United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Enforcement and Removal
08/21/2009

Former IRA militant deported to Ireland

Pol Brennan was convicted of transporting firearms and explosives for the Irish Republican Army

Brennan escorted to plane
Brennan escorted to plane

HARLINGEN, Texas - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported a former Irish Republican Army (IRA) militant and convicted criminal to Ireland on Friday.

Pol Brennan, 56, was deported following a series of criminal convictions in the United Kingdom and the United States. Brennan's case received full review and consideration by the immigration court system. On order of the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals, Brennan was detained during the entirety of his removal proceedings. He was housed at the Port Isabel Detention Center in south Texas from January 2008 to Aug. 20, 2009, when he was flown to Norfolk, Va., on a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aircraft, before continuing on to Limerick, Ireland, the following day.

Brennan was convicted in Northern Ireland in 1977 for possessing a bomb, firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life or property. He was arrested while transporting explosives and weapons for the IRA, and was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 16 years and seven years. In 1983, he and 37 other prisoners escaped from Maze Prison in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

Brennan entered the United States in 1984 using a fraudulent passport to obtain a visitor's visa, before illegally assuming the identity of a U.S. citizen infant who died in 1950. He used this birth certificate to fraudulently apply for a U.S. passport in 1993.

Brennan's illegal passport application triggered a criminal investigation which resulted in his indictment. Brennan ultimately pleaded guilty in 1995 to false statement and illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. The firearms charge occurred in 1990 when Brennan had applied for and illegally purchased a Colt .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol. In his firearm purchase application, Brennan fraudulently identified himself as a U.S. citizen and denied he was ever convicted of a felony or was a fugitive from justice. He was sentenced to seven months in prison and three years' probation.

The United Kingdom formally requested Brennan be extradited in 1996. However, based on the "Good Friday Accords," the request was dropped in 2000. In 2004, Brennan was charged in California State court with assault with a deadly weapon after he caused serious bodily injury by repeatedly striking a man with a cordless-drill battery. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor simple battery, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years conditional probation, 500 hours of community service, a $1,500 fine, and was required to attend 26 anger-management sessions.

Brennan was arrested by CBP agents at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in southern Texas on Jan. 27, 2008, when agents determined that Brennan had no valid immigration documents. During the routine database check, they discovered Brennan's extensive criminal history and he was placed into removal proceedings.

Brennan later filed for various immigration benefits. The federal immigration judge denied the requests based on Brennan's admissions and conviction of transporting explosives for the IRA and supporting an undesignated terrorist organization.