O'Malley, Desmond J.

Tuesday, 23 May 1972

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 261 No. 1

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Prisons Bill, 1972: First Stage.

I move: That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend and extend the Prisons Acts, 1826 to 1970. More Button

This is a short Bill which has been brought into the House because of the events in Mountjoy Prison on last Thursday night and Friday morning. It proposes to give power to transfer prisoners to milit...More Button

I would ask the House to take the next Stage now.More Button

The Bill will be circulated immediately. Several copies were given this morning to each of the Opposition parties.More Button

The remaining Stages would have to be concluded before the Seanad sits at 3 p.m. so that I could go to the Seanad at 3 o'clock with the Bill.More Button

Committee on Finance. - Prisons Bill, 1972: Second Stage.

I move: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.” I regret that a situation has arisen which compels me to come to the House and ask it to pass this Bill, the main provision of which is to authorise ...More Button

Committee on Finance. - Prisons Bill, 1972: Second Stage (Resumed).

Corporal Stephenson.More Button

What about the referendum?More Button

Does the Deputy remember that during the Forcible Entry Bill controversy an Act of 1285 was being pressed on us as something that we should use?More Button

A lot of good institutions did.More Button

Approximately 20 Deputies, or possibly a few more, have spoken on the Bill and these constitute a very large and representative number.More Button

I doubt if there can be any valid complaints that all points were not put and put quite adequately. I think that on the whole it is fair to say that this debate was a responsible debate and while the...More Button

If that were so I doubt if there would be a Minister for Justice in any country in the world who had not been called on to resign during the past few months. In France alone there have been seven ser...More Button

While I accept full responsibility for the action or failure to act on the part of my servants there is nothing that they did or failed to do for which I could be reproached.More Button

I have sat here for most of the five hours of this debate and during that time I did not interrupt anybody except to take a very minor part in Deputy Joseph Lenehan's jocose contribution.More Button

I would be glad if I could have some time in which to reply to about 20 speeches, most of which were good and constructive. I see nothing in what my servants did or failed to do on Thursday night whe...More Button

——they acted splendidly and in many respects acted well beyond the call of duty. I am blamed that a riot took place in Mountjoy. By our standards, at any rate, there was a very serious riot there. ...More Button

On my first visit to the prison I endeavoured to do away with the old traditional industries that existed in prisons, probably since the last century. These were useless so far as rehabilitation was ...More Button

When one gets over the initial horror and shock of what I saw happen on Thursday night and Friday morning last, one's greatest regret in retrospect is not so much that men acted as they did, and that ...More Button

It is, but it is limited to five or six cells.More Button

I most certainly do not admit it is true.More Button

I most certainly do not admit it is true. It is impossible for any prison officer who has to lock up 510 prisoners, as was the case in Mountjoy last Thursday, to carry 510 separate keys. Indeed, I v...More Button

I welcomed the suggestion on previous occasions when it was made on the other side of this House.More Button

I got applications from two Deputies, Deputy Fitzpatrick of Meath. I immediately Bruton of Meath. I immediately replied that they were more than welcome to visit. Unfortunately, so far as I am awar...More Button

I would suggest that Deputies would, as far as possible, come together because it would be more convenient for the prison staff to show a number of Deputies over the prison at the same time but, subje...More Button

The Curragh is and will remain a matter entirely for the Minister for Defence. I have no reason whatever to think that the Minister for Defence will refuse any bona fide Deputy and I will use my good...More Button

I have just been reminded that Deputy O'Connell visited Mountjoy. (Interruptions.)More Button

How many years ago was that?More Button

Deputy Cruise-O'Brien in his contribution tonight appeared to support the Bill fairly strenuously, with some slightly irrelevant reservations.More Button

I would not expect the Deputy to; if the Deputy supported me I would be in strange company. The Deputy referred, by implication more or less, to Deputies of this party who have, as he described it, sy...More Button

He described the alleged connection of some members of this party with the Provisional IRA as an unholy alliance. (Interruptions.)More Button

I deliberately did not interrupt Deputy Cruise-O'Brien, even though he said things which I knew were untrue.More Button

I want to make it clear that there is no alliance, holy or unholy, and no sympathy on the part of any man who sits in these benches with either the Provisional IRA or the Official IRA.More Button

When I say this I am very conscious of the fact that, in saying this, it is more than anyone can say for the Labour Party.More Button

It was revealing to see Deputy Corish—and I felt sympathy for him—open for the Labour Party and declare at the end of his speech that as far as the Labour Party were concerned it was a free vote and a...More Button

Perhaps the reason is that the last time he spoke in this House on my Estimate he spent a great deal of time criticising me and the Garda Síochána for affording protection to certain lorries plying on...More Button

Some days after this had been debated here a man named Woods in Newry was shot through the legs and his supermarket blown up beyond repair; and before he was shot he was told that this was done becaus...More Button

I accuse no such person. The Official IRA issued a statement accepting responsibility for this act.More Button

Deputy Corish, together with a number of other Deputies, inquired why people should be on remand so long. I think this inquiry is fair enough.More Button

I accuse the Official IRA of this act because they admitted responsibility for it.More Button

We had some cases of persons being held for some months in the file of prisoners on remand. I want——More Button

I am endeavouring to come to it.More Button

Before coming to that I want to deal with the question of remands, because most of the prisoners in Mountjoy who were involved in this matter were, in fact, on remand. The first point in regard to it...More Button

In view of the opinions expressed fairly widely in the House and in most cases quite genuinely I feel I should accede to those views and include some time limit. I did mention that the repair of Moun...More Button

No. This military detention barracks which we are using at the Curragh is in the middle of a large military complex. It creates enormous problems if there is any question of divided responsibility. ...More Button

I did no such thing.More Button


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