CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - NATIONAL TEACHER'S ARREST

To ask the Minister for Defence if it is a fact that Mr. James McGowan, National teacher, of Dromahair, was arrested at his school on January 10th, and has since been detained in Sligo Jail; if so, will he say what are the reasons for his arrest, or whether any formal charge has been made against him; has he seen a statement made by Mr. McGowan to the effect that he was from the beginning a supporter of the Government, that he is prepared to meet any charges that may be made against him, and to give substantial bail for his appearance at any trial or investigation that may be ordered; and that he is in a position to prove that he has not done anything prejudicial to the present Government; and in view of these statements and the fact that Mr. McGowan is over 62 years of age, and is in a delicate state of health, is he prepared to order his immediate release from prison?

Mr. McGowan was arrested at his school on the 10th January on suspicion of aiding Irregulars. He is now in Sligo Jail. No formal charge has been made against him, but in view of his age and state of health I have given instructions that he should be released, provided he signs the usual undertaking, and also an additional undertaking to appear for trial if and when he is asked to do so.

Can the Minister say whether he has been released?

I have issued instructions that on his signing the usual undertaking, and an additional undertaking that he will come up for trial if and when he is asked to do so, he is to be released.