OH-15: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Also, Mary Jo Kilroy Defended an IRA Domestic Terrorist
The far-left ideological odyssey of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy is often too radical to believe. Kilroy, as someone who worked closely with the Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio, has peculiar incidents spread out over so many years that it’s quite an effort to piece them all together in a way that Columbus-area voters can digest.
Describing Kilroy as the most liberal member of Congress doesn’t even begin explain just how off-the-charts radical she is.
So I will attempt to explain. And since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be fitting to start by talk about the radical Irish Republican Army terrorists that she and her family has supported and fundraised for.
This story first grabbed my attention in 2007, in a Plain Dealer article about how people were adding false information to Rep. Steve LaTourette’s wikipedia page.
From Lexis-Nexis, July 14, 2007, in Theh Plain Dealer by Sabrina Eaton:
U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette seemed perfectly well behaved when he squired President Bush around Cleveland this week. But the Concord Township Republican wasn’t always so poised with the Secret Service, if his entry on the popular Wikipedia Web site is to be believed.
LaTourette’s anonymously authored biography on one of the world’s most visited Web sites claims he once disrupted a law school assembly honoring England’s Prince of Wales.
“LaTourette was roughly removed by the Secret Service,” it says, going on to describe the moderate Republican as “a social conservative known particularly for his support by the National Rifle Association,” and claiming the district he has represented since 1994 was eliminated after the 2000 census.
LaTourette says he didn’t attend the 1977 Cleveland-Marshall College of Law assembly with Prince Charles because he thought it would be “hot and crowded.” A Cleveland State University newspaper account of the event says it was actually disrupted by a student named Jack Kilroy who shouted questions about Ireland.
That student in question is Jack Kilroy, Mary Jo’s radical brother. CSU’s student newspaper adds more details:
[...]Compare the enthusiasm of the soccer players to that of third year law student Jack Kilroy and one has a stunning contrast. Kilroy, who was then managing editor of The Gavel, spent his afternoon being passed around by authorities; first taken by secret service agents, then the Cleveland police and lastly, Cleveland State security officers. All because when Prince Charles arrived in the crowded Moot Courtroom to speak to over 450 guests, Kilroy literally took a stand.
Prince Charles received a standing ovation, according to The Cauldron. And Kilroy never sat down after it ended. Instead, he shouted to the Prince, “I would like to know when the British Government is going to stop torturing political prisoners in Ireland.”
In response, Prince Charles said he would answer the question later and quipped, “Any more Irish before we go on,” as Kilroy was escorted out for his own safety. No charges were filed, but one could sense this was a day that would go down in CSU history.
Fittingly, Cleveland State was like the barometer of the city at the time. Some citizens were happy to see the future heir to the throne. The Trinity Cathedral across the street from campus flew a British flag in unison with the American flag all day, while bunches of protestors took to the street and gathered around Public Square with signs that read, “End the Empire.”
The Flashback remembers two provocative events of 1977. Twenty-nine years ago, Prince Charles spent the day in Cleveland, and science fiction author Dr. Isaac Asimov talked about “Trends” on campus.
And Jack Kilroy continued being quite a radical agitator, getting his skull cracked in for trying to organize Mexican farm From Lexis-Nexis, AP, January 15, 1984 by Alan Adler:
Putnam County officials and a union of migrant farm workers reached an out-of-court settlement Monday of a $2 million civil rights suit claiming the workers and their union had been harassed.
The settlement represents a victory for farmworkers far beyond the $180,000 they will receive, said Baldemar Velasquez, head of the union, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.
The settlement was announced moments before a federal trial was to begin on FLOC’s charges of harassment, intimidation and illegal surveillance against Putnam County Sheriff Robert Beutler and several deputies.
The case stemmed from a Labor Day 1979 confrontation between several dozen FLOC members and law enforcement officers in a Putnam County tomato field.
The farm workers, most of whom migrate each summer from Florida and Texas to pick the northwest Ohio vegetable crop, staged a sit-down strike in front of a mechanical harvester being used for the first time to pick tomatoes.
The migrants were arrested and taken to a fenced area outside the county jail at Ottawa. Their lawyer, Jack Kilroy, was talking to his clients when he was assaulted, allegedly by Beutler, his deputies and an Ottawa police officer, the lawsuit alleged. Kilroy was beaten and his skull fractured.
FLOC and Kilroy filed a $2 million suit claiming Putnam County had violated their civil rights. In October 1979, U.S. District Judge Don Young granted a preliminary injunction barring Putnam County from further interference with FLOC attempts to organize farmworkers.
But Jack the radical wasn’t just the only one who hates England… Mary Jo Kilroy herself was the lawyer for an IRA terrorist who Jack filed the INS papers for- where the terrorist subsequently came to America and beat up his girlfriend. From Lexis-Nexis, November 23, 1999, The Plain Dealer by Michael O’Malley:
Irish nationalist Noel Cassidy, whose deportation fight has become a crusade for Cleveland’s Irish community, has been accused of beating a Shaker Heights woman who had been his live-in girlfriend.
Cassidy, 51, a former prisoner in Northern Ireland who illegally came to the United States across the Mexican border 17 years ago, is charged with assault and domestic violence – a deportable offense – in the beating of Elizabeth Ward, 44, in a Columbus hotel room in August. “She took a severe beating,” said her lawyer, John Sayler.
A jury trial is scheduled Dec. 17 in Franklin County Municipal Court.
