More specifically I wish to express my appreciation to the Appeals Tribunal of the NUJ. Prior to leaving the London hearing I informed the Tribunal that regardless of any verdict it might deliver, for or against me, I felt I had been given a very fair hearing on the day and would not be lambasting its ruling. Process invariably calibrates our perspective on outcome.
I am deeply grateful to my solicitor on the case, Conor Houston who expertly guided me throughout. Despite being denied by the Ethics Council the right to legally represent me at its mistrial in Belfast he remained present throughout the entire working day, a sentinel ever vigilant against abuse of process, of which there were many. His legal acumen left me fully confident about the ultimate outcome.
Great appreciation to my Boston College subpoena case lawyer, Eamonn Dornan, who adeptly switched lanes and applied the acuity of mind we are now familiar with to this case. No task was too much for him. Ever quick to spot an adversarial frailty, no argument of the opposition slipped past him. I owe him more than is ever imaginable.
I wish also to thank Simon Pirani of the London Freelance Branch NUJ who represented me at the Appeals Tribunal. He took considerable time out from his own business to attend to this matter which he did with considerable dexterity. In addition to being an unswerving advocate on the day, his understanding of union rules, protocol and natural justice was invaluable to the procedural navigation required in this case.
I am thankful also to those NUJ colleagues who gave so generously of their time out of an unyielding commitment to protecting journalists and journalism from not only the effects of actions they consider vexatious but also the insidious practice of censorship.
Last but not least, as always in the unsolicited battles I find myself immersed in, my deep gratitude is extended to my wife Carrie Twomey. Her eye for detail and her nose for bull combined to equip me with a case as tight as a drum. She applied the same methodical and forensic mind to deconstructing the case against me as she has previously done in unravelling the false narrative of the 1981 hunger strike. The energy and tenacity with which she has driven the campaign to prevent the PSNI seizure of the Boston College tapes was channelled into this fight for freedom of expression and against censorship.
To all involved, my appreciation and gratitude is heartfelt and enduring.