by Irvin Muchnick
I’ve recorded my recent Dublin journal, which the generous Broadsheet.ie adapted, with photos.
What remains to be added is the story of the married with children Irish-American man in Pennsylvania who faces deportation from the United States. The story broke just as I was leaving Ireland. The Irish Times covered it under the headline “Irishman jailed in US ‘without warning’ after years of seeking residency,” and the subhead “Father of three from Co Cork was arrested by US immigration in Philadelphia.” See https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/irishman-jailed-in-us-without-warning-after-years-seeking-residency-1.3956204.
The scenario has some striking similarities to that of George Gibney, whose reported new targeting by federal investigators is the basis of the new edition of my ebook THE GEORGE GIBNEY CHRONICLES: What the Hunt For the Most Notorious At-Large Sex Criminal in the History of Global Sports Has Told Us About the Sports Establishments and Governments on Two Continents.
Like Gibney, Keith Byrne maneuvered for naturalized American citizenship in 2010, and failed. There are also differences. Gibney has never been convicted in a criminal court for his dozens, likely scores, of instances of child sexual abuse. Byrne, however, was convicted — for pot possession.
Gotta keep the homeland clear of hardened criminals, you know.
As readers are aware, I’m not terribly impressed by the distinction of Gibney’s lack of a criminal conviction, since there is an official Irish government report, issued in 1998 after he fled the country, finding that his many victims “were vindicated” by the inquiry of Irish swimming corruption and abuses that was headed by Justice Roderick Murphy. Gibney’s fate is tied to logistics and morality as much as it is to the technicality of the aborted legal proceedings against him.
And of course in his 2010 citizenship application he did try to hide his 1993 indictment in Ireland on 27 counts of illicit carnal knowledge of minors. That is why U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer ruminated in my Freedom of Information Act case against the Department of Homeland Security, “We’re not a haven for pedophiles.”
Knock yourself out in Moot Court.
Fortunately, federal investigators whose primary targets are the nests of thieves and cover-up artists at USA Swimming and the U.S. Olympic Committee have been pointed to fresh material in the Gibney legal conundrum: his leadership, while living in Colorado in the late 1990s, of a Catholic parish’s medical mission for children in Peru, at the moment when a Peruvian sect called Sodalitium Christianae Vitae — now established as a seat of sexual and other abuses — was angling for an American presence with successive archbishops of Denver.
Getting back to the bust of Cork County’s Keith Byrne — what is the larger meaning here? With a brutishness unseen in recent American history, the Donald Trump administration has demonized Muslims and Central Americans, and weaponized the immigration system against them. Is Trump making a show of throwing under the bus the occasional, politically cost-free, bad-apple white European, as well?
Or is this autocrat in the making simply hellbent on creating an equal-opportunity Gestapo?