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I Accuse..

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Wednesday June 28, 2006 13:00author by mOuse Report this post to the editors

Day 38 of Hunger Strike.

The Triple Arm of Good Governance: the Judiciary, the Gardai and the offices of Parliament.

Included herein: A Question tabled for written reply to Minister Micheal Mc Dowell TD.

A response to the written reply by Peter Preston.

To be added at Mr Preston's request:

"Before each Dail session, the Ceann Comhairle says a prayer that goes something like this,

Through your divine inspiration may all our actions, works and words come from thee.....

(Mr Preston insists that his hunger strike is nothing to do with the criminal case, but
to be answered by the TD who he accuses of returning to him transcripts altered by a named TD
within Dail Eireann).

Ref Nos: 21339/06 Written

Question NO 123.

Dail Question Addressed to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
(Mr Mc Dowell.

for Written on Wednesday , 31st May, 2006.

* To ask the Minster for Justice, Equality and Law reform if he will meet a person
(details supplied) who is protesting at the gates of Dail Eireann; and if assistance is
needed will be given to them.

Finian Mc Grath Re: Peter Preston.

Reply:

As I have informed the House previously, this matter has been through the courts
and a conviction recorded. The court also ordered compensation to be paid,
and I understand this was done.As the deputy is aware, the courts are, subject
only to the Constitution and the law, independent in the exercise of their judicial
functions and it is not open to me to comment or intervene in any way on the conduct
or decision of any individual court case which is entirely a matter for the presiding judge.

While I am sympathetic to the distress caused to the victim and the victim's family
by this crime, I consider that a meeting would not serve any beneficial purpose.

(ends).

Peter Preston's response:

" This is not about the criminal case that I am on hunger strike: it is about a conspiracy of corruption in a civil case and Mr Mc Dowell knows this"
Signed : Peter Preston. (ends)

He awaits actions.

author by Elainepublication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 13:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

of Peter, taken on the 25th day of his hunger strike.

Taken On The 25th Day Of Hunger Strike
Taken On The 25th Day Of Hunger Strike

He Got Two Christmas Cards Last Year, From The Same TD
He Got Two Christmas Cards Last Year, From The Same TD

author by mOusepublication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 13:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He says that the daytime is ok as he can talk to people, but at night
he is not sleeping and his tent has been attacked a couple of times.

Solidarity is about community action. This man needs support.

author by .publication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 15:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors


"Before each Dail session, the ceann Comhairle says a prayer that goes
something like this:

Through your divine inspiration may all our actions, works and words come from thee.

My name is Peter Preston. This is my seventeenth day on hunger strike, the last fifteen having been outside goverment buildings on Kildare Street. I am seeking truth and justice for my daughter and to expose with no stone left unturned who was responsible for what was done to her.

My nineteen year old daughter had a glass smashed into her face in a public house where our Taoiseach Bertie Ahern frequents, and this vicious assault was perpetrated by a girl for no apparent reason. My daughter received twenty-five stitches to her face, was and still is suffering severely from PTS post traumatic stress. The person responsible for this , is and was as well known around the area for vicious thuggery, as Al capone was around Chicago.

To make a long story short, the public house where this assault took place set up a conspiracy of corruption to criminally defraud my daughter of her due compensation.This was solely done to avoid a black mark against this pub. In so doing, they raped my daughter of her human rights, civil rights, constitutional rights and of her dignity.My daughter was bulllied
threatened and intimidated, in other words she was raped of her humanity. My wife was also threatened and intimidated.

Let me tell you who was involved in this conspiracy of corruption to destroy my child and family. The licensed premises owner?and their legal team, my daughter's legal team, gardai from two garda stations and a high court judge.
I took the documented evidenceof this-in the form of transcripts and files to Joe Costello TD, who at the tim was the Labour Party spokesperson on Justice.

Approximately six months later when I got the transcripts and files returned, some of the original transcripts were changed and the files were mssing. on May 13th or 14th 2004, I phoned the labour Party leader
Pat rabbitte and asked his secretary for a meeting with him. I nformed her I had serious charges to make against Joe Costello.I also informed her that If I did not get this meetibng, that I was going to print leaflets and distribute them to Joe Costello's constituents. within one hour , Labour Party Councillor, Dermot Lacey phoned me and arranged a meeting for 17th of May in government buildings. I arrived at gov buildings and asked for lacey, usually when you have a meeting in government buildings
your name is left at the door.

snip.

