HC Deb 16 March 1903 vol 119 cc854-5
MR. O'SHEE (Waterford, W.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Local Government Board for Ireland has instituted legal proceedings against the Lismore Board of Guardians to compel them to proceed to a new election of master of the union; and whether, in view of the fact that Mr. George M'Donald satisfied the clerk of the union in an examination as to his educational competency, and that he has acted as master temporarily and is now so acting to the satisfaction of the guardians, the Board will, before taking legal proceedings, apply the same tests as to Mr. M'Donald's fitness as have been applied within the past three years in the ease of the masters elected in any of the unions in Minister.


The reply to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. A candidate for this position is required to give, not to the clerk of the union but to the local Government Board, satisfactory evidence of his fitness to discharge the duties of the office. Where such evidence is not forthcoming he undergoes a test examination of a very elementary character. That was the course adopted in the present case. Of the sixty-nine masters whose appointments were sanctioned in the past four years thirty-four underwent the test examination. The Lismore Guardians are not unanimous in their refusal to appoint a qualified master. If the majority consider the Board's decision wrong they will have an opportunity of showing cause against the Conditional Order for a mandamus becoming absolute.