More than 350 royal pardons in NI

More than 350 royal pardons in NI

The government has revealed that more than 350 royal pardons have been issued in Northern Ireland during the past 35 years.

Secretary of State Theresa Villiers disclosed the figure in a Commons written answer to a Labour MP.Ms Villiers told Kate Hoey that the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM) was used on at least 365 occasions between 1979 and 2002 in NI - but she said the actual total could be even higher.This is because the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has been unable to find the records for the 10 year period from 1987 to 1997, she continued. She also said there may be cases after 2002.Ms Villiers added in her answer: "The department does not hold information which specifically confirms whether individuals who received the RPM were members of prescribed groups."Ms Hoey said that she was "shocked" at the disclosures. She went on: "I find it unbelievable that so many people in such a short space of time were given pardons. I want to know who all these people are."I think that the public will want to know who these people are."


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