There is much more to this than what is in this statement, for instance perjury, changing of statements, witnesses under age, details omitted, statements not signed, what was said in my home by witnesses, who changed statements and went to the pubs side etc.

I find it hard to put in writing as I am much more comfartable explaining it in person. On my placard outside the dail, I say some of this in writing and Joe Costello has not even sent me a solicitor's letter, Why not?

author by 38! J. Costellopublication date Wed Jun 28, 2006 17:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its getting to the stage to name someone who needs to go to the gates of Leinster House & engage.
I suppose in a comment to an article of the title "I accuse" is a good place to do that.

Deputy Joe Costello (Irish Labour Party) cá bhfuil sé?


Wonderful thing is, we count so many members of the Irish Labour Party amongst our readership that we don't have go phoning up the TD at home quite yet avoiding the pressure of course on his wife Emer should she answer the phone. So lets see if the Labour Party can get the message through.

Before we get really "volatile"

author by mOusepublication date Thu Jun 29, 2006 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Didn't get to see Peter today. am assuming those who
contacted me were as good as their words about offering solidarity
and will report here regarding his condition.

BTW, he is looking foolish and fond like Lear, nothing wrong with that.

author by Brianpublication date Fri Jun 30, 2006 04:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I got a chance to talk to him to clarify a few points for indymedia. The assault occurred in the 'The Goose' pub off Griffith Avenue on the Sunday of bank holiday 2 May 1999. The goose is owned by the 'Pilot Lounge Group' and the civil case is listed as Preston V. that group. His teenage daughter received 25 stitches to her face when she was assaulted with a broken glass at the pub and the case involves a personal injuries damages claim against the pub owners. Peter comes across as an intelligent and unselfish person who's faith in the Irish legal and political setup has been shattered by the practises that he discovered were rampant in the Four Courts as the case developed. Anyway for various reasons, too complicated to go into, he wasn't actually at the court case where this was decided (c. March 2003) but he got a copy of the transcript and he was flabbergasted at the way in which it was conducted. He feels that the judge and the 'opposing' legal teams operated as a kind of a clique to stitch up his daughter using the evidence of blatantly perjured witnesses. In other words his view echoes that of Frank McBrearty who talks about the lawyers, for both sides, at the tribunal being "a scrum of State luvvies all blowing kisses at each other."(http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=71227&com...13053) Frank states that they were uninterested in exposing the corruption and coverrup and that it was left to him, representing himself, to ask the obvious important questions. This is the kind of thing that Peter discovered which was so blatant and contrary to the interests of ordinary justice that he goes so far as to describe it as 'filth'. Anyway he felt he could prove what went on using the transcript and other files and decided to bring this to the attention of the Labour party spokesman on Justice, Joe Costello, around June 2003. But in fact his faith in the integrity of Irish politicians, including those who purport to care about injustice, has taken a serious knock based on what he states transpired during his dealings with Costello. He found he was not really motivated to address the corruption in the legal system and treated him in an offhand and sometimes in an openly rude manner. Anyway as he was leaving his office after explaining the corruption to a disinterested Costello he asked him to leave behind the documentation he had in order for Costello to examine it in more detail. Of course Peter trusted the integrity of this leading Irish politician and left the transcripts, files and a picture of his daughter's horrific injuries. But he discovered to his horror that he had great trouble getting the documentation back while in his opinion Costello was also not interested in pursuing the case. Obviously then when he got the documentation back (I think 17 Nov 2003) he discovered some missing, some tampered and the photograph gone. This BTW mimics what happened to Mary Kelly when she eventually got her files back from her solicitor and found some missing and some deliberated doctored ( http://www.indymedia.ie/article/72186). The Wheelock family are talking about deliberate forgery of some of the records they were given as well ( http://indymedia.ie/article/75165 ) so this kind of thing that Peter alleges can happen. He found though that there was nothing he could do to expose what was going on because of the corruption of the various areas of civil society that he thought should have been able to help i.e.:
1) The media. He has found his case treated to a total media blackout despite the fact that most of the big journalists seem to have met him personally and heard his whole case and seem to believe it. He has also a wide circle of friends and family who are trying to get it mentioned on radio stations etc but are coming up against a total blackout of any mention of this case.
2) The courts. In fact he even tried to generate a court case so that he could put what really happened into the court record and question some of the perpetrators but that didn't work out. He has found that perjury is common place and covered up, that lawyers will intimidate their clients with threats of losing their house etc - to gigantic legal costs - unless they follow their sometimes unethical instructions. And he has found forgery even in simple records that relate court decisions. So he has no faith at all in the court system based on his experiences.
3) Politicans. The Labour Party is effectively stone walling him. He cannot get a straight answer as to what lawyers Costello gave the documents to while he had them. (And he would like an answer to that question in writing.) He is even in contact with other Labour politicians who also have been unsuccessful in extracting that information from Costello. He notes as well how much the politicians close ranks because even the Labour party's political opponents make no effort to highlight this case. It seems they are more interested in covering up the corruption in the legal system than they are in standing up for people.

