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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 22 December 2016 > A brave man of Argyll

A brave man of Argyll

CHRISTMAS is my favourite time of the year. I absolutely love the feelings that the combined traditions and jewels of yuletide bring. As excitement, goodwill, festive cheer, relaxation, roaring fires, Christmas carols, crackers, mistletoe, mulled wine, rich food, full bellies and family time fill our thoughts, a piper and ex-soldier from Connel is unjustly being left to rot in an Indian jail. From Campbeltown originally, Billy Irving is familiar in musical circles on the West Coast. He has worked as a steward at Tiree Music Festival and the Skipinnish Ceilidh House, and is well known in Oban.

The nightmare that began more than three years ago shows little sign of coming to a conclusion, and for Billy and those close to him, Christmas can be nothing more than a stark reminder of the nightmare their lives have been since October 2013. This was when he was arrested after the anti-piracy ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio, on which he was serving, was detained by Indian authorities because of issues relating to the carrying of firearms and refuelling with subsidised diesel.

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