§ MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the High Sheriff of Tyrone has refused the use of the courthouse at Clogher for a concert in connection with the National Foresters' Society on the ground that the purpose is political; whether the courthouse is maintained out of the public rates; and, seeing that it is the only public building in the town, if there is any way of securing its use in the future, as in the past, for all sections of the people.
§ (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) I have referred this Question to the High Sheriff of county Tyrone, who informs me that he has received an application from a national band for the use of Clogher Courthouse for a concert, and has refused it on the ground that the concert was to be held for the promotion of party politics. The courthouse is maintained out of the rates. The custody and control of county courthouses is entirely vested in the high sheriff of the county, and under the Law as it stands the Government have no power to interfere with the high sheriff's discretion as to the purposes for which he may permit a courthouse to be used when not required for the administration of the Law.