With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 9 together.
Complaints of bigamous marriages are investigated by the Garda Síochána and, if the investigation discloses any evidence that might possibly justify a prosecution, a report is submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions who decides whether criminal proceedings should in fact be instituted. Of course, if it were quite clear to the Garda that the available evidence could not possibly sustain a prosecution, as would be the case if, for instance, no evidence of a previous marriage could be found, the Garda would not normally submit a report to the director as it would be pointless to do so.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that during the five-year period up to 31 December 1978 proceedings for bigamy were instituted in four cases. For clarification, may I say that, due to a clerical error in Garda Headquarters where those statistics are compiled, Deputy Keating was informed in a recent letter from my office that the number of prosecutions in that period was five. As now stated, the correct figure is four. I regret that this should have occurred.
As regards the second part of Deputy Keating's question, I have no function in relation to decisions to prosecute or not to prosecute and accordingly I am not in a position to comment on his reference to English divorces. However, in case the matter is in fact linked to some extent with the wider question of the recognition of foreign divorces, I would mention that the Law Reform Commission are examining various aspects of the law relating to marriage and matrimonial causes and proceedings, including this question of the recognition of foreign divorces.