So I guess for most people its an extreme step to go on hunger strike but what else can he do to get any justice? (BTW I really hope he goes off the hunger strike as I'm sure everybody does.) Its amazing the kind of people who are coming up to shake his hand and wish him luck I guess because they as well have lost faith in the justice system and some politicians. So he intends staying at Leinster House until such time as he gets a straight answer back from the Labour Party and from Minister McDowell about what has transpired in this case.

author by mOusepublication date Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the update. Will try and get down to see him.
Meanwhile anyone who can offer medical advice and or
solidarity to Peter: He is outside the pedestrian entrance
of Dail Eireann. He is happy to tell his story. He has made
a statement asking not to be forcefed and to be allowed
remain at the gates of the Dail to continue with his protest.
His family visit and are about to begin a placard campaign
in relation to media blockade of the issue. Let him tell you.

author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors



How Is he doing Lads?

Are we waiting for someone in the mainstream media to make a story out of it
so we can capitalise on social exclusion and fat theories regarding corruption?

Is it the case that when an ambulance comes to remove Peter that you can actually
juggle with the morality of a society which is perfectly prepared to allow someone to
die on the street rather than confront the issue of exclusion, miscarriage of justice
and hunger-strike.

Peter ,btw, does not want to be removed in an ambulance. He does not want to
be force-fed, nor does he want to be asked to stop what he is doing. He requires
solidarity and a publication of his case.

There are many victims of increasing capitalism in this country. thes include
Orla Kaiser, the Rossport Five, and yourselves btw. because you stand casually by
and witness the erosion of this man's rights, the travellers rights and the increase
of power in the crony lobby without fighting it. This story will slip off the page
today and then maybe tommorrow, a new thread will begin.

we can call it;
DAY41.

author by the diggerpublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 17:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've had a read through the history of this matter.

1) The media. He has found his case treated to a total media blackout .

Well, thats not suprising is it? Its not really a story. There is no conspiracy here. An unfortunate event that he has allowed to become the focus of his entire life.

2) The courts.

Bottom line: his daughter didn't get the money she felt she was entitled to. Sorry, but it happens. Deal with it and move on. The fact that he can shout conspiracy when he wasn't even present at the trial is head scratchingly odd.

3) Politicans. A criminal case was taken & decided. A civil case was taken and decided. Why would a politician interfere with the Courts?

Peter Preston feels hard done by. Indymedia has treated his utterances as gospel.

From what I can see, though, apart for the deeply held convictions of one man, there is not a shred of evidence of any form of conspiracy whatsoever. For a media organisation, there seems to be very little critical comment.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon Jul 31, 2006 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indymedia has not treated anything as gospel.

Since this particular thread started there has been some mainstream media coverage.

There's been lots of critical commentary on Indymedia - your own input being an example. However this commentary is very much the same as most accuse Peter Preston of. It has not been based on evidence.

For the very last time I will say this (before I do, let me add, I'm not trying to substantiate Peter's allegations one way or the other - just that they can be substantiated one way or the other): Peter has alleged that witness testimonies given in the Criminal trial were changed when presented in the Civil Case. The authorities could and should verify this. This is one of the things Mr. Preston has asked for and in my opinion it is quite a reasonable request. If this request were carried out it could hardly be referred to as inteference with the Courts.

author by the diggerpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 09:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>It has not been based on evidence<

It has been based on the total lack of evidence put forward by Peter Preston.

