HC Deb 28 May 1906 vol 158 cc60-1

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he could give the number of young girls, other than Roman Catholics, between the ages of nine and fifteen years, who have been arrested for thieving and other minor offences and sent to prison or discharged under the First Offenders Act during the year 1905, in Ireland; and whether, in the event of a reformatory for such girls being set up by private enterprise, the Government would afford facilities and some pecuniary encouragement.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) I am informed that only one such person was committed to prison in Ireland during the year 1905, and that the average number of such committals for some years past has been about two. The prison records do not show the number of such girls who, after being arrested, have been discharged under the First Offenders Act without being sent to prison. The Government have not been made aware that any necessity exists for establishing a reformatory school for Protestant girls in Ireland. If, however, any proposals on the subject are made they will receive due consideration. I understand that one such school existed in Ireland up to ten years ago, when it was closed owing to the fewness of the inmates.