Irish Language Strategy and Ulster-Scots Culture and Heritage Strategy
Northern Ireland Assembly
David Ford (Alliance)
I think that the Member is contrasting what happens at a trial and the role of the Parole Commissioners in dealing with a subsequent hearing of suspicion that somebody is breaching the terms of licence. There are different tests and a different procedure for that. That is the law under which we must all operate.
However, my role, as I have just said, is to provide suitable, humane conditions for all those in custody, whatever their crime or suspected crime may be. That is a mark of a civilised society, as was emphasised by Conall McDevitt when he quoted Winston Churchill, and something that we should definitely take account of. In respect of Mrs McGlinchey, I will do all that I can to ensure that, while in custody, she is treated in a way that meets her needs, while recognising that she is in a specific position as the sole category-A woman prisoner in Northern Ireland. What I will not do is interfere in due process in areas in which it lies to the Parole Commissioners and the Secretary of State to exercise their responsibilities. On that basis, I must reject the motion.