§ MR. T. D. SULLIVAN (Donegal, W.)
I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland, whether he is aware that, owing to the default of a county cess collector in the county of Donegal, a number of tenants in the barony of Boylagh, in that county, have for the past three or four years been harassed by demands and prosecutions on the part of the Grand Jury for arrears of cess which the 218 tenants contend they do not owe, and for the payment of which they have in several cases produced receipts; and, whether it is in his power to prevent a continuance of the proceedings referred to?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. JOHN ATKINSON,) Londonderry, N.
The facts are not quite correctly stated in the Question. In the summer of 1893 the out-going county cess collector returned a list of defaulters, whose cess he swore he was unable to collect. The Grand Jury thereupon, acting in pursuance of the statute represented the sum of £610 in respect of these arrears, and the same having been added to the new levy, was included in the warrants to the succeeding cess collector. I have not been able to ascertain whether any receipts were, in fact, produced by alleged defaulters who were sued, but if they were produced, or payments to the ex-collector otherwise proved, the claim of the collector who sued would be dismissed with costs. In any case, I have no power to interfere with the Grand Jury or their officer in any proceedings taken by them to recover county cess.