§ MR. COX (Clare, E.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether Captain Walsh, R.M., has been appointed over the head of Mr. Kilkelly, R.M.; whether Mr. Kilkelly is the magistrate who refused to agree with Mr. Cecil Roche, R.M., in the severe sentences he proposed to inflict on certain prisoners charged in connection with the Bodyke evictions; would he state to the House on what ground was Mr. Kilkelly passed over 264 for promotion; and, whether the seniority list of Resident Magistrates has not appeared in the "Constabulary List" for 40 years till this year?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) said: Captain Walsh was promoted to be a second class Resident Magistrate in January last. As regards seniority, his claims were practically identical with those of Mr. Kilkelly. With reference to the general question, and having no regard to the merits of this case, I may say that successive Governments have laid down the rule—and it has been recognized by almost every Department of the Public Service—that seniority is only to be taken into account where other claims are equal, and, failing such equality, preference is to be given to merit and capacity. Mr. Kilkelly is the magistrate who refused to concur in the sentences referred to. As to the seniority list, it was merely a temporary list, and one purely for Departmental purposes; and as it is not now required for these purposes it has been discontinued.