HL Deb 10 April 2002 vol 633 cc107-8WA
Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many terrorist prisoners have (a) escaped from prison since 1970 and were not recaptured to complete their sentences; and (b) escaped from police custody before conviction. [HL3539]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

The information the noble Lord has requested is as follows:


HMP Belfast

1971, 12 prisoners escaped (two escapes); of these five were recaptured.

HMP Maidstone

1972, seven detainees escaped; all of these were recaptured.

HMP Maze

1974, 13 prisoners escaped (two escapes); all of these were recaptured.

1976, nine prisoners escaped; of these five were recaptured.

1978, one prisoner escaped and he was killed while UAL.

1983, 38 prisoners escaped; of these 24 were recaptured (19 almost immediately), seven were in the USA or Republic of Ireland, three were killed while unlawfully at large and four are unlawfully at large.

HMP Magilligan

1975, one prisoner escaped and was recaptured.

Cumulative totals

From 1970 to the present there have been 81 terrorist escapees; of these 55 have been recaptured.

Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the legislation that governs terrorist prisoner releases since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement; and how many prisoners have benefited from it. [HL3538]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

The early release of prisoners convicted of scheduled offences committed before 10 April 1998 is governed by the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998. To date (10 April 2002) 445 individuals have benefited from the scheme.

Lord Laird

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will give a breakdown of the number of terrorist prisoners and their paramilitary alignment in HM Prison Maghaberry and HM Prison Magilligan. [HL354l]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

Information is held in relation to the perceived paramilitary association of prisoners, where applicable, for management purposes. It should be noted that this information is based on a combination of factors including the offence, sympathies and associates.

Perceived paramilitary affiliations of prisoners as at 27 March 2002.
HMP Maghaberry HMP Magilligan
Provisional IRA 18 9
Irish National Liberation Army 8 4
Irish Republican Socialist Army 1 0
Irish Peoples Liberation Organisation 2 0
Real IRA 19 1
Continuity IRA 3 1
Ulster Freedom Fighters/Ulster Defence Association 34 23
Ulster Volunteer Force 30 17
Loyalist Volunteer Force 19 1
Red Hand Commando 2 3
Red Hand Defenders 2 0