Hopes fade for Billy’s bail re­lease

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

IT WILL now be a ‘mir­a­cle’ if Billy Irv­ing is bailed from jail in time for his fi­ancée Yvonne MacHugh and son Wil­liam’s visit to see him in In­dia next month.

The pi­rate-hunter from Con­nel is one of six ex-Bri­tish sol­diers im­pris­oned in Chen­nai af­ter their ves­sel, the MV Sea­man Guard Ohio, strayed into In­dian ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters in 2013.

A court in Tamil Nadu sen­tenced the six men to five years’ hard labour in Jan­uary this year.

An ap­peal hear­ing started on Wed­nes­day June 15, and the fam­ily hoped a bail pe­ti­tion, due to be filed a fort­night ago, would free him in time for Yvonne and Wil­liam’s flight out on July 11, and Wil­liam’s chris­ten­ing in St Thomas Cathe­dral, Chen­nai.

But said Yvonne: ‘There’s been an­other de­lay as usual.’

She said the lawyer was still gath­er­ing the cor­rect pa­per­work, adding: ‘If he’s out when I’m over, it will be a mir­a­cle. So the chances are slim, but I’ll push for it as hard as I can.’

To raise cash for Billy’s le­gal fees and to help bring him home, his for­mer team­mates at Taynuilt Shinty Club are host­ing a free char­ity match this Sun­day (June 26), at 2.30pm, at Taynuilt’s sports field.

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