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By Hannah O’Hanlon
Could Billy Irving be planning a fairy tale Valentine’s wedding to celebrate the end of his nightmare Indian prison incarceration?
Billy, an ex-paratrooper and one of the so-called Chennai Six, flew back to the UK on December 6, after the men won an appeal against their conviction of having illegal weapons in Indian waters while carrying out anti-piracy work in October 2013.
After four years trapped in India, Campbeltown Grammar School-educated Billy returned to his fiancée Yvonne MacHugh, and two-year-old son William, meeting his son for just the fourth time in his life.
In one of his first interviews since his release, Billy told the Mail on Sunday that he and Yvonne hoped to marry in February.
And on Facebook, he thanked the people of Campbeltown for their support: ‘I would like to thank everyone in Campbeltown and Oban for the fundraisers and continuous support from day one.’
Although elated to be back together as a family, the couple cannot help but feel let down by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Billy said: ‘I can never forgive the UK government and the FCO.
‘We would have been freed much sooner if they had really engaged in our plight and fought for us. I feel disgusted and betrayed.’
Yvonne added to Billy’s sentiments, describing former foreign secretary Philip Hammond as ‘next to useless and uninterested at best’ and said of Mr Hammond’s successor: ‘For Boris Johnson to hint that he had some part in their return is the height of hypocrisy.
‘I’ve written to him a number of times asking for a meeting and never had a reply. How dare he.’
An FCO spokesperson told the Courier: ‘The Foreign Office worked tirelessly behind the scenes to reunite these men with their families.
‘This included lobbying on their behalf, visiting them in prison, updating their families, and maintaining lose contact with their legal team.’
Billy is finally able to be a father to his son, William. NO_billyirving01