HC Deb 16 April 1889 vol 335 cc618-9

On behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for North Cork (Mr. Flynn) I wish to ask the Solicitor General for Ireland if he had been made aware of the recent proceedings at the Fermoy Petty Sessions on Monday, 8th instant, in connection with summonses issued for the amount of the Constable Leahy tax, in which a number of decrees were granted against respectable traders for amounts varying from 3s. 3d. upwards; why, and on what principle, was £1 costs given in each case, this being a house to house collection; whether the severance of the town of Fermoy, under the 206th section of "The Public Health Act, 1878," exempts it from the jurisdiction of the Grand Jury Collectors; and whether, in the collection of this cess, the salaries of the County Treasurer, Secretary, and other officials are included as being applotted on the township, seeing that these salaries are exempted by "The Fermoy Provisional Order, 1886;" and, if these salaries are not included, how is the assessment of nearly 4d. in the pound accounted for, the valuation of the township being £9,960? I wish to add that my hon. Friend is not absent from any wish to be disrespectful to the House.


I made that reservation in reply to the question put to me by an hon. Member, because it is quite possible for an hon. Member to be unavoidably absent.


I was only anxious to explain that my hon. Friend is absent out of no disrespect to the House whatever.


My attention has been called to the proceedings by the question, and I am informed that, though the decrees were granted on the 9th inst, the Magistrates suspended the issue of the warrants for a fortnight in order to enable Counsel's opinion to be taken—the defendant's solicitor having questioned the legality of the levy. I have, however, no information as to the amounts for which the decrees were granted. The costs are in the discretion of the Magistrates, and I cannot state the reasons which influenced their decision. In answer to the third paragraph, I have to say the severance of the town of Fermoy referred to in the question does not exempt it from the jurisdiction of the Grand Jury collectors, in the event of the Town Commissioners not paying to the County Treasurer the amount mentioned in the certificate of the Secretary of the Grand Jury within one month from its delivery. The salaries referred to in the question are not included in the amount certified by the Secretary and applotted on the Township.