HC Deb 25 April 1890 vol 343 cc1416-7

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether complaints have reached him that at the recent election of Guardians for the Magherafelt Union the Returning Officer accepted and treated as valid the nomination paper of one of the candidates (Mr. Mann), although delivered to the Returning Officer at his private address, and not, as required by the rule, at the place fixed by the notice of election, i.e. the Board room of the Union; and that the Returning Officer at the same time, though not competent to take evidence on oath, made a private inquiry to prove that the nomination paper of Mr. Mann's opponent had not been signed with the proper signature of the nominator, and, having rejected the nomination paper on this ground, returned Mr. Mann as elected unopposed; and whether the Local Government Board propose, under these circumstances, to hold the usual inquiry as to the validity of the election, so as to permit of the question being tried in a Court of Law?


It is the case that a complaint was received by the Local Government Board in regard to the recent election of Guardians for the Magher a felt Union. The Board, however, found on inquiry that the nomination paper was delivered to the Returning Officer within the prescribed time, and, following precedent, they ruled that the fact of its delivery having been at that officer's residence did not invalidate it. A complaint was also received by the Board regarding the rejection of the other nomination paper as invalid by the Returning Officer, which he had done on the ground that he had satisfied himself that the paper had not been signed by the ratepayer nominating. The complainant was thereupon afforded an opportunity of forwarding a written statement from the ratepayer in question, to the effect that he himself had signed the paper, but no such statement has been received by the Board. From the facts submitted to the Local Government Board there appears to be no ground for directing a sworn inquiry to be held.