Dáil Éireann - Volume 533 - 27 March, 2001
Written Answers. - Arrest of Irish Citizens in Scotland.
Proinsias De Rossa Proinsias De Rossa
97. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the fact that of the 350 people arrested after a protest against the Trident Nuclear submarine base at Faslane, Glasgow, on 12 February 2001, eight people were strip searched and five of them were Irish citizens (details supplied); his views on whether the Strathclyde police force should be reprimanded for conducting this strip search; if he will agree to bring this matter to the attention of the relevant British authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9051/01]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): According to the Strathclyde police, 373 people, including 27 from Ireland, were arrested at Faslane on 12 February and ten of those arrested, including five Irish women, were strip searched and detained in Kilmarnock police station for about five hours.
At the time of these events the Irish Consulate-General in Edinburgh contacted the police to ascertain whether any Irish citizens were among those detained and was informed that all those arrested had by then been released without charge. On foot of a complaint I received a few days later from the mother of one of the women who was searched, the Consulate-General made representations to the Scottish Executive and the Strathclyde police at senior level and was assured that the matter would be fully and speedily investigated.
The Consulate-General yesterday received a response from the Strathclyde police acknowledging that the decision to subject Irish citizens to a full search was wrong and that this resulted in inappropriate procedures being adopted. In their explanation of why this mistake occurred the police assure us that the decision to carry out full searches was made before the nationalities of those arrested was known. They have apologised unreservedly for the way in which our citizens  were dealt with and have undertaken to ensure that there is no recurrence of this most regrettable incident.
Question No. 98 answered with Question No. 34.
Dáil Éireann 533 Written Answers. Arrest of Irish Citizens in Scotland.