HC Deb 29 July 1881 vol 264 cc122-3

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the report in the "Dundalk Democrat" of 16th July, of a police prosecution for assault in a drunken brawl in the town of Louth on July 17th, in which the magistrates considered the case met by a 5s. fine, whereupon the County Louth High Sheriff is reported to have said— He was high sheriff for the county and responsible for the peace of it. He was jealous of the character of the county, and did not wish it to be proclaimed, but he warned those present that if his servant or any other persons were again attacked, he would communicate with the Castle and have the county at once proclaimed. He did not say he made those observations on account of this case. The case just decided may or may not be the cause of these remarks, but he again warned the people for their own sake to be peaceable and not to oblige him to take steps and have the county proclaimed; if the report is substantially correct, whether it is the fact that high sheriffs can have counties proclaimed in this way; if not, whether he can reassure the public that proclamations are not issued without due consideration and on proper representation; and, whether the Government will take any notice of the high sheriff's language?

MR. W. B. FORSTER, in reply, said, he had seen the newspaper referred to. The hon. Member had rightly quoted the statement reported in the paper; but he did not know whether it was a correct report, and had not thought it necessary to inquire. He could only say that he could hardly suppose the High Sheriff spoke of proclaiming the county, as he certainly must have known he had no power to do so.