CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - EX-R.I.C. MAN'S PENSION.

asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware of the services rendered to the National cause by Mr. T.J. McElligott, now of Bedford, Listowel, County Kerry, by initiating the movement against Conscription in the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1918, and, subsequently, the movement to make the force an unarmed one; if he is aware that Mr. McElligott refused an offer of promotion and resigned from the R.I.C. in 1918, and that previous to and after his resignation he was one of the chief advisers of the Republican Government in matters concerning the R.I.C., and police matters generally; if he will explain why no pension has been awarded to Mr. McElligott, and if he will say whether he proposes to take any measures to ensure that Mr. McElligott and all the other men who resigned or were dismissed from the Royal Irish Constabulary because of their national sympathies shall receive treatment, as regards superannuation and pensions, at least as favourable as that already accorded to those who remained in the force until its disbandment.

The applications for the grant of a pension under Section 5 of the Superannuation and Pensions Act, 1923, lodged in this and a small number of other similar cases have not been hitherto entertained because in each such case the applicant was known to be a member or helper or active sympathiser with the organisation engaged in armed opposition to the late Provisional Government or the Government of Saorstát Eireann. In view of the improved conditions in the country, I am now prepared to have these cases considered.

Will the Minister say when he proposes to introduce the promised amending Bill to the Superannuation and Pensions Act of 1923?

That Bill is with the draftsman, but I cannot say when it will be ready.