09 July 2005

US judge raises hopes for Malachy McAllister

Belfast Telegraph

The sister of billionaire Donald Trump is now a US judge who is raising hopes for ex-INLA man Malachy McAllister

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
newsdesk@belfasttelegraph.co.uk
09 July 2005



A SISTER of billionaire mogul Donald Trump has strengthened the case of a former INLA man fighting deportation from the US.

Judge Maryanne Trump Barry has questioned the deportation of Belfast man, Malachy McAllister and said he didn't pose a threat to US national security.

During hearings at a Newark federal circuit court in New Jersey, Judge Trump Barry questioned US government lawyers on why McAllister's involvement in 1981 in an "800 year old war" could threaten US national security in 2005.

She also sought information on why former Attorney General Janet Reno ended deportation cases against six Irish republicans during the Clinton administration.

McAllister's lawyers showed Judge Trump Barry a statement released by Reno at the time in which she said that she had ended the cases to help the Irish peace process.

A three-judge panel was sitting to hear oral arguments in the case and noted that US anti-terrorism laws may prevent them from taking any action.

Judge Marjorie Rendell, a wife of Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell, agreed with McAllister's Belfast-born lawyer, Eamonn Dornan that US immigration law's definition of "terrorist" is "extremely broad," and included acts that "none of us would consider terrorist."

However, Government lawyer John McAdams Jr argued that an exception for McAllister could open the floodgates and assist those involved in attacks against the US.

McAllister was convicted in 1983 for involvement in the attempted murder of RUC officer Gregory Conway. He and his family fled Belfast after a loyalist attack on their home in 1988 and came to the US in 1996.

His wife, Bernadette, died of cancer last year after she and two of her children won the right to stay in the US.

McAllister has argued that it has been unsafe for him to return to Northern Ireland since the 1988 attack, when a loyalist paramilitary gang fired 26 shots into his south Belfast home.

Attorney Dornan said that he was very pleased with the oral arguments but said that the court's power to act may be hampered by sweeping federal anti-terrorism laws.

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