HC Deb 14 December 1906 vol 167 cc835-6

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that Messrs. Coffey and Considine, Local Government Board inspectors, are at present conducting an inquiry into certain charges of neglect of duty, preferred by the Strabane Rural District Council and the Strabane Board of Guardians against their clerk, Mr. J. E. Sharkie; that, on the 20th November, 1906, during the investigation of these charges by the inspectors, Mr. Sharkie tendered his resignation to the above-mentioned bodies; will he say whether Mr. Sharkie has been censured by the Local Government Board for neglect of duty; and if so, how often; whether Mr. Sharkie has been summoned by the Local Government Board to Strabane Petty Sessions; if so, what was the nature of the charge preferred, and the decision of the magistrates in the matter; and whether, pending the result of the inquiry, the Local Government Board will sanction the acceptance of Mr. Sharkie's resignation by the above-mentioned bodies?

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) I am informed that the inquiry referred to concluded some days ago. It is the fact that Mr. Sharkie handed in his resignation to the Board of Guardians on the 20th November. The Local Government Board had censured him on several occasions, but they cannot, in the time limited by the notice of this Question, say how often. The Board had also summoned Mr. Sharkie, under Section 86 of the Act of 1898, for failing to furnish the abstracts of the accounts of the Board of Guardians and of the two rural district councils of which he was ex-officio clerk. The case was adjourned to enable a settlement to be arrived at, with the result that Mr. Sharkie furnished the necessary returns and agreed to pay all costs; and the proceedings were then withdrawn. The acceptance of Mr. Sharkie's resignation rests with the Board of Guardians and not with the Local Government Board. The resignation was accepted by the guardians on the 4th instant.