Tuesday, August 12, 2008

East Bay IRA Man in Texas Jail

By Chris Thompson
Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 9:13 AM

Why haven't we heard about this before? According to the Trib, Pol Brennan, a former member of the Irish Republican Army who has lived in the East Bay for years, is once again fighting deportation, this time from a Texas jail.

Twenty-five years ago, Brennan was one of countless IRA men incarcerated in The Maze, an infamous prison used to warehouse Irish republicans. (The Maze was the site of Bobby Sands' notorious hunger strike for political prisoner status, a strike that led to the deaths of ten men and destroyed Britain's moral standing in the world.) But in 1983, Brennan escaped, along with 37 other prisoners. He snuck into the United States and built a new life for himself in Berkeley, under an assumed name. In 1993, American authorities caught him and began extradition proceedings, but Irish Republican supporters rallied behind his cause, and Brennan was ultimately released and allowed to live here under the 2000 Good Friday agreement. But life is a little different after 9/11, and when Brennan was stopped at a Texas checkpoint earlier this year, immigration officials realized that his work permit had expired. Now they're trying to deport him again.

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