Category: Archive

Brennan deported

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Brennan was informed eight days ago that he would be leaving the country today. Speaking to the Echo from Port Isabel Detention Center late last week, the Belfast man said that he had spoken to his wife, Joanna Volz, and his relatives in Ireland, and added that they were making the appropriate arrangements in the event of the exportation order being carried out.
Last week, his lawyer Beth Feinberg said that only a “public outcry” over the unjustness of the deportation order could prevent it.
She suggested that supporters call the Departments of Homeland Security and State as well as their local representatives.
Brennan agreed, but appeared resigned to his fate. “I’m disappointed,” he said. “But spending 18 months in immigration jails is no picnic. Either way, I’m glad to be out of this situation.”
He was stopped and detained on Jan. 27, 2008 at an immigration checkpoint in Texas, because his U.S.-issued work permit had expired. He had applied for a renewal but it had not arrived. He and Volz were on a trip to visit friends in the state at the time.
“The hope is that they will take another look at it. If not, I will in all likelihood be put on a plane on Friday,” he said.
A judge ordered Brennan’s deportation in November, and his appeals were exhausted in April. His lawyers said that the case had been in the political realm after that. They asked that he be allowed to stay based on his 20-year marriage to a U.S. citizen.
Brennan, 56, was one of 38 IRA prisoners who escaped from the Maze Prison (also known as Long Kesh) in 1983. He was serving a 16-year sentence having been stopped in a vehicle that was transporting explosives. After leaving Ireland, he lived under an assumed name in the San Francisco area for a number of years. He was arrested in 1993, and detained while the British government sought his extradition.
After the 1998 signing of the Good Friday agreement, which Brennan supports, the British government ended its efforts to extradite him and he lived openly under his own name from that point on.
“I would like to thank everybody who has worked on my behalf,” Brennan said. “They’re too numerous to name at the minute, but I will be doing so at a further date. It was really uplifting to see the support that was out there.”

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