HC Deb 12 January 1894 vol 20 cc1431-2
MR. FOLEY (Galway, Connemara)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that in the Registry Appeal from the borough of Galway, of "McDonagh v. Barnacle," the Judges of the Court of Appeal, in November last, returned a "case stated" to the Recorder of Galway to enable his Honour to find, whether as a matter of fact there was a "Freeman's Roll," in the Borough of Galway, and that his Honour in a supplementary case found that there was such Roll, although it was notorious at the Revision Court no such Roll existed and evidence of its non-existence was given by the Town Clerk; and that the Court of Appeal, despite the finding of the Recorder, unanimously decided that there was no Roll and grounded their judgment, upon this fact; whether the Recorder of Galway has since offered any explanation of the circumstance; and whether his attention has been called to the precedent of a Judge laying an explanation of his conduct in a judicial matter before Parliament, in the case of Mr. Justice Harrison, who upon inquiry being made in reference to an address of his to the Galway Grand Jury, at the Galway Summer Assizes of 1890, sent two letters to the Chief Secretary for Ireland to be read in the House? (Hansard, vol. 347, folios 375, 737, 914, and 1066.)


I find that on the 19th December my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy in replying, in my absence, to a question put to him regarding this case by the hon. Gentleman, pointed out that the action of the Recorder in the matter was wholly judicial, and that the Executive have no power of interfering or calling upon him for an explanation; and, further, that the Executive have no control over the documents filed in the Court of Appeal in the course of judicial proceedings. To this reply I fear I can now only add that the Recorder has not, so far as I am aware, communicated with the Government on the subject. The matter referred to in the last paragraph of the question is within my knowledge and confirms me in the opinion which has been expressed, that the Executive Government have no [tower or right to call upon the Recorder for an explanation.