Sunday Life

Don't extradite my son, pleads Belfast mum

By Stephen Breen
28 December 2003

THE concerned mother of a former INLA man, who is facing deportation from the United States, last night pleaded with Ulster politicians to back her son's campaign to remain in America.

Speaking to Sunday Life, Ellen McAllister, from Belfast's lower Ormeau Road area, urged leading SDLP and Sinn Fein figures to lobby the US authorities on behalf of her son, Malachy.

A spokesman for former SDLP leader John Hume, who has built up an extensive network of contacts in the States, also said he would be happy to meet with Mrs McAllister to discuss her son's case.

McAllister, who met with former US President Bill Clinton to discuss his case, is facing expulsion from his adopted country, because of a conviction in the 1980s.

The builder was jailed, after he signed a statement to cops, when he was implicated by republican supergrass Harry Kirkpatrick.

The 46-year-old fled Northern Ireland, in 1988, after a Red Hand Commando murder-squad came within inches of killing his family, when they fired more than 30 shots into his home.

The weapons used in the attack were later found - along with McAllister's personal details - in a loyalist arms dump.

The family has already been backed by US congressmen, Joe Crawley, Steve Rothman, and other senior politicians.

And, we can reveal the Washington-based Irish National Caucus group, which specialises in Ulster's troubled peace process, is also set to plead with US politicians to support McAllister's campaign.

The group's president, Fr Sean McManus, told Sunday Life he would be writing to US politicians, in a bid to highlight the case.

Speaking for the first time about her son's campaign, Mrs McAllister said any help provided by local politicians would be "greatly appreciated".

She said: "My son is no terrorist, and should be allowed to live in the United States, because he has been nothing but an upstanding member of the community in New Jersey.

"He went to America, because loyalists fired over 30 shots into his living room and also his kids' bedroom - what else was he meant to do?

"The reason he fled was because he wanted to protect his family, and he wasn't going to stay in a place, where he knew he could be killed at any time, as they had his personal details.

"I am so proud of him, because he went there with nothing, and yet still managed to start his own business, and provide work for the Americans - what threat can he be?

"I don't know what help our politicians could provide, but any help would be greatly appreciated, because if my son is sent home it will absolutely devastate him, and his family."

South Belfast Sinn Fein Assemblyman,Alex Maskey, said he would also be happy to meet with Mrs McAllister.

Added Mr Maskey: "I have lobbied for other people, in similar situations in the past, and would be happy to meet with the McAllister's to discuss their case.

"The vast majority of people who had a similar case to Mr McAllister were upstanding members of the community, and would not have been in that situation, had it not been for the conflict."


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