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Irish Prisoners

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration is given the circumstances of the families of Irish category A prisoners in deciding on whether to transfer the prisoners near to where their families live; and if he will make a statement.

Requests by prisoners for permanent transfer to Northern Ireland are considered in the light of criteria which have been made public. These criteria, which do not distinguish between category A and other inmates, deal with the circumstances of the inmate in question rather than those of his family, but as every application is dealt with on its merits, any exceptional family circumstances which may put forward in support of a request would be taken into account. Repatriation of prisoners to the Republic of Ireland is not at present possible since the Republic has not ratified the European convention on the transfer of sentenced prisoners.