Ward has been granted a five-year protection order against Cassidy through Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court. Cassidy agreed to stay away from Ward, said Sayler, though he signed the order noting that he denies the charges.
Ward declined to comment on the case, saying only that she feared Cassidy.
Cassidy, who is also facing a legal action by his first wife for child support, could not be reached. His lawyer, Mary Jo Kilroy of Columbus, declined to comment. “I don’t want to try the case in the newspapers.”
A federal judge in October 1991 ordered Cassidy deported as an illegal alien, but his case is under a series of appeals, which allows him to stay here. He has been living in the Cleveland area for about eight years, working as a house painter and wallpaper hanger and teaching Gaelic.
Members of Cleveland’s Irish community who support uniting Ireland and freeing it from British control have embraced Cassidy as a political hero who was imprisoned and tortured for the cause. Local activists raise money for his defense fund and stage rallies that feature him talking about the inhuman conditions he endured in a British prison in Northern Ireland.
Cassidy has an Internet Web site titled “Friends of Noel Cassidy,” and last week he and his supporters released a fund-raising CD featuring local and national Irish musicians. The Web address is:
Cleveland lawyer James Chin, who represents Cassidy in his deportation case before the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, said a domestic violence conviction was a deportable offense. Chin said he was not aware of the Columbus charges and had no comment.
Cassidy’s first wife, Carrie Cassidy of Centreville, Va., claims Cassidy owes her more than $16,000 in child support for their 10-year-old daughter. She has filed an action against him in the Division of Child Support Enforcement in Fairfax County, Va., not necessarily to collect the money, she said, but to strengthen the INS case against him because she wants him deported.
“He’s been in and out of her life,” Carrie Cassidy said. “We don’t know where he’s been living for the last couple of years. We don’t have an address and phone number.”
Jack Kilroy, a Cleveland-area Irish activist and one of Cassidy’s biggest supporters, said he was not aware of the child support case. In response to the assault and domestic violence charges, he said, “I don’t consider the source very credible.”
Cassidy was raised in Monaghan, a town in the Republic of Ireland near the border of Northern Ireland. As a young man, he joined the political party Sinn Fein, a hard-core nationalist organization fighting to oust the British from Protestant-dominated Northern Ireland and unite it with the Catholic-dominated Republic of Ireland.
Sinn Fein is commonly linked to the outlawed Irish Republican Army, though party officials deny the link.
In February 1978, Cassidy was arrested in Northern Ireland and charged with being a member of the IRA and of possessing a list of names of British soldiers, a violation of an emergency anti-terrorism act.
Cassidy denied both charges. The IRA charge was dropped, but Cassidy was convicted in a nonjury court of possessing the list and was imprisoned in the notorious Maze prison for three years.
For two of those years, he lived naked in a small cell with nothing but a single blanket. To protest not having the status of political prisoners, Cassidy and 400 fellow inmates refused to wear prison clothes or do prison work.
After his release, Sinn Fein sent Cassidy on a speaking tour of the United States, where he met his first wife. The couple moved to Ireland, but after a year, Carrie Cassidy, stressed by the sectarian violence, returned to the United States.
Cassidy had been denied residency here, so he entered illegally and lived in the Washington, D.C., area, keeping a low profile. But in December 1990, he was arrested by federal agents and the following October was ordered deported.
In January 1991, Cassidy and his wife divorced and a couple of years later he moved to Cleveland, where he met his second wife. They were married in January 1995 and divorced in September 1998.
A year prior, the same Plain Dealer reporter on July 14, 1998 provided more details about Jack, who brought the case of the IRA terrorist to President Bill Clinton in hopes of earning his support…
A former Northern Ireland prisoner now living in Cleveland Heights faces deportation for allegedly conspiring to assassinate a British soldier.
Irish nationalist Noel Cassidy, 50, insists he is innocent, and he is fighting to stay in the United States with his American wife and his 9-year-old American daughter from a previous marriage, who lives with her mother near Washington, D.C.
“I want to be like a normal American,” he said. “I want to get up in the morning and go to work.”
But lawyers for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service are painting Cassidy as a terrorist and want him ousted. He is one of 10 Irish nationalists in the United States who are facing deportation because of previous convictions in Northern Ireland. A hearing in his case is scheduled in August before an immigration judge in Detroit.
Meanwhile, Cassidy, a painter and wallpaper hanger, has been anointed a political icon by members of Cleveland’s Irish community. They relate his struggle to that of their ancestors under centuries of British imperialism.
“Whatever he did, he paid his debt, if there ever was a debt,” said one of his three lawyers, John Myers. “It’s the political background that has caused this problem. He’s not a criminal. He’s a working, productive member of our community, married to a U.S. citizen and the father of a U.S. citizen.”
A rally last Sunday at the West Side Irish American Club in Olmsted Township raised $4,000 for Cassidy’s defense fund. And another one of his lawyers, Jack Kilroy, who was part of an Irish-American delegation that met with President Clinton in Cleveland this month, brought Cassidy’s case to the president’s attention. Clinton, whose mother’s name was Cassidy, has relatives on his mother’s side in Ireland.
“He said, ‘I’ll definitely look into this,’ said Kilroy.
I think it’s interesting Mary Jo, a sympathizers of a domestic terrorist, is a member of Congress. But I suppose that when you hear Congresswoman say nice things about Ireland today, you can be sure she REALLY means it!