§ MR. W. J. CORBET
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, What is the result of the inquiry held on 4th June into the election of a Poor Law Guardian for Shillelagh Union; whether it is true that Mr. Hopkins, the clerk of the union, wrongly refused to receive a nomination paper from Mr. Michael Fleming, and thus gave his relative, Mr. Hopkins, the sitting guardian, an unopposed election; whether it is true that Mr. Hopkins, the 782 clerk of the union, is not related to Mr. Hopkins, the sitting guardian, or whether the relationship was admitted at the investigation; and, what steps he intends to take in the matter?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
Sir, the result of the inquiry is that it has been decided that the Returning Officer erroneously refused to accept a nomination paper from Mr. Michael Fleming; and the election of Mr. James Hopkins, who, in consequence of that error, was returned unopposed, has been declared void, and a new election will be held. The Local Government Board consider that the Returning Officer did not take sufficient trouble to satisfy himself as to the qualification of Mr. Fleming to nominate a candidate, and they have cautioned him that he must discharge his duties with more care in future. They do not think that he acted from any improper motive, but that his error arose from want of care. It is not true that any relationship was admitted between the Returning Officer and Mr. James Hopkins. On the contrary, the Returning Officer repeated at the inquiry what lie had previously stated—namely, that he was not aware of any relationship between them.
§ MR. O'KELLY
Will the right hon. Gentleman say how he came to the coHclusion that the Returning Officer's measures were proper?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
The case is a very simple one. Mr. Michael Fleming's name does not appear in the rate-book. The names merely of the representative of Mr. Peter Fleming appears, and accordingly the Returning Officer was not aware that he was qualified.