HC Deb 27 May 1884 vol 288 cc1459-60

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it it is a fact that the magistrates of the Petty Sessions district of Termonfecan, county Louth, are all Protestants, whilst the largest ratepayer in the said district is a Roman Catholic, of which religion ninety per cent. of the population belong?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that Question, with every respect to the hon. Member for Cavan, I would like to ask him whether he would consider the propriety of extending to Questions of this nature relating to the Magistracy the same objection which he expressed the other day to his Question relative to the religion of the police in Ireland?


Sir, the matter referred to by the hon. Member is one worthy of consideration; but the reasons which in the main induced me to take the line which I did with regard to the police do not exist in the case of the Magistracy. The four local magistrates who attend the Termonfecan Petty Sessions are Protestants, but the resident Magistrate, who attends regularly, is a Roman Cotholic. The largest occupier rated to the relief of the poor in the district is a Catholic tenant farmer. However, as he pays only half the amount for which he is rated—his landlord paying the other half—and as the four local magistrates hold property in other Poor Law Unions, the comparison suggested in the Question is misleading.