HC Deb 24 November 1884 vol 294 cc252-3

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If there is any local Catholic magistrate resident or attending Petty Sessions in the following Petty Sessions districts in the county of Cavan, viz. Ballinagh, Ballyconnell, Bawnboy, Blacklion, Bel-trooket, Donon, Killashandra, and Swan-linbar, comprising the greater part of the baronies of Lower Loughtree, Tully-homer, and Tullyhard; and, if not, how many Catholic local gentlemen have been nominated by Boards of Guardians as eligible for the Commission of the Peace in those districts, and if there are none of them entitled to hold the Commission of the Peace; and, if Mr. William Bracken, of Blacklion, has or is about to be appointed a J.P.; and, if so, is not Mr. Bracken an Orangeman, and brother to Mr. James Bracken, a J.P. for Cavan and Fermanagh, who resides only about half a mile from his brother William?


Before the Chief Secretary answers, I wish to ask the hon. Member for Cavan whether he has read over his Question; and whether he is aware that there is no such place as "Beltrooket" in the County Cavan, and that there are no such baronies as Tully-homer and Tullyhard?


Might I ask the hon. Gentleman whether there is not such a place as Belturbet?


I have no information as to the proportions in which the different religious denominations are represented on the different District Benches referred to; but the state of the Cavan magistracy in relation to religious inequality is engaging the Lord Chancellor's attention; and—as I have already stated—of the nine gentlemen his Lordship has appointed to the Commission of the Peace, five are Roman Catholics. There have been but six names laid before the Lord Chancellor by Boards of Guardians in such a way as to enable him to bring them under the notice of the Lord Lieutenant of the county, with whom he is at present in communication as to some of these very gentlemen. With regard to Mr. William Bracken—who, I believe, belongs to the Wesleyan Body—I do not know whether the statements as to his being an Orangeman and a brother of Mr. James Bracken are correct or not. But the Lord Chancellor regards him as a gentleman having very high qualifications, and certain to make an honest and impartial magistrate.