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Sinn Fein Conference: Release Of Prisoners

Volume 590: debated on Monday 1 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, following the day release from prison of IRA criminals to assist in the campaign for a Yes vote in the forthcoming Northern Ireland referendum, it is their intention to release an equal number of other criminals to campaign for a No vote. [HL1890]

The Secretary of State granted temporary release to four prisoners to attend a Sinn Fein conference to discuss the Belfast Agreement on 9 May. The release of those prisoners was a matter of concern and hurt to many members of the public and the Secretary of State has said that releases will not be granted for such purposes in the future.