HC Deb 31 March 1884 vol 286 cc1169-70

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it be a fact that the King's County possesses ninety-two magistrates, of whom eighty-six are Protestants. Of the six Catholics, one resides in London, another in Dublin, and a third in Maryboro'. With regard to the three Catholics resident within the county, two of them are gentlemen of notoriously Conservative tendencies. One of them figured as a signatory to the protest against the dismissal of Lord Rossmore, and is at present a Member of the King's County Constitutional Association; and, what steps he proposes to take for the appointment of justices of the peace representing the creed of the vast majority of the people?


Sir, the Government, considering the matter to be of much importance, recently consented to a Return, giving, so far as could be ascertained in the absence of official records, the aggregate number of the magistrates in each county belonging to the several religious denominations. The hon. Member will see, by a reference to that Return, that his figures are not quite accurate. The number of Roman Catholic magistrates in the King's County appears by that Return to be 11. The Government did not consider it right to make personal inquiries as to the religious professions of individuals; and I have, therefore, no moans of saying whether or not the personal details which the hon. Member quotes are correct. The Lord Chancellor informs me that the present Lieutenant of the county, who has only recently been appointed, has evinced the strongest desire to redress all inequality in the representation in the several denominations on the Bench. He has made four recommendations for the Commission of the Peace already, all of which have been adopted, and two of the gentlemen so appointed are Roman Catholics.