Category: Archive

Newsbriefs McAllister family hearing in Newark

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

The six members of the McAllister family from Belfast, who are seeking political asylum in the U.S., have their next court hearing in New Jersey on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

The family, Malachy, Bernadette and their four children, fled their Lower Ormeau Road home 11 years ago after a loyalist assassination attempt.

Their immigration hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. at the Federal Building, 970 Broad St., Newark.

The hearing will address the issues of whether Malachy McAllister’s offenses in Northern Ireland were political, the legality of the family’s entry to the U.S., and whether the family will be considered Irish as opposed to British citizens by the court.

"If the judge rules against us, it will seriously impact the family’s case," said the family’s attorney, Diane George.

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The McAllister Family Justice Campaign can be contacted at (973) 594-1253.

Minister in scary flight

Irish Tourism Minister Jim McDaid had a scary flight while on a recent visit to the U.S.

In a scene eerily reminiscent of the JFK Jr. plane crash tragedy, McDaid’s small Cessna aircraft lost its bearings in bad weather while on a flight from Logan Airport in Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, where he was due to present the Junior Ryder Cup.

McDaid told the Sunday Independent that at one point the pilot of the plane descended from 6,000 to 400 feet in fog and rain "to see where we were."

He then dropped to 200 feet before making a rapid ascent. It was decided that landing on Martha’s Vineyard was not an option and the plane returned to Logan. What should have been a 15-minute one-way flight ultimately turned into a three-hour ordeal as the Cessna had to wait for a landing slot at the busy airport.

Remembering the Fighting 69th

The Civil War deeds of the famous Fighting 69th Regiment of the Union Army Irish Brigade will be recalled Sunday, Oct. 10, when a bronze plaque will be unveiled outside St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Manhattan. The unveiling will take place after 12:30 Mass.

The plaque will highlight the regiment’s departure from New York in 1861. It features the regimental insignia, two Irish Wolfhounds and the motto "Gentle When Stroked, Fierce When Provoked." St. Patrick’s is at the junction of Prince and Mott Streets.

Giant GAA party

A "Giant Postgame Party" for several New York area GAA teams is set for the Lansdowne Bar on Broadway in the Bronx on Sunday, Oct. 10. The event will host the Roscommon team, New York County teams, Irish Garda team and the Irish-American team, all in conjunction with a welcome home greeting for the New York women’s team. All welcome. For details, call the Lansdowne at (718) 549-6088.

Cross-border party

The Irish and British embassies in Washington joined forces this week to raise money for a worthy cause.

Cocktails mixed by the British Embassy followed by dinner fixed by the Embassy of Ireland were on offer for those willing to pay $1,000 a ticket.

It was the first ever Anglo-Irish charity fund-raiser sponsored by both embassies.

The evening’s festivities raised money for the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust, a cross-community group that offers programs for the poor.

"It’s certainly a groundbreaking event for our two embassies to be cooperating in this way," British Ambassador to the U.S., Sir Christopher Meyer said.

Meyer hosted the initial reception at his residence. Irish Ambassador Sean O’hUiginn and his wife, Bernadette, followed by hosting a dinner at his residence.

"The Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust has done extraordinary work at the grass roots level in building up communities and promoting contact and dialogue across the sectarian divide," O’hUiginn said.

The joint organizers are hoping that when the proceeds are tallied the Trust will pick up a check for $100,000.

— Susan Falvella Garraty in Washington

Very briefly

€ The National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Tom Gilligan, has praised New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for his stance against the controversial "Sensation" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, which includes a portrait of the Virgin Mary speckled with elephant dung. Gilligan described the portrait as an example of "bigotry."

€ Congressman Steve Rothman has expressed concern that unionists are stalling the Good Friday accord in order to kill it. The strategy of stalling, said the New Jersey Democrat, was designed to marginalize one of the major forces in support of the agreement, President Clinton.

"With only 16 months left in his second term, the unionists may be figuring that they can wait for the next U.S. leader who they hope will lack the penchant for peace displayed by Mr. Clinton," Rothman said.

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