WRITTEN ANSWERS. - ATHLONE EXECUTIONS.

SEAN O LAIDHIN

To ask the Minister for Defence if it is a fact that in connection with the five executions which took place in Athlone on Saturday, January 20th, the parents of the prisoners were not notified until after the executions had taken place; and, if so, what was the reason for this; also, why the remains of John Hughes, one of the executed men, were not given to his mother, at her request.

It is not the practice nor is it the intention to address communications to the relatives of men who are arrested, with the exception that, in the cases of men executed, formal notification is after execution at once sent to the next-of-kin or nearest relative, where any such are known. Also, it is not the intention to hand over to relations or friends the remains of men executed.

SEAN O LAIDHIN

May I ask a supplementary question in regard to this man John Hughes, who was executed? His parents live one and a half miles from Athlone. His mother was in town at the market, and was going home when she was overtaken by some person in authority, who told her about the execution.

What is the question?

SEAN O LAIDHIN

As this was the first time in the history of Ireland that an execution took place in Athlone, and this man's people live within a mile of the town, surely it was the duty of the Government to notify them before executing him.

That is not a question.