§ Rev. Ian Paisley
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many persons are serving life sentences in prisons in Northern Ireland; and what proportion of these have been sentenced for IRA terrorist offences;
(2) what is the total number of persons in prison in Northern Ireland who have been sentenced for IRA terrorist offences;
(3) what is the total number of persons in prison in Northern Ireland who have been sentenced for terrorist offences;
(4) what is the total number of sentenced persons in prison in Northern Ireland;
(5) what is the total number of persons remanded in custody in Northern Ireland; what is the longest period currently served by a remand prisoner; and what proportion of these remand prisoners are charged with alleged IRA terrorist offences.
§ Mr. Concannon
On 20th June 1977 there were 2,179 sentenced persons in prison in Northern Ireland. Prison records do not separately identify572W prisoners convicted of terrorist offences. However, at that date there were 974 prisoners including 561 claiming association with Republican organisations, holding special category status for offences connected with the civil disturbances and committed before 1st March 1976 when special category status was abolished.
There were 189 prisoners serving sentences for life imprisonment, and 42 young persons detained during the Secretary of State's pleasure under Section 73 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 on 20th June 1977. Of these, 49 prisoners and 20 young persons detained who had committed offences before 1st March 1976, claimed connection with Republican organisations and are held in special category compounds.
The total number of persons remanded in custody and awaiting trial in custody in Northern Ireland on 20th June 1977 was 667. The longest period for which one of these remand prisoners has been in custody is 16 months. It is not possible to say how many persons are on remand for terrorist offences nor of these how many have IRA affiliations.