CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - COMPENSATION CLAIMS.

To ask the Minister for Finance what steps, if any, have been taken or are proposed to be taken by the Government with a view to making, or obtaining from the British Government, a grant by way of compensation to the bereaved husband and orphans of the late Mrs. Malachy Quinn, of Kiltartan, Gort, who was shot by British Forces on November 1st, 1920.

My attention had not previously been drawn officially to this case, but on receipt of the Deputy's question, I instituted inquiries, and have ascertained that the British Government on 8th March, 1921, made an ex gratia grant of £300 to Mr. Malachy Quinn.

Is the Minister aware of the contents of the letter which accompanied that grant, which were to the effect that this was not in any way to be regarded as prejudicing a claim for compensation?

I have not seen a copy of that letter.

I will give the Minister a copy of it to-day and might I hope that further enquiries will be made?

I do not think so. I do not think I can make special enquiries in any case at all. All those cases for compensation, as I said before, will be the subject for proceedings in the Courts according to regulations made by this Dáil in a Bill which will be introduced next month, a Bill dealing with Personal Injuries.

I am entitled to take it that this man will be able to claim under these regulations, that the fact of the ex gratia grant will not rule him out?

I do not think the ex gratia grant will have anything to do with the case unless the Court is of opinion that that would meet the case. Not knowing the circumstances, I am not in a position to express any opinion.

To ask the Minister for Defence if he is aware that Robert Mullins, who was employed as a waiter in Portobello Barracks, was accidentally shot on Sunday, 10th December; if he is aware that his widow and five children have not received any compensation since, and that two days' pay which were due to him at the time of his death is still withheld by the authorities; if he will say what steps, if any, will be taken to deal with this case, and others of a similar nature.

Mr. Mullins, a civilian waiter, was accidentally shot on Monday, the 11th December. The question of compensation will receive immediate and favourable consideration and the arrears of pay will be paid on receipt of formal application from Mrs. Mullins, who will be approached in the matter. I am not aware of any other cases of a similar nature.

May I ask the Minister for Defence whether he will consider the advisability of putting the widow and orphans of men accidentally shot or otherwise on the pay sheets and treat them as if they were widows or orphans of soldiers?

Do I understand this is a question of civilian employees shot?

Yes, in military barracks.

I am afraid I cannot give any undertaking in the matter. The matter may be considered when this particular case is being considered.