asked the Minister for Defence how many Old I.R.A. men have been granted disability allowances within the last two years; and if priority was given to those who had service medals.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Disability Allowances to Old I.R.A. Men.
I presume that the Deputy has in mind special allowances granted under the Army Pensions Acts. During the period 1st November, 1959 to 31st October, 1961, 1,509 such allowances were granted. Applications from all the categories eligible to apply, including persons to whom the Service (1917-1921) Medal has been duly awarded, are dealt with as quickly as possible. No question of priority, therefore, arises between the different categories.
As the Minister is not certain what the Deputy meant, it could be other forms of disability allowances, besides the special allowances. Is he aware that old-I.R.A. men suffering from a disability are prevented by statute from making application and that this statute dates back about 15 or 20 years?
That is so. Disability pensions cannot now be applied for.
That is what I mean. I just want to make it clear.
That is the law.
Will the Minister make it clear? Does the figure he has quoted refer to disablement allowances?
And only special allowances?
Only special allowances.
I want to make it clear that it does not refer to the others.