Hearing my son call me Daddy was just amazing
CONNEL man Billy Irving responded at length to a card sent to him by Oban Times chief reporter Louise Glen.
Here is his reply in full.
Hi Louise, Thank you for your lovely card and your support, really means so much to me and helps me to stay strong.
The support we have had not just from the UK but all round the world has been totally amazing and overwhelming.
We receive so many letters and parcels which is such a boost to our morale.
For me, all the support and help is for my family too and that they are not alone.
I know my fiancée has been fighting non-stop since the beginning of this nightmare. During this time she went through pregnancy, moving house, working and raising our now two-and-a-half-yearold son.
Saying that I am proud seems such an understatement and doesn’t give Yvonne the credit she is due.
But I am so proud of Yvonne. Not only has she done all the fighting for me, but she has put up with my complaining and moaning, listening to me and basically being my rock.
Knowing all we have been through for almost four years now and Yvonne has stood by me. I just hope I can be the man, husband Yvonne deserves.
My son William is growing up without his dad. Being denied his dad because the powers that can end this total miscarriage of justice refuse to intervene, even after evidence is clear we are innocent. Also letters from lawyers and Human Rights at Sea were given to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on request to prove violations of human rights, violations of laws and illegal detentions by India in 2014, still, to date, FCO/ UK government have done zero about our complaints. Letters from lawyers and HRS (three years on) and are still allowing our human rights to be broken by Indian authorities.
This is the same country and government I served for 10 years in the army (which I am proud of serving in), doing operational tours in Northern Ireland/ Iraq and Afghanistan – those places where my government sent me, where I was willing to give my life, where I have lost friends.
I did these in the knowledge that UK government would fight and protect its citizens. I now know I was wrong.
I have begged for help, I have provided proof of miscarriage of justice/ laws, violations of human rights and yet the UK government will not step up and fight for us. They have not once condemned any of our mistreatment or injustice.
I am sorry, I go off on a tangent when I speak about our government. I get sidetracked from what I was trying to say.
My son William growing up without me, his father, breaks my heart.
When Yvonne and William surprised me on my birthday by visiting me here in prison it was out of this world.
As I walked down to the jailer’s office (a guard came and said I had to see a jailer), I just got about 10 metres away and I heard: ‘Daddy!’ I looked up and there was Yvonne and William shouting ‘Daddy’ as loud as he can.
The feelings/emotions I had cannot be described. It was the first time I heard William speak. The first time I had been called daddy.
And to see the look on Yvonne’s face. Such a proud mum. It was just totally amazing. I got to spend two hours with them in the five days they were allowed to see me.
I was scared William wouldn’t bond with me or me to him but from the minute he shouted daddy my worries vanished. William was and is amazing. But being cooped up in the jailer’s office (which is about three-and-a-half metres square) other people in it, the heat was outrageous (hottest month of the year, May).
I just wish we were not restricted and we could play, run about. In saying that, we did play hide and seek, ha ha.
Those two hours per day will always stay with me, hearing William talk, being called ‘daddy’, hearing and seeing William laugh and best of all our big family cuddle.
I’ve never been one for talking about my feelings or emotions, but since this fiasco I have opened up more.
My happy thoughts in here are 1. Getting to Yvonne and William and being a family, 2. Being a dad to William, 3. Marrying Yvonne (when we can do it, I just can’t wait to call Yvonne my wife), 4. Being surrounded by family and friends.
Four things that seem simple and are free (well maybe not getting married that will cost, lol) also things I have taken for granted before this fiasco, by that I mean family and friends.
Other things that help me cope in here is drawing/painting and music.
I have my chanter, penny whistle, harmonica and the prison has an acoustic guitar.
I play the pipes but I just play about trying to teach the others.
I have written quite a few pipe tunes now (but I have a feeling some might be tunes I’ve known or heard since I was a boy, lol) and I have written three songs with guitar.
I wanted to share some things with you, feel free to put them in your story (if this gets to you on time). I do apologise for my writing and spelling but I hope it is readable. I am not the best at writing letters.
If you can, can you please put a massive thank you for everyone’s support and help. It really has helped me and my family so much.
If you have any questions you’d like me to answer please, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer them.
Thank you for your lovely card, it really brightened my day. Massive thank you to all at The Oban Times. Kindest regards, William (Billy) Irving.
The visit by Yvonne and William to India gave a huge boost to Billy’s morale.