Murphy says: “This could happen to you”

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This morning Dubliner Tony Rochford will start his 23 day on hunger strike amidst growing concerns for his health.

Yesterday leading Donegal anti austerity activist, Joe Murphy said he had been in touch with a considerable number of TD’s and other public representatives to see if they could bring about a resolution to the protest.

Mr Rochford is making his protest against government policies which, he claims, have left him with no hope of any kind of future as his business has closed and he is to lose the family home.

Mr Murphy told the Journal: “We are now entering a critical period. The medical opinion is that if Tony has any underlying medical conditions this could kick in very quickly with, possibly, fatal consequences. Quite literally this man could die soon.”

And Mr Murphy was still outraged at the lack of coverage in the national media.

He commented : “While we did one day of a hunger strike in Letterkenny on Saturday Tony is now beginning his fourth week but as yet still no coverage on RTE

“It was interesting listening to the viewes of the people on the streets of Letterkenny about tony ranging from F... off to God bless him

“But the biggest majority of people would feel the same as us. While individuals can make their own choices and we would not condone or encourage anyone to take this action we do understand his frustration at the government. Because of his determination to follow through with his hunger strike we feel we must give him all the support we can.”

Mr Murphy said a considerable number of people, well over 300, had signed a petition in support of Mr Rochford in Letterkenny on Saturday.

“We will take these signature’s to Tony and again ask him to stop his hunger strike because we do not believe this government will listen and they will let him die end Tony Rochford has been on hunger strike since June 17th.

The Buncrana activist went on: “What happened to Tony could happen to any of us. “Tony’s property is in ‘negative equity’ and he has struggled to pay his mortgage.

“ While unemployed Tony used his and his wife’s savings to pay their mortgage. Now Tony finds himself in a situation where he is unable to get a Tax Clearance Certificate in order to work.

“He has tried to be a good citizen and suck up stoically his bad luck shared by thousands of people of his generation but a property tax levied on a house in which he has no equity is the final straw.

“We urge you to Support Tony and his family.