Dáil Éireann - Volume 562 - 27 February, 2003

Written Answers - Repatriation of Prisoners.

[805]  200. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the arrangements in place between Ireland and Cuba regarding the repatriation of Irish or Cuban nationals detained or imprisoned in the respective jurisdictions; and if none, his plans to progress towards such an agreement. [5967/03]

  Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): I can inform the Deputy that the main mechanism for enabling the repatriation of prisoners is the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. The convention was ratified in Ireland following the passing of the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Act 1995 and came into effect on 1 November 1995.

  While Cuba is not a party to the convention, proposals have been received by my Department from the Cuban authorities for the conclusion of an agreement between the two Governments to allow for the transfer of sentenced prisoners. It is anticipated that a response will issue to the Cuban authorities in relation to an agreement following consultations with the relevant authorities.