HC Deb 29 June 1837 vol 38 cc1700-1
Mr. Sergeant Jackson

presented a petition from the Deputy Lieutenants and three other magistrates of the county of Kerry, complaining of the conduct of Government in Ireland. They complained that a chief constable, named M'Donogh, had grossly insulted them on several occasions, that a memorial had been addressed to the Lord-lieutenant, and, after repeated applications, inquiry had been promised. After very considerable delay an investigation took place before the hon. Thomas Browne, Vice-Lieutenant of the county, and Mr. Shea Lalor, who had been a member of the Catholic Association, was sent by the Government to conduct it. All the charges brought by the magistrates against M'Donogh were established satisfactorily, and all the charges which M'Donogh alleged against them fell to the ground.

Lord Morpeth

thought he could shortly and simply meet the statements contained in the petition, by merely reading a letter which within the last few days had been addressed, by command of the Lord-lieutenant, to the hon. Thomas Browne, Vice-lieutenant of the county of Kerry. The noble Lord then read the letter. The Lord-lieutenant, upon mature consideration of the evidence, was of opinion that the ad- ministration of justice in the district of Listowel, conducted as it had been, did not merit the respect and confidence of the public; and with respect to the conduct of chief constable M'Donogh, his Excellency considered that he had been guilty of great want of respect to the bench, and that his conduct was reprehensible, and he had commanded him to be reprimanded and removed from the station. With regard to two of the magistrates, his Excellency thought, that they had shown much indiscretion on the bench; and with regard to another, his Excellency considered that it would conduce much to the peace and quietness of the district of Listowel, if the Lord Chancellor were advised to remove his name from the Commission. His Excellency also intimated the intention of the Government to appoint a stipendiary to the magistrates of the district, and he condemned the practice proved to exist, of magistrates receiving gratuitous labour from the poor. It would appear from that letter that the delay arose entirely from accidental circumstances, and he was sorry to add, that the Report which was so anxiously called for, did not at all amount to an acquittal of the magistrates. He would lay upon the table the evidence taken respecting the case.

Petition laid on the table.

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