all my friends and supporters here in Ireland,
in Britain, the USA and Sweden, through your columns,
I send them New Year greetings and good wishes
for 2007. I wish also to thank several journalists,
human rights and civil liberties groupings at
home and abroad, who were alerted to my plight,
by such voluntary bodies as the civil rights veterans'
network based in Derry City.
brother Robert and I have settled in well on E-3
Wing since our arrival here last month. The men
here - and on the other wings - have been very
supportive and welcoming, and the medical treatment
I am receiving for my injured leg is more than
due course I am to be moved to Portlaoise hospital
for more tests, and the medical people here assure
me more can and will be done to help me walk again.
That's in sharp contrast to what I was told in
Full Sutton prison last year - that no more could,
or would be done - for my injury, and that I would
probably lose my leg. I believe now that if my
repatriation had not happened my medical condition
- and my health generally - would have greatly
know many people campaigned for me over the years
I spent in England's jails. To them I send my
profound thanks and appreciation. To the organisations
and groups that never failed to highlight my situation
with protests and pickets in Dublin, Chicago,
London and New York etc I include all in my thanks.
people helped raise my morale by keeping in regular
contact with me, with letters and cards at Christmas
and Easter. I would like them to know their thoughtfulness
was appreciated at the time - and although I didn't
always reply to them individually - those letters
on many occasions raised my spirits in no small
way when I was feeling low.
would like specifically to thank individuals like
Diana in New York, who has kept up a regular correspondence
with me with letters and cards etc.
also to Terry Gavin in London for her letters
and postage stamps etc, they were always welcome,
and thanks to Fionnbarra in Derry for his Trojan
work and intervention on my behalf on numerous
wish you all a very happy New Year, and I sincerely
hope you will all continue to remain in contact
with me, as I greatly value your friendship, even
though I have never met many of you.
remember also Noel Maguire, now isolated and vulnerable
in Full Sutton Prison where he was subjected to
an unprovoked life-threatening attack and hospitalised
in October 2005. Noel is currently not only the
last remaining Irish POW in England, but is now
apparently a political hostage as well. His most
recent repatriation application should be reviewed
immediately as a matter of urgency, not least
by Justice Minister Michael McDowell TD, but also
Dublin-based civil servants in his department
and those in Foreign Affairs.