§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state the grounds upon which the Local Government Board refused to institute an Inquiry into a recent election of a Poor Law Guardian for the Mohernagh Division of the Rathkeale Union, in which the defeated candidate, Mr. William Harte, claimed a sworn Inquiry on the alleged grounds that 16 votes recorded against him were all in the same handwriting, the disallowance by the returning officer of six proxy votes, and other irregularities; and whether he will advise the Local Government Board to hold the Inquiry asked for by Mr. Harte?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The Local Government Board carefully considered the objections raised by the defeated candidate as well as the reasons for the decision arrived at by the returning officer, and came to the conclusion that there was no ground for ordering an Inquiry in this case. Objections to the return of persons as guardians are very numerous, and frequently consist of mere allegations, unsupported by evidence. No evidence was forwarded in the present case in support of the allegation made by the defeated candidate, nor was sufficient cause otherwise shown for holding an Inquiry. I see no reason, under the circumstances, for requesting the Board to reconsider their decision.