HC Deb 09 March 1896 vol 38 cc445-6

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether, seeing that His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland appoints the High Sheriffs throughout that country, will he state whose duty it is to see that these gentlemen carry out the law with reference to the selection of members of the Grand Jury; (2) whether he is aware that a copy of the grand panel, as called over at each Assizes, is recorded in the office of the Clerks of the Crown, and that the Poor Law valuation of the property possessed by the gentlemen whose names appear on the grand panel is recorded in the office of the Clerk of the Union; and, (3) whether he will request these officials to furnish a Return giving the names of the gentlemen sworn in on the Carlow Grand Jury at the Assizes held during the last three years, showing their profession or calling, the value of the property possessed by them in the county, and any other qualification that they may possess which would entitle them to act as Grand Jurors?


The Sheriff is bound to frame the panel at Assizes in accordance with the provisions of the Statute 6 & 7 Will. IV., cap. 116, sec. 31, which provides that a Sheriff who willfully omits or neglects to follow the rules made for the selection of Grand Jurors shall be liable, on complaint made to a Judge of Assize, to be fined. It is open, I think, to any person to make such complaint. I am advised that neither in common law nor Statute law is the duty imposed on any person of seeing that the Sheriff carries out the law in this respect. The reply to the second paragraph is in the affirmative. As to the third paragraph, no doubt the Poor Law valuation can be obtained from the Valuation Office or the clerk of the Union. The hon. Gentleman can have no difficulty himself in obtaining the information desired in the concluding paragraph from the newspapers, which give the names of the Grand Jurors, and from the Valuation Office and Clerk of the Union. If, however, he should desire to have the information prepared in the form of a Parliamentary Return the matter will be further considered on his moving for the Return in the ordinary way.