At Random Bid worth backing
Yvonne MacHugh is an entirely admirable young woman who has fought relentlessly to have her fiance, Billy Irving, freed from a prison cell in India.
As the fourth anniversary of Billy’s nightmare approaches, Yvonne is again trying to persuade our flaccid United Kingdom government to get its finger out and do something – anything – to help him.
Oh, there have been fine words from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Theresa May but these politicians have been useless.
Former paratrooper Billy was jailed after being convicted of firearms offences while working to protect shipping from pirates in the Indian Ocean. The vessel he was aboard strayed accidentally into Indian territorial waters.
Our supine leaders at Westminster have been found utterly wanting in trying to help Billy. Now Yvonne has arranged for their son, toddler William, to hand in a petition at Downing Street demanding action from the Foreign Office when they travel to London on October 12.
We have highlighted the plight of Billy, Yvonne and William on numerous occasions, so it is scandalous that still nothing has been done by our government.
Rest assured, we will continue to keep a spotlight firmly shining on this troubling issue.
So, the lads who make up Jura Rugby Football Club played their first game back at the start of the summer.
As we reported last week, it only took them some 30 years from first mooting the idea of forming a club to actually scrumming down.
Rugby is a wonderful sport and it’s great news that so many people on the island have collaborated to make the game possible, from the hotel which allowed them to play on its land, to the donation of posts and the supplying of smart new strips.
The addition of the rugby club is a boost to Jura and those behind it are to be commended. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t take another 30 years until the next match.
Bumped into Paul Brannigan last week in the Oban Inn.
For those of you who don’t know him, Paul is an actor, perhaps best known as the star of the brilliantly comic film, The Angels’ Share. He was also in Sunshine on Leith.
Much to my good lady’s extreme embarrassment, I asked Paul for the awful selfie published here.
He could not have been more accommodating or pleasant, even insisting on a second photo because he didn’t think the first one was good enough.
It’s great to discover how down to earth and charming some of our stars can be. BID4Oban, the business organisation, is seeking support from entrepreneurs across the town for a second term.
The company has drawn up a business plan for the next five years and is urging people in the business community to vote to approve it. Given the sterling work done by BID4Oban during its first five years, this is an appeal definitely worth supporting.
From the wonderful town ambassadors (Kay MacDonald and Joe Reich), to the installation of 700 hanging baskets across the town, the enhancement of the Christmas lights, the great fireworks displays in November and Hogmanay, and countless other initiatives, the team thoroughly deserve a yes vote.
But there is a deadline so I would urge all involved to make sure they get their vote in and back BID4Oban.
What do you think?
WRITE to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB.
Deputy editor Martin Laing with actor Paul Brannigan in the Oban Inn last Wednesday evening.