CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - CLAIM BY DEAD OFFICER'S RELATIVES.

asked the Minister for Defence if he received a claim from the relatives of Captain J.J. Kirwan, who was killed at Buncrana, Co. Donegal, on October 8th, 1922, and, if so, if he will state what award it is proposed to make, and on what basis such award is calculated.

I regret that Mr. Kirwan's claim has had to be disallowed on the ground that she was not dependent on her deceased son.

Arising out of that answer, in the case of such obvious hardship and wrong, and where a valuable life has been lost in trying to save the nation, I would like to ask the Minister for Defence if he will agree that in the new Amending Bill, retrospective provision will be made to cover cases of hardship and wrong, such as this?

It is stretching the case a bit to say there is wrong in a case like this. This is one of the matters that the Committee has considered, and their Report, as I have stated already, is before me, but I have not completed the reading as yet.

Will the President look into the file to see whether this man's people were not dependent on him, at least to some extent?

I will undertake to look into the file; but I might remind the Deputy that there is an enormous number of these cases, and though I spent some time reading them, it is scarcely possible on a mere perusal of them, to form a correct judgment. I think the Committee appointed in accordance with the Act appears to have given very fair consideration to cases, and it did strike me, if there are any infirmities in the matter, it was in the Act, rather than in the administration of it that there were infirmities.

There are special circumstances in this case.

I should say from a perusal of these cases I was satisfied that there should be some alteration or amendment of the Act.