And his appeal against a judge’s order of deportation will, as a result, continue into a second twelve months.
“My appeal is in,” Brennan told the Echo from the facility in Port Isabel, Texas, that he currently calls home.
“And the Ancient Order of Hibernians are starting up their campaign on my behalf again.” Brennan said, sounding, a little more cheerful than in previous phone interviews.
“I was sworn in as a Hibernian over the phone. They have been very helpful,” Brennan added.
Brennan described the last twelve months as “a lost year,’ though one that in its very particular way has been an interesting and instructive experience.
Asked how he had passed Christmas, Brennan managed a laugh.
“It was just another day. We had pizza. But they allowed us extra TV time to see the Pope say Mass.”
Brennan acknowledged that his appeal against deportation could take months.
And he wasn’t overly optimistic of its success.
The judge in the case, he said, had invoked a terrorism clause even though prosecutors were not seeking it. This, he said, made it more difficult for politicians trying to help his case.
A federal immigration judge ruled at the end of November that the Maze escapee should be deported from the U.S.
Brennan’s family in Northern Ireland has appealed to the U.S. government to allow Brennan to remain in the U.S where he has lived for the past 25 years.
The 55-year-old Brennan was one of 38 IRA prisoners who escaped from Long Kesh prison in 1983.
He fled to the U.S. and was arrested a decade later living under a new identity in San Francisco.
Brennan was charged with illegally entering the U.S. However, his problems appeared to end in 2000 when the British government dropped extradition proceedings against him.
This week a year ago he was arrested in Texas for having an out of date work permit. Brennan had applied for a renewal but the document had not been sent to him by the time he was detained by border patrol agents.
Brennan has been held in a variety of facilities in Texas and New Mexico since his detention.
One positive aspect of his incarceration at Port Isabel is that his U.S. citizen, wife Joanna Volz, is able to stay just half an hour’s drive away with her mother.