A former IRA prisoner who escaped from the Maze prison in Northern Ireland in 1983 has lost his fight against deportation.
Sources told IrishCentral.com last night that Pol Brennan, who is currently being held in a detention center in Texas, will be deported on May 18.
Brennan was one of 38 IRA prisoners who escaped from the infamous Maze prison in September 1983.
He entered the U.S. months later, and was eventually caught by the U.S authorities in Berkeley, California in 1993.
Over the next 10 years he was released on bail twice, and fought extradition to England, a battle which was eventually dropped as part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Between 2000 and 2006, Brennan was granted a succession of work permits, and lived in San Francisco where he worked as a carpenter.
In January 2008, while driving with his American wife Joanna Volz to visit friends in Texas, Brennan was detained at an immigration checkpoint because his work permit had expired.
Although he'd applied to renew his permit, authorities hadn't yet sent it to him by the time he was stopped. He has been in U.S. custody ever since.
In November 2008, Brennan told a Texas court that he was hoping for political asylum and a green card on the basis of his marriage to Joanna Volz.
He told the court he feared he would be attacked if he were to be sent back to Ireland.
The court heard that Brennan's entered the U.S. in 1984 using a false name, later purchasing a targeting pistol using that alias, as proof of his alleged criminal tendencies.
The court also noted a 2005 misdemeanor assault conviction, which Brennan received after an altercation with San Francisco contractor who'd refused to pay him $1,000 in wages owed.
Although Brennan has always insisted that the contractor assaulted him first, on advice from his lawyer he eventually pleaded guilty and subsequently paid a $1,500 fine and performed 500 hours of community service.
Brennan’s fight against deportation has attracted considerable attention. In July 2008, three congressmen - New York Republicans Peter King and Jim Walsh, and Massachusetts Democrat Richard Neal - called for Brennan to be granted bail pending the outcome of deportation proceedings against him.
They insisted that Brennan was not a flight risk, and cited the fact that he had twice been bailed from U.S. jails without incident when Britain sought his extradition in the 1990s.