§ MR. WILLIAM JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been called to the proceedings at the Galway Petty Sessions on 15th July last, when Mrs. Giblin, of Prospect Hill, Galway, was charged with a breach of the Licensing Acts, and when, on the case being called, Mr. J. C. Gardner left the bench and the chair was taken by Mr. F. Laurence O'Comyn; if he is aware that the husband of the publican, who is a Royal Irish Constabulary pensioner, swore that he placed a man named Comber to prevent any but bona fide travellers from entering, and that three of the men who were found on the premises swore that Comber invited them to go in, and that the magistrate dismissed the case against the publican, but fined the persons found on the premises; and that Mr. M. A. Lynch left the bench expressing his disapproval of the proceedings; and is he aware that Mr. Gardner, the resident magistrate, is a tenant of Mrs. Giblin, and can he explain why the superior officer of the Constabulary did not appear to prosecute in such a case but left it to a sergeant, and what action the Government intend to take in the case.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
This case was heard by five magistrates. The resident magistrate had previously left the bench, though for what reason I am unable to say, as he is at present on leave of absence. He is not, I am informed, a tenant of Mrs. Giblin. I have no power to interfere with the magistrates in the exercise of their judgment on questions of fact. Mr. Lynch left the bench after the decision was announced, but the police are not aware that he expressed disapproval of the proceedings. The case was not of sufficient importance to justify the attendance of the district inspector. The Government cannot take any further action in the matter.
§ *MR. MORRIS (Galway)
Is it not a fact that on the day on which this publican was charged with a breach of the Licensing Acts there had been a very large excursion of visitors to Galway from all parts of Ireland, making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for him to detect one or two local people amid the crowd of bona fide travellers whom he was bound by law to serve?