After 32 days with out food in protest against the prosecutorial misconduct that first resulted in his false imprisonment and then stained his character, Christy Walsh has brought his hunger strike to a conclusion. Here he explains why.
Having met with Martin McGuinness from the OFMDFM and Raymond McCartney of the Assembly Justice Committee yesterday afternoon I, last night, terminated my protest action.
For the past thirty two days I had been on hunger strike in a bid to have David Ford's smearing of my character expunged from the record. The news and print media in general seemed indifferent to the injustice I was confronting. The Andersonstown News alone paid it any serious attention.
Largely the task of highlighting my stance was left to the democratic sphere known as social media where activists and supporters were relentless as advocates in raising awareness.
Martin McGuinness gave me a number of private assurances in the presence of a lawyer who accompanied me on yesterday's visit. Amongst them was an undertaking to pursue my concerns regarding the real matter at the heart of this case – prosecutorial misconduct. Of equal significance was his unqualified support for my case, expressed via the Sinn Fein website immediately after our meeting. It was a clear sign of good intent.
My supporters have urged me to reciprocate this action by Mr McGuinness. I do so gladly. The rigour of almost five weeks without food brings its own desire to see movement that not only ends the physical discomfort but also substantively enhances the prospects of a successful outcome to my long running fight for justice which I have been waging since 1991.
I wish to thank Martin McGuinness and Raymond McCartney for the dignified manner in which they treated me. I also wish to thank all my online supporters and friends, as well as all those people who were by my side in Belfast yesterday. Most of all I would like to thank my family who were a rock of support and comfort throughout.
I am relieved that this immediate ordeal is at an end. My campaign to secure justice is not at an end but has, yesterday, taken a significant step forward.
I would again like to express my gratitude to all those who contributed to ensuring that progress was made. At the end of this I will be fully cleared, fully vindicated, my reputation cleared of any residual taint left by David Ford's malicious allegations and refusal to behave as a Justice Minister befitting the title.