The  immigration authorities have announced that Bridie Murphy, the almost 80-year-old woman from Galway will be allowed to keep her U.S. green card.

Murphy was detained off a flight from Ireland, held for three and a half hours and had her green card confiscated despite being in the U.S. for sixty years. She has two sons in the miitary including one in the Middle East.

Murphy had visited a daughter in Ireland for eleven months and was stopped when she tried to return to America. Her family say she became quite confused during her interview at immigration as she has sought counsel before she left for Ireland and was told she did not need a re-entry document other than her green card.

She gave up her green card after three and a half hours of questioning.

“They said it was the only way I was going to be able to go home," Bridie told the Boston Globe. “So I signed the paper. I’ve made a novena, every day, since the Korean War, and I made a novena that day, too. I guess the novenas didn’t work."

Two of Bridie Murphy’s sons are in the US military.

Peter Murphy is in the Air Force. Patrick Murphy is in the army and currently in Kuwait.

Irish Pastoral Center’s Kieran O’Sullivan said, “To do it to a woman whose sons are serving this country is unbelievable."

Chris Lavery, her lawyer said, “What are the people who did this to Bridie protecting us from? A 79-year-old woman who worked her whole life, who gave us her children to fight our wars?"

Harold Ort of the immigration service told the Boston Globe however, that she would be given her green card back, “ICE will not comment on specifics of an individual’s case. However, after considering all factors, ICE is exercising prosecutorial discretion in Mrs. Murphy’s case and will not pursue the case before the immigration judge."