The answer to the first part of the Question is 16. None of the applications has so far been successful. Where it appears that there are reasons for querying the failure to execute a warrant, the case is taken up with the authorities in the Republic of Ireland.
Is not it very disappointing that the system does not appear to be working satisfactorily? Can my hon. Friend confirm my impression that there are a number of warrants that the security authorities in Northern Ireland have which would be lodged if this procedure worked satisfactorily? Then, taking the last part of my hon. Friend's reply about the examination of the reasons why these 16 cases have made no progress, can my hon. Friend say that they will be gone into in detail at diplomatic level?
As for the detail of the cases, where there is a delay it is naturally taken up with the authorities in the Republic of Ireland. Some of the persons concerned have been arrested in Northern Ireland and, encouragingly, three are now before the courts in the Republic. We welcome this. I believe that it is a sign of increased co-operation for the future upon which we must build our efforts in this area.