HC Deb 11 June 1891 vol 354 cc165-6

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he will communicate to the House the terms of the statement which he stated had been furnished to him by Mr. Commissioner MacCarthy.


The Memorandum which Mr. MacCarthy has been kind enough to give me is as follows:— These charges (which were made without notice) are in substance as follows:—(1) That great delay and expense occurred in respect to MacAfee's estate; (2) that in the matter of O'Sullivan's estate I declined to sanction as large an advance as Mr. Russell considers desirable; (3) that in Lord Fermoy's estate I prevented an advantage being taken of a technical omission in our office. The replies to these charges are as follows:—(1) Mr. MacAfee's so-called 'estate' consists of nine acres, which he contracted to sell in fee simple, and stated was subject to no rent. On inquiry it was found to be subject to a rent of £18. The title was accordingly ruled defective, and the owner took no further steps for 12 months. He was not charged any expenses by this Department. (2) Mr. O'Sullivan's estate consists of a tract of moor and mountain in a remote district. It is subject to relatively considerable charges to the Board of Works, which would have priority over land purchase advances. Every holding was inspected by two Inspectors. Every case was carefully considered on its own merits. The result was a proposal to advance an amount equivalent to about 16 years' purchase on the Poor Law valuation. Any larger advance on this estate would appear to me to be in excess of what would be adequately secured. To refuse a larger advance was therefore a matter of strict duty. (3) The clerical omission in Lord Fermoy's case was to obtain the usual certificate that interest in excess of a half-year's interest had been paid, satisfied, or released. The question was whether or not advantage should be taken of this clerical omission. My protest prevented a miscarriage of justice, and the loss of a large amount of public money. While replying to these charges out of respect to the House, I must be understood as protesting against a judicial officer being thus assailed for acts done in his judicial capacity.—JOHN GEORGS MACCAKTHY. June 8, 1891.

*MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

With the indulgence of the House, I would like to say a few words, and they shall be as brief as possible. [Cries of "Order, order!"]


The hon. Gentleman may reserve his explanation until the questions are over.


Then I will, with the indulgence of the House, make a brief statement when the questions are over.