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Snagged by Irish immigration — on the way out, after a decade

I got snagged by immigration, just as I was leaving Ireland. It's kind of funny but it's kind of serious too. The gard said I'd never be able to return to Ireland... then he softened the statement, a bit, afterward. He also was impressed by how long I'd stayed — "fair play to ya," he said.

He wasn't even supposed to let me leave his custody, but he released me until the next day, keeping my passport of course.

What happened was that something that was happening in Barcelona delayed the Aer Lingus that was going to fly me to Portland. I think it was social unrest, but might have been a workers' strike. I never found out. But, anyway, the airline set me up with a room in a hotel and a bus to get me there and back. I didn't suffer.

When I got back to the airport the next day, already checked in and my luggage in the system, the last thing on my mind was border control. Stupid, I know.

And I blew it. I know Irish border control as few do. Business or pleasure? Pleasure. How long? Two weeks. I left and re-entered the country on that formula how many times?

But in this case I blew it.