Former INLA man fears ‘removal’ from US after 20 years

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Former INLA man Malachy McAllister has told the New York-based Irish Voice newspaper that he fears his last day in the United States could be April 25 – after receiving a letter ordering him to appear in Newark to “surrender for removal”.

Mr McAllister, a native of Belfast who has lived in New Jersey for 20 years with his children, left his home after it was attacked with gunfire by loyalists in 1988.

He told Irish Voice: “All I want is closure. I love America, my family loves America and all the freedoms this country has given us. We just want to be able to stay and keep on doing what we are doing.”

His quest for political asylum has been in the US courts for more than 20 years. He claims that since leaving Northern Ireland he’s been a staunch supporter of the peace process, including the Good Friday Agreement and the leadership of Sinn Fein.

Mr McAllister runs a masonry business in New Jersey and recently opened Wolfe Tone’s Irish Pub and Kitchen in Manhattan.

He appealed to the Irish-American community “to continue to support me and my children in our desire to stay in America for good”.