HC Deb 01 December 1977 vol 940 cc404-5W
Mr. McCusker

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) of those persons between the ages of 14 and 17 years serving periods of detention or imprisonment in Northern Ireland, how many are known to be members of the Provisional IRA, the Official IRA, the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force, respectively;

(2) how many persons between the ages of 14 and 17 years are serving periods of detention or imprisonment, as a result of their involvement in criminal activities related to the present unrest in Northern Ireland; and, of that number, how many have been sentenced to periods of detention or imprisonment of more than two years.

Mr. Concannon

On 24th November 16 young persons who have attained the age of 14 but who are under 17 were serving periods of detention imposed under Section 73 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968. Three of these, aged 15, are detained in training schools, and the remainder in prison. Twelve, including those in training schools, are serving periods of more than two years' detention.

Except in relation to special category prisoners, and there are no such prisoners under 17, prison records do not separately identify those inmates whose offences were connected with the civil disturbance, or whether they have links with a paramilitary organisation. The information requested on these matters is therefore not available.