Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, a leading opponent of British policy in Northern Ireland, has been denied a visa to visit the United States because her purpose was to raise funds for a member of an organization with alleged terrorist connections, the State Department said yesterday.
McAliskey, a former member of Britain's parliament and an advocate of greater rights for Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland, has visited the United States several times.
However, a department statement said her visa application was rejected this time because she had planned to raise funds for Nicky Kelley, "a member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the political wing of the Irish National Liberation Army."
The statement charged that "The INLA has claimed responsibility for numerous murders and bombings in the Republic of Ireland and in the United Kingdom.
"We are concerned that fund-raising activities of this sort in the United States could benefit this organization."
As a result, the department added, the visa was denied under provisions of U.S. law excluding "those aliens whose activities would be prejudicial to the public interest."
The department said that her activities "were considered contrary to the U.S. interest in seeing a peaceful settlement of the problems in Northern Ireland."