DUBLIN, Ireland -- Joseph Cahill, the second Irish nationalist deported from the United States in a month, returned home today from what he described as a 'very successful' fund-raising trip.
He declined to reveal how much money was raised, however, saying with a laugh 'I don't want the taxman to know.'
Cahill, 64, who was deported and barred from the United States 13 years ago for involvement with the outlawed Irish Republican Army, pleaded guilty in New York last Tuesday to entering the United States illegally to raise funds for Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing.
He was given a two-year suspended sentence for his second illegal entry and deported Monday on a regular Aer Lingus New York-Dublin flight.
He told reporters he had been 'very successful' in collecting money for the party's first European election campaign. The party failed to win a seat.
Cahill, Sinn Fein's joint treasurer in Ireland, was driven away from Dublin airport by friends. Police said there were no charges pending against him in Ireland, where the IRA is outlawed as a terrorist organization.
'We are not looking for him,' said a police spokesman.
Speaking to reporters at the airport, Cahill lashed out at the U.S. refusal to issue visas for Sinn Fein members wanting to promote the cause of Irish unity in the United States. He said his conviction for illegal entry was 'an injustice.'
Last month, Michael O'Rourke, an admitted IRA bomb expert, was deported from New York and arrested on arrival in Dublin, where he faces a possible life prison sentence. O'Rourke had requested political asylum, but gave up his fight after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn his deportation order.
Cahill was chief of staff of the IRA's Belfast brigade in the early 1970s and served a sentence for IRA membership in Ireland. He also spent seven years in a Northern Ireland jail in the 1940s for the murder of a policeman.
Thirteen years ago, Cahill was deported and barred from the United States for his participation in the IRA, which seeks to force the union of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.
Since 1971, Cahill has been refused visas for U.S. visits. However, Cahill admitted in court he had entered the United States earlier this year under false pretences. He was given a two-year suspended sentence and ordered to leave the country.
Another IRA member, Joseph Patrick Doherty, is in custody awaiting extradition to Britain. He faces a life sentence for murdering a British army officer in Northern Ireland.
A federal court judge in New York is expected to rule on the extradition request in the next few months.