HC Deb 03 August 1891 vol 356 c1136
MR. CRILLY (Mayo, N.)

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether he is aware that Mr. D. Dunn, P.L.G., of Rostrevor, County Down, accompanied by another ratepayer of the same place, waited on Mr. Horner, J.P., on Sunday, 12th July, to swear certain informations, and that Mr. Horner, "in the exercise of his discretion," refused to take these informations; whether it is the duty of a Justice of the Peace to take informations when persons attend in due course before him to make them; and whether, in the case of a Magistrate refusing to act magisterially, the Lord Chancellor will interfere and take note of the conduct of such Justice of the Peace?


It is the duty of a Justice of the Peace to take informations; but I have no jurisdiction in the matter, nor am I invited to call upon this gentleman to give me reasons for the course he pursued in this particular case.


Only on Friday Mr. Horner said he would take informations in the exercise of his own discretion. What I want to know is whether a Justice of the Peace in Ireland can, in the exercise of his own discretion, refuse to take an information.


He cannot refuse in the exercise of any discretion other than an official discretion.


Are there any means of calling to account a Justice who fails to discharge his ordinary duties?


Yes; the Magistrates are under the control of the Lord Chancellor, who can call for an explanation.