McAllister, or Mock as we knew him was
a close childhood friend; one of those types that
made youngsters not related by way of family consider
becoming blood brothers through cutting hands and
letting the blood mingle. We never got to that stage,
thinking it a better demonstration of our fidelity
to each other to share in the spilling of the blood
from the heads of some loyalist kids from the Donegall
Pass Tartan gang, achieved with a few well-aimed stones.
For my sins the Tartan aimed better and split my own,
leaving me stitched and sore. Looking back, it was
all childhood nonsense but it was how we gave meaning
to our world. Mates were mates and loyalty to each
other was a big factor in our lives. That was before
the opposite sex stopped looking gawky and it suddenly
seemed better to have a girl than a blood brother.
Chasing no longer meant pursuing the Tartan.
until the intervention or intrusion of the female species we lived
what we thought was a Tom Sawyer type of life
troublesome and adventurous but never really dangerous.
We drank the cider together, played football and handball,
fought each other, rioted with the Brits and cops
- everything that many others of a young teenage subculture
become immersed in as they sail through those often
turbulent formative years. And of course we ended
up in jail together - he as a member of the INLA and
myself a volunteer in the Provisional IRA. He arrived
in the jail about six years after me, having married
Bernie before he heard the cell door clang behind
him. It was good to see him again although not so
good to see him under such circumstances.
was released from jail in the mid-1980s. I thought
his troubles were over, or at least the worst of them.
But things just didnt work out so smoothly. In
October 1988 loyalists, rearmed and directed by the
British, launched a gun attack on his home. Neither
he nor Bernie were there. But Bernies mother
was minding the couples children. All were lucky
that none of the 25 rounds fired found their target.
A short time later Mock and Bernie learned that the
guns used to attack their family had been recovered
in a loyalist area along with personal details of
Mock which came from British State security force
after that he fled to Canada and then on to New Jersey,
where a federal judge found that Bernadette and the
children had suffered "severe persecution".
Three years ago a US judge, while ordering the deportation
of Mock on the grounds of his previous conviction,
granted asylum to Bernie, finding that she had suffered
extreme past persecution based on her religion, her
political opinion, and because she is Malachy McAllister's
we learn that Mock is the subject of a manhunt instigated
by the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"),
under the authority of Attorney General John Ashcroft.
According to legal representative Russell Smith the
DHS defying a ruling from the United States
Court of Appeals has laid siege to the familys
November 19th, Bernie McAllister and her children,
Sean and Nicola, were about to celebrate Thanksgiving
in the New Jersey town of Wallington when she learned
that she and her four children were to be stripped
of their political asylum status and would be deported
back to Belfast within 30 days. 20 DHS agents congregated
outside their front door. Although their 26-year-old
son Gary is married to an American citizen he too
has been included in the deportation order. The two
youngest children have no memory of Belfast and are
said to be terrified that they will be shot if compelled
to return to the city.
to Russell Smith:
the fact that the Court of Appeals immediately issued
a temporary stay of removal pending its decision
on this case, the DHS remains staked out at the
McAllister home and continues, unlawfully, to treat
Malachy McAllister as a "fugitive" from
the very removal order which the Court has stayed!
Russell Smith and the Ancient Order of Hibernians
of which Mock is a member, have called on concerned
bodies and individuals to make their views known to
John Ashcroft. The family also has support from Irish
American Unity Conference and many Congressional leaders.
Ancient Order of Hibernians National President Ned
McGinley pledged a "supreme effort" on the
part of the AOH throughout the U.S. in an effort to
halt the deportation.
harassment is not an isolated event but is part of
a developing pattern. In the past year we have saw
the expulsion from the US of Bernadette McAliskey;
the detention of former republican prisoner Ciaran
Ferry who had married a US citizen and was living
in the country with both her and their child; the
deportation of John Eddie McNicholl. A cold wind is
blowing through the country, shaking down anybody
who may be considered undesirable. Human
considerations are being trampled under the juggernaut
of national security.
McAllister asked, what is the purpose of going
what does it solve? John Ashcroft
knows. But he doesnt care. A trenchant supporter
of government strategies that lead to the slaughter
of Israeli, Palestinian and Iraqi children, why would
he display sensitivity for kids from the backstreets
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