The person referred to by the Deputy is serving an eight year prison sentence for the possession of firearms and ammunition in suspicious circumstances. With normal remission he is due for release on 10 June 2006.
I, as Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, am responsible for the management of this man's sentence and it would be inappropriate for me to offer any form of legal advice on the issues that he has raised in his correspondence. It is the case though, that this man has access to his legal representatives who can offer him assistance and appropriate advice. It is also the case that neither I nor my predecessors have ever engaged in direct correspondence with prisoners and I see no reason to divert from this practice in this instance. Normal protocol would be for an official from the Prison Service to reply directly to a prisoner in relation to queries raised.