HC Deb 23 February 1871 vol 204 cc753-4

said, that the presentments to the commission of the peace in Ireland were attracting considerable interest at the present time, and therefore he wished to draw the attention of the Chief Secretary for Ireland to a paragraph in an Irish newspaper stating that a person holding the position of a retail publican had been appointed to the magistracy of Drogheda. He begged to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether it is true, as stated in a Dublin newspaper, that Mr. Robert Bedford Daly, auctioneer and publican, has been appointed to the commission of the peace for the borough of Drogheda, and on whose recommendation; and, whether the rule so long in force preventing the appointment to the magistracy of dealers in spirits and beer is now set aside, and on what grounds, and by whose authority?


said, that as he happened to be responsible for the advice given to the Lord Lieutenant to appoint this gentleman on the commission of the peace, he begged to be permitted to answer the Question of the hon. and gallant Gentleman. He gave that advice upon his own knowledge of Mr. Daly, and of his high respectability, "fortified" by high authority. He had no reason to believe that Mr. Daly was a publican when he gave that advice, neither had he reason to believe it now. He had since ascertained that Mr. Daly, who had been for two years Mayor of Drogheda, was a member of a large grocery establishment, but which also held a wine licence. Mr. Daly was in no sense a publican more than Mr. Findlater, of Dublin, might be so described. And, indeed, Mr. Daly could not be said to hold a licence even in that sense at the present time, inasmuch as he had some time since transferred it to another member of his family. He had been further informed that this gentleman who, as he had stated, was in no sense a publican, was offered the commission of the peace for Drogheda by the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Louth three years ago, and he was not placed upon it on the sole ground that it was considered that the number of the magistrates was excessive, which was not the case at present. He might also inform the hon. and gallant Gentleman that this respectable gentleman had been honoured by the confidence of his fellow-citizens by being elected to fill a number of local offices; and although, being a member of the Established Church, he had taken the course of supporting the disestablishment of that Church, he had been elected a member of the select vestry for Drogheda under the new system. He understood that the newspaper paragraph which had filled the mind of his hon. and gallant Friend with consternation had been withdrawn, and had been followed by a highly complimentary article in the same journal.