HC Deb 11 December 1888 vol 331 c1769
MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the practice of the Constabulary in Warrenpoint, County Down, and in other towns under the Towns Improvement Act in Ireland, in bringing to the Petty Sessions Court instead of to the Town Court all persons living outside the town, although arrested for drunkenness within the boundary of any such town; whether he is aware that the ratepayers of such towns are thus deprived of the benefit of the fines to which the Act of Parliament entitles them; whether this practice was adopted in obedience to a Circular sent from Dublin Castle to the Constabulary some years ago; and, whether, considering that the 30th section of "The Intoxicating Liquors (Ireland) Act, 1874," expressly gives jurisdiction to such Town Courts, or to a Justice of the Peace empowered to act under such Local Act, to hear and determine all charges for offences against the 12th section of the Licensing Act of 1872, he will consider the desirability of withdrawing this Circular in order that these towns may receive the benefit of the fines in such cases?

THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN)(who replied) said (Dublin University)

Attention has been called to the practice referred to, which, however, is confined to cases where the offender resides outside the town, or where his residence is unknown. It has been adopted in pursuance of Regulations contained in the Constabulary Code. In such cases the ratepayers of the town receive the benefit of one moiety of the fines, which goes to the Town Commissioners, the other moiety going to the Constabulary Fund. The Town Commissioners contribute nothing out of the local rates for the services of the Constabulary in such prosecutions; although they might, under the Towns Improvement Act, pay for services, in which case the Constabulary would act as their officers and prosecute on their behalf. Under the circumstances, the Chief Secretary sees no reason for advising any alteration in the existing Regulations.