§ MR. JORDAN (Clare, W.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If the Inspectors of Fisheries called a meeting by public notice to be held at Kilrush, county Clare, on November 27th 1885, to inquire into complaints against fixed nets in the River Shannon, for infraction of the Law; if two of the Inspectors, Messrs. Hayes and Hornsby, attended that meeting; if Mr. John Burns, of Labasheeda, in pursuance of a notice and letter from the Secretary to the Inspectors, travelled a distance of over ten miles to attend that meeting; if, notwithstanding the letter stating that the Inspectors would be glad to hear Mr. Burns' evidence, the question was not satisfactorily gone into, and Mr. Burns only partially heard; if Mr. Burns wrote to ask what decision had been arrived at by the Inspectors, and no reply has been sent to his communication; and, if steps would now be taken to cause the said Inspectors to make a report on the proceedings, and also to state what decision has been given on the subjects complained of?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY (Mr. JOHN MORLEY) (Newcastle-on-Tyne)
On the date in question two Inspectors of Fisheries held an inquiry at Kilrush into four different subjects, in one of which Mr. Burns was interested. When the case came on it was found that the complainants, who were fishermen, had no professional assistance, and no one to conduct their case, whereas there were three professional representatives on the other side. The Inspectors, nevertheless, gave the fishermen every assistance, and the inquiry was opened. It 490 was soon, however, manifest that neither the ends of justice nor the interests of the fishermen themselves could be served by allowing the inquiry to go on, and the Inspectors accordingly adjourned it, at the same time intimating their willingness to resume it when the complainants were in a better state of preparation to put their case before the Court. Mr. Burns was in Court at the time, and the decision was made known to him as well as the other complainants. The receipt of the letter referred to in the latter part of the Question was acknowledged, and it will be, as he was told, laid before the Board. Owing to local engagements, however, in the country this has not yet been done; but it will be shortly.