HC Deb 18 May 1893 vol 12 cc1259-60

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland with reference to the recent correspondence between the Local Government Board and Messrs Joseph Delahunt and Patrick Corrigan as to the inquiry on oath into the recent election for Guardians for the Fitzwilliam Ward of the City of Dublin, in the course of which Messrs. Delahunt and Corrigan asked whether, if they should substantiate the charges made, the Board would direct a new election, and the Board replied that they could not properly set aside the Return unless it should be shown at the inquiry that votes had been wrongly allowed or disallowed to such an extent as would affect the number of voles forming the majority recorded; whether, having regard to the letter of Messrs. Delahunt and Corrigan of the 24th April, 1893, charging, amongst other things, that the Returning Officer has a direct personal interest in discouraging contests at Poor Law elections for the reasons set forth in the said letter, will he direct, should the charges made be substantiated, a new election to be ordered?

MR. W. KENNY (Dublin, St. Stephen's Green)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that counter-charges have been made of gross misrepresentation?


I am not aware of that. In reply to the question on the Paper, I have to say I am informed that the purport of the correspondence between the two gentlemen named and the Loral Government Board is correctly set forth in the question. Section 23 of the Act 6 & 7 Vict., c. 92, empowers the Local Government Board, when a question is raised as to the right of any person to act as an elected Guardian, to inquire into the circumstances of the case, and to issue such Order as they may deem requisite for determining the question. If, on inquiry under this section, the Board as certain that the Return made by the Returning Officer is correct, i.e., that the person returned by him has obtained a majority of good and valid votes and is in all respects qualified to fill the office of Guardian, the Board do not disturb the Return; but if, on the other hand, they find that the Return is incorrect, they issue a scaled Order setting it aside and directing the holding of a new election. Complaints not affecting the validity of a Return would not constitute a legal ground for setting aside such Return, though of course if such complaints were substantiated it would become necessary to take some action against the persons affected by them.