HC Deb 07 August 1896 vol 44 cc98-9
MR. JAMFS DALY (Monaghan, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether he is aware that Mr. J. T. Gibbings, J. P., and Mr. S. E. Shirley, J. P., acted together in hearing cases at Petty Sessions at Carrickmacross on 23rd July; (2) whether he is aware that Mr. Gibbings is a rent collector for Mr. Shirley; (3) whether it is in accordance with the law for a landlord and rent collector to take part at same Petty Sessions as magistrates; and (4) whether be will bring the matter under the notice of the Lord Chancellor, that it may not occur again?


The reply to the first and second paragraphs is in the affirmative. There is no provision at law prohibiting principal and agent from acting together as magistrates, but there is a rule, founded on grounds of policy, that they should not so act together, though the rule may, I understand, under special circumstances he subject to modification. There is no reason for questioning the bonâ fides of the magistrates in acting together in the present instance, but I see no objection to refer the matter to the Lord Chancellor with a view to his considering whether there were any circumstances justifying a departure from the rule on this occasion.