HC Deb 24 July 1873 vol 217 cc904-5

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, with reference to the answer of the Chief Secretary on the 18th March 1870, Whether the revision of the List of the Irish Magistracy, "with a view of clearing the List of the names of the persons who ought not to be there, or who had ceased to be able to act," which was then stated to be "yet going on," has been completed; and, if so, has an effect been given to the said revision in any one county in Ireland; and, if so, in what county or counties; and, if not completed, what progress, if any, has been made in such revision; whether any effect has been given to the opinion of the then Chief Secretary, "That the Government should use their influence "to have advantage taken of" all fair and proper opportunities to reduce the inequalities" then admitted to exist in the undue disproportion of Protestants to Catholics on the magisterial bench; and, whether the attention of the Irish Executive has been directed to the grave dissatisfaction existing in Ireland with regard to the present condition of the Irish Magistracy?


in reply, said, the revision of the list, promised in 1870, had been going on, and had been completed for 26 counties. The grounds upon which in many cases removals had been made were—insufficient qualification or non-residence, the holding of offices incompatible with the position of justice of the peace, employment in land agency, the temporary appointments of military and naval offices, and death or absence. From the remaining counties no information had been received from the Lord Lieutenants, or the information was not sufficient to enable the Lord Chancellor to complete the revision. The work had boon one of considerable labour, involving an enormous number of inquiries, and some of them of a delicate character. A considerable number of Roman Catholic gentlemen who appeared to be duly qualified had been placed upon the Bench; but, considering the distribution of land in Ireland between the two religious professions, it was not to be expected that anything like equality should be established. He was not at all aware that grave dissatisfaction existed with regard to the present condition of the Irish magistracy. He was perfectly aware that dissatisfaction existed on the part of many persons that they had not received commissions; but he was not aware there was any general dissatisfaction.