May I begin by extending my warmest greetings and deepest gratitude to you all for the wonderful support and solidarity you have shown and continue to show, towards my family and I at this difficult time in out lives. You have no idea how much this means to us may God bestow bountiful blessings upon you and all your loved ones.
Keeping in mind that practically every word I say or write is closely monitored by British Intelligence functionaries, you will appreciate that I am somewhat restricted in how I express myself at present. I hope you will bear with me and understand the limitations that have been imposed upon me.
In a way, that adequately sums up my current incarceration predicament. The long and the short of it is that I was arrested over five years ago outside a polling count centre in Omagh, Co. Tyrone for no other reason than I stood in an election as a candidate voicing an Irish Patriotic position that was anathema to our British Rulers in this part of Ireland. For decades, these same people have told Irish Republicans to use political process to further out Nationalistic goals. Yet, when I did just that and despite being a supporter of the peace process, I was arrested and rail-roaded into jail via a corrupt judicial process that is anything but democratic.
The story behind the ordeal that my family and I have had to endure over the past 5 years will have to wait for another time. Suffice it to say, the nightmare continues and the real scandal lies in the silence of those who should speak out on our behalf, but have consistently refused to do so.
Despite ill-health from having suffered a heart attack, I was dragged through the notorious Diplock court system throughout 2010 and thrown in jail for 20 years in 2011 on charges including membership of the IRA in 1975 (when I was 16), possession of two antique revolvers in 1981 and with allegedly wounding a British soldier that same year. All these relate to activities in the service of the Irish Republican Movement, the only organisation in the world that not only abandons its own people, but in its current political manifestation openly engages with the traditional enemies of the Irish Nation and connives with them in spreading lies and smear against those whom it has ostracised for daring to voice our Irish Patriotic ideals.
For more than a year now I have found myself in the Republican wing of Maghaberry jail during one of the most prolonged periods of prison protest in three decades. The walls of the cells around me are black with human excrement and the stench from them is overpowering. This is an ongoing horror story that will be told in due course. For the moment, my political enemies have me silenced and as a helpless Republican prisoner I cannot defend myself against their propaganda, their attempted character assassination and their lies. Although they can try to destroy my health, undermine my supporters and keep me separated from my young family, they cannot, however, break my spirit or weaken my morale and I remain as determined as ever in my belief that out Irish Nation has a God-given right to be free and independent.
In closing, I thank our ever-loyal Irish American friends and our growing support base around the world for your solidarity, kindness and prayers. Sooner or later, I will be in a position to speak freely and voice my political opinions openly. When that time comes, rest assured that you will hold your heads high and your decency and nobility of spirit will be given the recognition they so richly deserve.
May God Bless you agus Éirinn go Brách