>Peter has alleged that witness testimonies given in the Criminal trial were changed when presented in the Civil Case. The authorities could and should verify this<

Why should they? He has provided nothing in the line of evidence to support this. It is up to him to try to pove his case, not have the authorities disprove it at a potential waste of time and taxpayers money.

In addition, he has the opportunity to have appealed the Civil case to a higher court and have them re-hear the matter. He hasn't done this either.

author by Chris Murray - Some people are unable to read....publication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors


This story has been covered extensively on Indymedia, and I would be interested to know at which point you came into the discussion.

1. Indymedia is not an arbiter in the case of Peter Preston.
2.Peter Preston does not and has not asked Indymedia to advocate for him.
3. Indymedia and the writers ave simply taken his statements, spoken to him and written them down
(as have the general public who have spoken to him, the TD's who have spoken to him and the other protestors outside the dail).
4. The civil case was completed and there was a query to the judgement, the man gave the transcripts to a named TD, who returned them six months later altered.
5. A board and hunger strike vigil were set up outside the Dail. The board accuses the named Td of altering, removing and changing documents. This is the basis for the hunger strike and the reason behind it.
6. re-dress in this issue is up to the victim who confronts the person he accuses, (who has not spoken to Peter Preston or his family)
7. The rest is fluff, hearsay, speculation, spin, lies and deliberate groundless allegation. The method of the hunger strike is known in this country. Unfortunately for peter he does not have a political voice for his political act or a spin machine to counter embellishment. That is the nature of it.

* representing community and individual voice is what independent media is supposed to be about*

author by Davepublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I did a web search and found this discussion about this poor gentleman.

I walk past him about once a week on the way to work, and in my opinion (Dr.) I don't believe he is taking liquids / sugars only since the start of his strike.

While I am in no doubt that he feels he has a real grievance, his state of health does not indicate anything like the level of deterioration expected.

author by the diggerpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>The rest is fluff, hearsay, speculation, spin, lies and deliberate groundless allegation.<

Now you've got it in one. All of the above put forth by Peter Preston, swallowed unqestioningly by the vast majority on Indymedia. Some you you seem so desperate to believe that there is a conspiracy that you are unwilling to ask difficult questions.

For all of the talk here, there is still not a shred of any evidence to support his claims.

>Unfortunately for peter he does not have a political voice for his political act or a spin machine to counter embellishment. That is the nature of it.<

Utter nonsense. Did he appeal his civil case to a higher court? This was surely his first port of call, not fast track to martyrdom outside Dail Eireann. How about complaints to the Bar Council or the Grada Complaints Board?

Without going though any of the avenues available to the ordinary person it seems there is a greater desire for the status of victimhood that to actually have the matter looked at by those who are ion a position to do so.

By the way, it matters not a jot when I joined this discussion.

author by C Murraypublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 14:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors



Indy is not the court.
It is not mainstream.
It represents voice.
It represents community.

However distasteful that is to the meritocracy, who blindfold themselves in the language of equality and refuse to look at issues from anything other than the language that obfuscates situations such as Mr Preston's hunger strike.

author by the diggerpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>However distasteful that is to the meritocracy, who blindfold themselves in the language of equality and refuse to look at issues from anything other than the language that obfuscates situations such as Mr Preston's hunger strike.<

What an earth is your point? Thats makes no sense. And it certainly doesn't address any of the points raised.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 15:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Digger, the only point you have made is that you don't belive Peter Preston. This is hardly newsworthy or interesting.

You claim that Peter should have taken the avenues you have suggested. You forget that a citizen has the right to protest. Peter Preston has exercised this right.

You've made your point and had your say and are beginning to sound like a parrot. Go have a cracker.

author by the diggerpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brilliant riposte. Not much for discussion or debate, eh?

Hey, lets not ever critically question the proportionality or otherwise going on a hunger strike because of.........um, well, not much as far as I can see.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you wish to debate something, pick something that's been stated as fact and attempt prove it to be otherwise.

Debating your opinion or your right to have one would be stupid.

