HC Deb 23 May 1832 vol 12 cc1401-2
Mr. Callaghan

presented a Petition from the city of Cork, praying for an alteration in the mode of appointing Civic Officers in that city. The petition was very numerously signed, and by some of the most influential gentlemen of that city. It stated that, notwithstanding the Catholic Relief Bill, the Corporation of Cork had, by their own regulations, prevented the operation of that measure in the manner in which Parliament had intended, and that Catholics were, with few exceptions, not admitted into the Corporation though paying local burthens, and doing their share of the duties of good citizens. They stated that the Corporation had been perpetuating in Protestants the right of appointing Sheriffs and Juries, and that this was often exercised in a manner very offensive to them, and injurious to the public welfare; and they prayed that in future another and a better mode of appointing officers in authority over them should be adopted—a result which he trusted would, before long, be obtained by some beneficial measure to be introduced by his Majesty's Government, to whose attention, seeing the right hon. Secretary for Ireland in his place, he particularly recommended the petition. He begged leave to add, that it was agreed to at a public meeting, and contained the sentiments of almost all those of his constituents who at present gloried in being Reformers and correctors of all abuses; at the same time, he would not deceive the House by any statement that it conveyed the sentiments of the Corporation themselves, or of those who thought the Corporation useful.

Mr. O'Connell

supported the prayer of the petition, as well upon the grounds stated by his hon. friend, the member for Cork, as that he had been requested to do so by many of the respectable persons who had signed the petition, and with whom he had the pleasure of being acquainted. There was no where to be found a closer or more bigotted Corporation than that of the city of Cork, which elected the magistracy of that place, and which, through its various ramifications and agencies levied taxes to the amount of more than 70,000l. a-year upon the citizens. This fact he was prepared to prove, and concluded by stating, that the prayer of the petition was entitled to the prompt attention of the Legislature.

Mr. James Grattan

said, that the same observation would apply to the state of the Dublin Corporation, and he hoped soon to see an end to this abuse.

Petition to be printed.

Forward to