§ MR. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, resident magistrate, Portarlington, is in such a low state of health as to be unable to attend regularly to his duties; can he say how many Petty Session Courts have been held during the past two years in Mountmellick, Rathangan, Clonbullogue, and Stradbally, respectively, and how many of those Mr. Fitzgerald attended; and what course he proposes taking to supply the public requirements of the district.
(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) The resident magistrate referred to reports that he is not in a low state of health, and the records show that during the past two years he has been absent from duty on account of indisposition on twelve days only. Petty sessions are held fortnightly at Mountmellick and Stradbally, and monthly at Rathangan and Clonbullogue. During the past two years the resident magistrate did not attend petty sessions at Mountmellick or Rathangan, but he attended at Clonbullogue on two, and at Stradbally on five occasions. Petty sessions at Mountmellick, Rathangan, and Clonbullogue fall on days fixed for other petty sessions in the district, at which the resident magistrate's attendance is more desirable. As regards Stradbally, the resident magistrate reports that, whenever he has not attended petty sessions at that place, there was no case for hearing, or the cases were of a trivial nature only. There is, I am informed, a good attendance of local justices at each of the four petty sessions named, and public requirements have not suffered.