§ MR. GILHOOLY (Cork. W.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether information has reached him that, at the scrutiny of votes for the Glenlough Electoral Division of the Bantry Union, two voting papers purporting to have been signed by Ellen Kingston and Cornelius Brien were proved to be forgeries, and were recognized by the Returning Officer of the Bantry Union as papers that were left at the lodge of Mr. J. E. Barrett, J.P.; whether two genuine papers were also taken at the houses of Ellen Kingston and Cornelius Brien; whether the numbers on the forged papers were altered; if Constable Kavanagh acted in accordance with his duty in collecting at the house of the parties above mentioned more voting papers than he distributed; whether he had taken voting papers at a distance from some of the houses where he distributed them, and from persons other than the occupiers, and in some cases against their wishes; and, whether an inquiry will be held as to the manner in which Constable Kavanagh, of Durrus, discharged his duties at the recent Poor Law elections of the Bantry Union?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) said: The statements in the first two paragraphs of this Question appear to be substantially correct. The Returning Officer reports that the number on one of the forged papers seems to have been altered, but not on the other. He is of opinion that the constable collected at the houses of the persons named only the papers that he had previously left at the respective houses. I am unable to reply to the fifth paragraph, which contains general statements; but if the hon. Member is still of opinion that the constable acted improperly in the discharge of this duty, and that he will be so good as to communicate with me as to any particular alleged irregularities, further inquiry shall be made.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
Have the Government made any inquiry with regard to the forger of the papers?
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
Surely that is a matter which refers to the Criminal Law of the country, and ought to be attended to by the Government.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
I wish to ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General for Ireland, whether he will take any steps to punish the parties who forged these voting papers?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. HOLMES) (Dublin University)
said, that he had never heard of the matter before, and, of course, must make inquiries.