Kidnapping, Belcoo.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 18th July 1922.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

11.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the 11 Ulster Special Constabulary who were kidnapped at Belcoo have yet been released; whether it is known where these men are being detained; and what action the Provisional Government have taken to secure their release?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

According to the latest information I have received, these 11 constables, who are believed to be confined at Athlone, have not yet been released. I am assured that steps are being taken by the Provisional Government in response to the continued representations I have made to them to secure the release of these and other inhabitants of Northern Ireland who are being detained in the South.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied as to the safety of these men meanwhile, and will he make representations that the Provisional Government will be held responsible for the safety of these citizens?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I have made every representation, and I hope they will have effect regarding this case, and also the case of the 15 men taken at Pettigo.

Photo of Hon. Charles Craig Hon. Charles Craig , Antrim South

Is not Athlone in the hands of the Free State authorities, and what difficulty can Mr. Collins have in obtaining the release of these men?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Dundee

I suppose the difficulty of the strain and stress under which that Government is labouring at the present time.