Popular Irishman who lived in Boston illegally for a decade is deported

BOSTON (AP) – A prominent Irishman who lived illegally in Boston for years has been deported.

A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed John Cunningham returned to Ireland Wednesday night.

The 38-year old electrical contractor had been in custody since being arrested at his home June 16 for overstaying a 90-day visa by more than a decade.

The case generated concerns within Massachusetts’ Irish community, home to an estimated 12,000 of the nation’s 50,000 undocumented Irish.

Cunningham was a past chairman of the local Gaelic Athletic Association and had appeared on Irish national television months before his arrest to talk about being an undocumented immigrant in America.

He also had a warrant for his arrest for failing to show up in court over a $1,300 dispute. Cunningham’s lawyer didn’t immediately comment.

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