition for immigrant status on behalf of Mr. McAllister
filed by his U.S. citizen son, Gary McAllister. In order for this application to be
considered, DHS must join a motion requesting the Board of Immigration Appeals
to reopen the removal proceedings and remand the case to the Immigration Judge
for consideration of the Adjustment of Status.
- Substantial new evidence has come to light since the Third Circuit decision,
confirming British government involvement in the attack on Mr. McAllister’s home.
The DaSilva report on the investigation into the murder of lawyer Pat Finucane,
issued in 2012, contains evidence on a number of other individuals who were targeted
by loyalists in collusion with government forces, including Mr. McAllister (identified
as “T/12” in the report).
- Investigations in Northern Ireland into the attack on the McAllister house are
ongoing. Mr. McAllister was just informed that his case is the subject of a active
criminal investigation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). He also has a
pending complaint before the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU, formerly the
Historical Enquires Team). These investigations could create a dangerous situation for
Mr. McAllister if he was returned to Northern Ireland, and the continual reminders of
the attack would create added psychological trauma.
- Since the Third Circuit decision, Congress has passed legislation, the Consolidated
Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2008, allowing for a waiver of the “terrorist activity”
grounds of inadmissibility that render Mr. McAllister removable from the United
States. Under the law, the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), with which Mr.
McAllister was involved, is not considered a “terrorist” group. It is notable that the
group that targeted him, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), is on the State
Department’s Terrorist Watch List (a Tier II group under the CAA), indicating that
they are still considered a danger.
- Third Circuit Judge Maryanne Trump-Barry, in a concurring opinion,
expressed regret that the law did not provide them with an avenue for Mr.
McAllister to remain in the United States. This discretionary waiver could provide
such an avenue for relief. At the very least, it expresses a policy change
recognizing that the “terrorism” exclusion laws should not be absolute.
- There are numerous positive factors that weigh in favor of allowing Mr. McAllister to
remain in the United States. Essentially, he is a model resident of this country:
- Mr. McAllister has a four-year-old U.S. citizen son, as well as a 39 years old
U.S. citizen son, and 5 U.S. citizen. grandchildren.
- He has not been arrested or convicted of any crime since arriving in the U.S.,
and his conviction in Northern Ireland was over 30 years ago.
- He owns two businesses and employs at least 14 U.S. workers.
- He has numerous community ties and strong support from Irish American