Dáil Éireann - Volume 494 - 06 October, 1998

Written Answers. - Special Criminal Court.

382. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of cases in total where the Special Criminal Court has tried non-terrorist offences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18301/98]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The distinction which is made in relation to cases heard in the Special Criminal Court is between scheduled offences and non-scheduled offences. Scheduled offences for the purpose of Part V of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939 are included in Statutory Instruments Numbers 142 of 1972 and 282 of 1972 and in the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act, 1998. Statistics are not maintained in such a manner as to provide an answer to the Deputy's Question or indeed to provide the number of scheduled and non-scheduled offences tried by the Special Criminal Court and it would involve the application of an inordinate amount of scarce staffing resources to provide this information.

In the case of the legal year 1 August 1997 to 31 July 1998, namely the last legal year, five cases were tried in the Special Criminal Court in which non scheduled offences were alleged. The number of persons involved was ten. The non scheduled offences tried there covered false imprisonment, possession of drugs, drug offences and robbery.