CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - DETENTION OF PRISONERS.

To ask the Minister for Defence whether his attention has been called to the statements made at a meeting of the Dublin Corporation on Monday, 22nd instant, by responsible public representatives (e.g., Senator Mrs. Wyse Power and Councillor M.J. Moran), to the effect that prisoners who signed a document promising not to take up arms against the Government, or aid or abet others in doing so, would be released forthwith; whether this is a correct statement of the position, and is it to be inferred that those persons who are still detained as prisoners have refused to sign the document in question.

DOMHNALL O MURGHEASA

To ask the Minister for Defence whether he is aware that over sixty prisoners in the County Prison, Limerick, who have signed the form promising not to take up arms against the Government of Saorstát Eireann or assist any other person in so doing, are still detained as prisoners, and what additional test is required of a prisoner who has not been convicted of an offence to obtain release.

This reply covers both questions. In addition to his signing the usual form of undertaking it is required before releasing any prisoner that the Intelligence Officer and the Officer Commanding the area in which the prisoner was arrested certify that the word given in the matter may be taken, and that the prisoner may be released without, in their opinion, danger to the public. I have not seen the statements in question, but it may be inferred that a large number of those persons still detained are persons who have not offered to sign the required form of undertaking. It is open to any of them to offer to give such an undertaking, and in the case of any, in respect of whom acceptance of such an undertaking has been refused, it is open to them also to make any special statement or appeal in their own case.