As for discussing proportionality etc. Your temper is getting the better of you here. A man's daughter was attacked in a public place, she received 25 stitches in the face. Peter alleges that the state has dealt unfairly in this matter and that it has called this justice (I'm referring to the civil case here - Peter has no issues with the criminal case - I however think the outcome of the criminal case was pathetic though typical, but that's not what this piece is about), Peter takes issue with the way the Civil case was handled and the subsequent actions of others with reference to it.

If a member of my family were attacked, I'd move heaven and earth to get justice. And I'd go well beyond the concept of proportionality in my response.

So let's not question proportionality - especially when all one has to offer is an opinion - which has already been stated a few times already, this offering of an opinion rather than updating the news or adding to it, is better suited to a conversation in a pub. And let us never question a man's right to protest. Unless one is bringing a case to the courts to challenge the Constitutionality of it.

author by Still Diggin'publication date Sat Aug 12, 2006 20:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Opinion is all that Sean offers as well. But he offers no proof or even evidence that what Preston says is true. Its not up to me to disprove Prestons rather strange beliefs, its up to Preston and those like Sean to provide proof. I say the onus is on Sean because he has reported on this case solely from the viewpoint of Preston. He claims to be neutral but he attacks anyone who questions Prestons story.

No rational person could believe at this stage that Preston is on a genuine huger strike. If we cannot believe his claims to be fasting then why should we believe anything else he says?

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sat Aug 12, 2006 20:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Again for the less than literate out there.

I did not set out to prove Mr. Preston's allegations. I set out to prove he made the allegations. I have printed the allegations Mr. Preston made in order to tell his story in a more wholesome fashion.

For example: 9/11 Lots of allegations have been made and printed about 9/11 and the subsequent war on terror. Very few allegations if any have been substantiated or proved.

Mr. Preston's story has happened and is happening. This is the truth of what is happening. And I defy you or any other airhead to prove otherwise.

The nature of his hungerstrike is a red herring. He has undoubtedly suffered as a consequence of of it. Nobody can prove otherwise.

The truth of his allegations have not been estabilished, this is true. However his allegations have yet to be disproven. Couple this with the fact that our elected betters generally guard their 'good names' with zeal, and one is left with suspicion. This suspicion I feel is the absolute closest I have come in this long running circular argument, to agreeing with Mr. Preston's allegations. This suspicion, is neither illegal, immoral nor unreasonable.

So stop spinning what has been said here, and go get evidence to prove your underdeveloped theories that you dress up as facts.

Allow me to dumb down my point for you. Imagine if you can, a man running into the Dail, and hosing everyone he sees with a submachine gun. He's eventually shot by a fastidious Garda, and he staggers outside onto the streets to die.

Before he dies, he tells onlookers that Christ came and told him to shoot these people.

Would it be my job to prove that Christ did indeed tell this soul to perform this act? Or disprove it?

It would be my job to describe what happened. To witness.

Now disprove my testimony if you can. Your testimony, based on your imagination, falls far short of the mark in accomplishing this.

author by Still Diggin'publication date Sat Aug 12, 2006 20:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'The nature of his hungerstrike is a red herring. '

If so then he has made it into a red herring. Pretending to be on hunger strike is not a good idea.

'He has undoubtedly suffered as a consequence of of it. Nobody can prove otherwise.'

Short of a medical examination how could anyone prove anything? What is obvious though is that he does not have the appearance of someone who has been on hunger strile long enough to kill most people.

Your story about someone thinking hes Jesus is actually quite appropriate. Its just as believeable as Prestons story.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Aug 13, 2006 01:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

To quote you:
"Your story about someone thinking hes Jesus is actually quite appropriate. Its just as believeable as Prestons story."

This is characteristic of your approach in general.

Go back and read what I said again. I didn't mention anyone believing that they were Christ.

You speak of what is and isn't obvious. Yet you cannot read a simple observation without failing utterly to see the obvious. The very black and white of it.

With this degree of observation, or rather the lack thereof, I doubt very much, that your opinion on any medical matter would warrant consideration.

And once again, there is no one definition of a hungerstrike. There are a multitude of varieties. You seem to feel that this particular hungerstrike, should mirror your imaginary version of one. That's a bit arrogant, for someone who takes no comprehension from what they read.

This will be my last answer to you, as you are now actively wasting my time.

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