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Tony Rochford ends hunger strike after doctor’s report

Property tax hunger striker Rochford had not eaten for 23 days before last night.

Tony Rochford ended his 23 day hunger strike last night.
Tony Rochford ended his 23 day hunger strike last night.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photcall Ireland

Updated 22:04

TONY ROCHFORD HAS ended his hunger strike and met with two Fine Gael TDs with a view to meeting Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Rochford, who was on hunger strike for 23 days, this morning met with Fine Gael TDs Damien English and Ray Butler and outlined to them his inability to obtain a tax clearance cert over his non-payment of the property tax.

Self-employed Rochford feels that his right to work is being infringed upon and discussed with the two deputies whether anything can be done to overcome this obstacle and prevent it happening to others. He said that he has no problem with the courts pursuing him over his non-payment of the charge.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Rochford said that the TDs acknowledged that he had some “valid points to raise” and that the would bring them to Government.

The Government press office confirmed that the TDs had been sent to meet with Rochford to ensure that his situation was being looked after.  Following a Dáil question from TD John Halligan on Tuesday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he would have no problem meeting Rochford.

Rochford ended his hunger strike as after  seeing a doctor on Tuesday night who explained to him that he was approaching the point where heart attacks or pneumonia were becoming a risk. He had not been regularly seeing a doctor as a result of a disagreement he had with his regular GP who had reservations about the action he was taking.

The meeting with the doctor on Tuesday was made at the request of friends, family and politicians involved in the case and an extract of the doctor’s report seen by TheJournal reads:

To whom it may concern

I am satisfied as to the truth of Mr Rochford’s statement that he has not eaten any food for the last 23 days on the basis of my findings. Weight was 70 now 60 kilos, blood pressure extremely low at 68/58mmg, bodily evidence of weight loss and supportive information from his wife.

Rochford is continuing with his protest against the property charge and will speak as part of a protest at the James Larkin monument on Saturday.

First published 16:39

Read: Property tax hunger striker: Meeting with Taoiseach must happen soon >

Read: Property tax hunger striker: ‘I’d say I won’t last too long’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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