§ MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that roads, now alleged to have been illegally constructed by the late grand juries, are at present maintained at the public expense; and whether, seeing that no representations were made to the grand juries to reconstruct these roads to meet the requirements of the Statute of William IV., he will state why this demand has been made on the Kerry County Council with reference to the road at Lickeen, county Kerry.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. WYNDHAM, Dover)
I am informed that some roads were constructed by the grand jury of a less width than 16 feet, notwithstanding the provision of the Grand Jury Act, 1836, and that such roads have been maintained at the public expense. It is doubtful whether it would now be competent for an auditor to disallow expenditure upon such roads. Prior to the passing of the Local Government Act of 1898 auditors were not empowered to question the legality of presentments made by the grand jury and duly fiated by the Judge of Assize. The road at Lickeen was not constructed or repaired by the grand jury, and in these circumstances it is now obligatory upon the auditor to see that the provisions of the law are observed.
§ MR. J. P. FARRELL (Longford, N.)
asked if any general directions would be given to the auditors to prevent these surcharges being made.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
No; the auditors are appointed to examine accounts, and to give general directions to persons discharging that duty would be a mistake. They are bound to do their duty according to law, but there is a discretion vested in the Local Government Board to remit any surcharge on equitable grounds.