CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - MILITARY SERVICE CERTIFICATES.

SEAN O LAIDHIN

asked the Minister for Defence if he will state on what grounds a certificate of military service has been refused in the case of ex-Lieutenant G. Cooke (Ref. No. S.P. 13014) who at present resides at Cushla, Athlone; and whether the Minister will have the case reopened by the Board of Assessors in view of the fact that the applicant is in a position to furnish additional evidence.

A certificate of military service was refused in the case of Lieutenant Cooke as he did not establish to the satisfaction of the Board of Assessors that he rendered the minimum amount of military service required by sub-section 4 of Section 2 of the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924. The findings of the Board on the available evidence are final and conclusive. If the applicant submits to me evidence which is clearly additional to that which he has already given to the Board in support of his application, I will consider the question of asking the Board to reopen the case. He has been so informed several times.

Is the Minister aware that this man has sent forward particulars indicating that he joined the I.R.A. in 1918, was arrested and interned for eighteen months——

We cannot deal with the case here.

—and on his release he joined the National Army? When the Minister says that this man has been notified on several occasions to put forward additional evidence, he is not quite correct, because the man has not been notified.

SEAN O LAIDHIN

asked the Minister for Defence if he will state on what grounds a certificate of military service has been refused in the case of ex-Captain Thomas J. Hynes, Bogginfin Road, Athlone, and whether the Minister will have the case reopened by the Board of Assessors in view of the fact that the applicant is in a position to furnish additional evidence.

A certificate of military service under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1924, has not been granted to ex-Captain Thomas J. Hynes for the reason that he did not establish to the satisfaction of the Board of Assessors that he rendered the minimum amount of military service required by sub-section 4 of Section 2 of the Act. The applicant has furnished me with what purported to be additional evidence in support of his application, and on that evidence I have already requested the Board of Assessors to reopen the case. The Board have now reported to me that after most careful consideration of all the evidence submitted, they cannot alter their original findings. Mr. Hynes has been so informed.

If ex-Captain Thomas J. Hynes is in a position to offer evidence additional to that already submitted by him, or a full statement of evidence, is the Minister prepared to have the case re-opened?

This man has got every opportunity of furnishing additional evidence. He has furnished evidence which the Board have considered, but they find they cannot alter their original decision on that evidence. There is no use in putting up again the evidence this man has already put up.

Is the Minister aware that this man has given evidence to the effect that he has been engaged in several ambushes and burned several R.I.C. barracks?

I am not aware of these things.

The Minister is not the judge of these matters.

If the Minister has this information supplied him, will he agree to have the case re-opened?

I am not the judge of the evidence. The evidence does not come to me, but to the Board.

Is the Minister aware that this man has already shot people in the interests of this Government? Now, I want——

The Deputy had better ask the next question.

I am sorry, but——

The Deputy cannot ask questions which are not questions for the Minister. The Minister is not concerned with the awards of the Board made on evidence relating to certain facts. The Deputy will have to ask Question 5.

I am asking——

The Deputy will have to ask Question 5 now.

Oh, very well.