MEP argues for prisoner welfare


Republican prisoners on temporary transfer from Britain to the North should have welfare applications handled by the Northern Ireland office, a Fianna Fail MEP has said. Mr "Pat the Cope" Gallagher asked the Tanaiste, Mr Dick Spring, to give his support to the status change.

Prisoners on temporary transfer had such applications handled by the British Home Office, a body "not noted for its sensitivity to prisoners' issues", he said. "Changing the status of these prisoners would be a simple, pragmatic vote of confidence in the peace process," he added.