I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 55 together.
The Irish Shot at Dawn campaign is seeking retrospective pardons for 26 Irish men executed by the British Army during the First World War for offences such as desertion and cowardice, which were consequently repealed by the British authorities in 1928 and 1930. The Irish campaign is ancillary to the British Shot at Dawn campaign, which is seeking pardons for 306 British soldiers executed, a figure which includes the 26 Irishmen in question.
I have instructed my officials to begin discussions with their British counterparts. We will do this in tandem with our ongoing contacts with Mr. Mulvaney, the Irish Shot at Dawn campaign co-ordinator. We will focus on the safety of the courts-martial convictions, the level of convictions against soldiers from Ireland, the lack of consideration of ameliorating medical conditions suffered by soldiers at the time, and the repeal of, inter alia, the offences of desertion and cowardice in the aftermath of the war, will inform our approach.
Moreover, our approach will also be informed by the humanitarian considerations which inspired the Government of New Zealand to pass the Pardons for Soldiers of the Great War Act 2000, the purpose of which was effectively to grant such retrospective pardons and to exonerate the soldiers from New Zealand from the opprobrium of a fate they did not deserve.