HC Deb 27 March 1896 vol 39 cc265-6
MR. THOMAS B. CURRAN (Donegal, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, (1) if any Roman Catholic gentlemen were summoned by the High Sheriff to serve on the County Donegal Grand Jury at the recent Spring Assizes; (2) whether he is aware that 70 per cent. of the county cess of Donegal is paid by Roman Catholics, and that there are numbers of eligible Catholic gentlemen in all respects competent to serve if summoned; and (3) whether he can take any steps to secure due representation of Roman Catholics on Grand Juries?


I have no information to enable me to reply to the first and second paragraphs. The qualifications of Grand Jurors are fixed by Statute, and the Executive Government has no voice or control in the selection of gentlemen to serve in that capacity. There are no religious disabilities attaching to membership of Grand Juries, and I do not think it would be desirable to alter the law so as to make religious opinions a qualification for membership.