HC Deb 30 June 1884 vol 289 cc1679-80

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is a fact that not a single one of the following offices in Athlone is held by a Catholic, namely, those of,—1. Divisional Magistrate for Western Division; 2. Assistant Divisional Magistrates (two); 3. Resident Magistrate; 4. Divisional Inspector of Police; 5. Head Constable Royal Irish Constabulary; 6. Master of Workhouse; 7. Clerk of Workhouse; 8. Civil Engineer under Board of Public Works; 9. Clerk of Petty Sessions; 10. Clerk of the Crown for the County of Roscommon; 11. Clerk of the Crown for the County of Westmeath; and, whether the Government will take care, in filling up future vacancies, that Catholics are not excluded from these offices?


I have already more than once recently explained to the House that I could not make statements with regard to the religious distribution of the Constabulary Force. With regard to the other offices mentioned, there is no official record of the religious profession of their respective holders, and the Government must decline to make personal inquiries on the subject. Several of these offices are not in the gift of the Government at all. With regard to such of them as are, I can assure the hon. Member that, whatever may be the facts as to the present occupiers, there is certainly no intention on the part of the Government that in filling future vacancies religious profession should be any bar to the appointment of properly qualified candidates.