HC Deb 14 February 1902 vol 103 c51
MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the fact that, of the 21 members of which the County Court Bench in -Ireland now consists, there are only seven Roman Catholics; and whether, as the opportunity arises, steps will be taken to redress this inequality, three-fourths at least of the population of Ireland being Roman Catholics.


There are no official records of the religious persuasions of County Court Judges, but assuming the proportion stated to be correct, the right hon. Gentleman must be aware that the Lord Lieutenant, who appoints to the office, proceeds upon the principle of selecting the men best qualified by knowledge and experience without regard to religious convictions. I may mention that of the eight County Court Judges appointed during the past ten years, four of them, so far as I can ascertain from unofficial sources of information, are Roman Catholics, three Episcopalians, and one is a Presbyterian.