HC Deb 14 April 1921 vol 140 cc1273-4

asked the Chief Secretary on what charge, if any, P. Colivet, Member of Parliament for Limerick City, was arrested; whether and for what reason Mr. Colivet has been kept for over a fortnight in a cell under the courthouse at Rathkeale, with a damp nagged floor, no means of heating, and lighted only by an unglazed grating which faces a blank wall, the cell being consequently so dark that reading is hardly possible except by candle-light; whether, these cells, of which Mr. Colivet's is the best, are quite unfit for human habitation; whether he will have the use of them discontinued; and whether Mr. Colivet, Member of Parliament for Limerick City, has been taken round on a lorry as a hostage?


Mr. Colivet was arrested in the martial law area as an officer in the so-called Irish Republican Army, and an internment order will be made against him. The cell mentioned in the question was the only accommodation available, and while it is true that it is not well lighted, it is perfectly fit for habitation, and is at least as good as many of the billets locally occupied by troops. I do not therefore propose to direct that its use shall be discontinued. The answer to the last part of the question is in the affirmative.


Is it not a fact that the previous prisoner who occupied this cell had to be sent to the hospital to be treated for sores owing to the unhealthy conditions?


The cell is provided by the Town Council of Limerick, and it has been in use for many years.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Does this mean that men awaiting trial are being taken round as hostages on a motor lorry, and is that part of the Government's policy?


The hon. and gallant Member always seems to adopt a threatening or a bullying attitude, and that is not the way, if he wants to get an answer, to make it likely that he will succeed.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

I beg your pardon, Mr. Speaker, if my action was not parliamentary, but circumstances like this rather stir many of us. Can I have an answer to my question?

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