HC Deb 02 May 1892 vol 3 cc1760-1

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether his attention has been called to the proceedings at the recent Quarter Sessions at Londonderry, when a Grand Jury, summoned from every part of the county, was empannelled, and told by the Judge there was no business to go before them; whether the same thing occurred in the following week at Dungannon, County Tyrone; and if he will endeavour to devise some means, either legislative or otherwise, by which jurors may be freed from attendance when there is no business to go before the Court?


I am quite sensible of the inconvenience suffered by jurors in the discharge of a public duty, and if any practical suggestion is offered by which that inconvenience may be lessened I shall be very glad to consider it. At the Quarter Sessions mentioned, it was impossible for the Sheriff to ascertain that the services of the jurors would not be required. The Grand Jury of Londonderry were not selected from every part of the county, but from the city and liberties of Londonderry and the surrounding barony.

MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

Is it not the case that at Quarter Sessions there is a day fixed for Crown business, and called "Crown" day, and is it not possible for the Clerk of the Peace, when there are no criminal cases coming on, to telegraph to jurors to prevent them coming in? Every opportunity offers for doing this, as Crown business does not come on until one o'clock.


The matter referred to by the hon. Member has no bearing on the question of the hon. Member for South Tyrone, which has reference to Grand Juries who must attend to find bills, and bills may be sent up at the last moment. Of course it is impossible for the Sheriff to know if they will be required or not. The course suggested by the hon. Member has never hitherto been adopted.


I meant the Grand Juries at Quarter Sessions, and I understand that bills are never framed on the morning of the proceedings, and the Clerk of the Peace would have the opportunity to send a telegram.