DUP mayor barred from US flight

That indigenous deal at Stormont may have included some local sweeteners for those with “conflict-related convictions”, but internationally things are very much as you were.. as the DUP mayor of North Down, Alan Leslie, discovered when he tried to board a plane to the US in Dublin last week.. as “part of a council delegation travelling to Virginia Beach for a Sister Cities conference.” He was jailed on an arms charge in the 1970s.

“I had applied for a visa in which I disclosed the conviction but it didn’t arrive and I was told by somebody that I could travel without it,” continued Mr Leslie.

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  • Iano

    Thursday ?

    And the BBC report it today, Monday.

    Anyone think the license fee is worth it?

  • david

    Is he in a flute band ?

  • austin

    The purpose of the visit?

    Was it a Sister Cities concert or a Scissor Sisters concert?
    If it was the latter they could have asked former friend, Paul Berry to go.

  • Pete Baker

    The more interesting question would be..

    Who was the somebody who told him he could travel without the visa?

  • vinty

    Any details on Leslie’s paramilitary past ?

    uvf?,uda?,the nature of the arms charges?, was he wearing a purple beret during the third force/ulster resistance period ?

    Does junior think leslie’s past should hinder him from certain jobs etc..

    Clearly it was no hindrance to his becoming a dup mayor

  • Comrade Stalin

    Who was the somebody who told him he could travel without the visa?

    Someone without a clue. The USA are extremely strict over matters like this. The visa waiver form states that you are supposed to check with your consulate prior to travel there on a Visa waiver if you have ever merely been arrested, never mind charged or convicted.

  • Pete Baker

    Comrade

    “The visa waiver form states that you are supposed to check with your consulate..”

    And you’d have to suspect, when the visa didn’t arrive, that was one of the somebodies asked.

    There are, of course, other potential somebodies for our local politicos to ask about such sensitive matters.

  • Miss Fitz

    Or he could have phoned a friend. Honestly, this is more about someone not being adequately prepared for a trip to the US, as opposed to this suggestion that he was ‘barred from a flight.’

    I brought an Irish passport once to travel to the States and was very nearly not allowed to travel. CS is perfectly right, the yanks are very strict about this, and I suspect Councillor Leslie was one of the few people unaware of it

  • joeCanuck

    No mystery.
    It was Martin McGuiness who told him it would be all right.

  • Miss Fitz

    Joe
    You mean the Deputy?

  • joeCanuck

    The very same. \
    And I know it’s true because Mr.Ingram told me, him being an expert on the said gentleman.

  • Pete Baker

    Miss Fitz

    From the report, he wasn’t unaware of it at all.. far from it.

    And, assuming he has an appropriate passport, his application for a visa would indicate that.

    As to what this is about, well, my focus was on the fact that the situation remains the same regardless of the indigenous deal at Stormont, with sweeteners – as I said in the original post.

  • Miss Fitz

    Oh dear

    Pete,

    What I said was:

    this is more about someone not being adequately prepared for a trip to the US, as opposed to this suggestion that he was ‘barred from a flight.’

    My point is that there are strict and well known regulations about entry into the US. I mentioned my passport story only to illustrate how strictly entrance is monitored.

    Now, find me a dozen people in Ireland that dont know how strict Visa requirements are, in the case that you need one.

    He wasn’t barred from a flight, he had missing or incorrect documents and was appropriately denied entry on the basis of it.

  • Pete Baker

    “He wasn’t barred from a flight, he had missing or incorrect documents and was appropriately denied entry on the basis of it.”

    It’s actually a very straight-forward post.

    Because of his previous conviction he was prevented from boarding the flight without the required, in his case, visa – otherwise the Visa Waiver Programme would apply

    That somebody had told him otherwise is a relevant – since he was clearly aware of those strict requirements and applied for said visa – and I’d suggest important point to note.

  • Miss Fitz

    Depends on who told him.

    If it was the woman at the check out in Tesco, I doubt he has a leg to stand on.

    I think its a bit far fetched to equate enabling ex-prisoners to find work in a post conflict society with the idea that America should drop its International travel requirements to fit with our peace process.

  • Ulster McNulty

    The Americans obviously appreciate that the DUP still poses a potential threat to western civilisation. Perhaps he should wait until the war on terror is concluded before he applies again.

  • New Yorker

    Why should this ex-terrorist be let into our country in the first place? He was judged guilty and convicted of a serious offense. I can’t see any benefit to letting this criminal in the US.

  • mnob

    … aye well the americans are talking about pulling the whole visa waver programme for the UK given the large number of home grown bombers of ‘Pakistani origin’ (their words not mine), so soon we’ll all have to apply for a visa (with interview) if we want to go to the US.

  • so soon we’ll all have to apply for a visa (with interview) if we want to go to the US.

    In which case most of us simply won’t go to the US and half the motels in Orlando will go out of business.

  • “soon we’ll all have to apply for a visa (with interview) if we want to go to the US.
    Posted by mnob on May 08, 2007 @ 09:12 AM”

    Maybe you can apply for the hated Free State passport to save you all the hassle? After all, it’s within your rights to do so.

  • David

    Seems fair enough. The DUP must be consistent and oppose the North Down Lord Mayor being allowed to travel. If they do not then they are being hypocritical by saying that their own former paramilitaries should be given preferential treatment.

  • Posted by Sammy Morse on May 08, 2007 @ 12:32 PM “ so soon we’ll all have to apply for a visa (with interview) if we want to go to the US.
    In which case most of us simply won’t go to the US and half the motels in Orlando will go out of business. “

    Or the rooms will be rented out to normal sensible folk unlike the english trash who tried to ruin my vacation in Miami playing their house music at full blast while doing lines of coke at 9pm while my children were trying to sleep next door. I’d had the trash thrown out and stood and watched while the wimps didn’t dare even give me a dirty look.

    I don’t think the US economy will worry about the loss of the likes of Alan Leslie or similar british trash…. you’ve ruined a lot of Spain… don’t spread your british disease / hooliganism.

  • Voice of Reason

    funny how arms charge in ulster is automatically read as a terrorist/paramilitary crime. anyone have any real info on the charge. was it really “a serious offense” as mr new yorker writes?

    i just think all those free p’s should be locked in a nut house for worshiping their magical ‘god’ man in the sky! Its just crazy if you stop and think about it! they don’t even drink alcohol, madness I tell you!