HC Deb 25 November 1920 vol 135 cc649-50W

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland the total number of prisoners now held in Ireland for a month who have not yet been put upon trial and the number detained without trial for two, three, four, five, and six months and upwards, respectively?


The total number of prisoners awaiting trial by court-martial, including prisoners committed for trial for ordinary civil offences whose cases have been referred to the competent military authority under the Restoration of Order in Ireland Regulations, No. 68 (2), now in Irish prisons, who have been in custody for one month and upwards, is 70. Of these, I has been in custody for upwards of six months, awaiting trial for obtaining money by false pretences; 3, including 1 hunger striker, for over four months; 3, including 6 hunger strikers, for over three months; and 8, including 2 hunger strikers, for over two months. A certain congestion of court-martial business has been the inevitable result of the increasing efficiency of the measures taken under the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act for the detection and arrest of criminals. Steps are being taken to expedite the trial of offenders. There will be some further delay in bringing prisoners to trial owing to the murder of several court-martial officers on Sunday last.