HC Deb 18 June 1907 vol 176 c290

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that on the Lough-Contra property, Gort, of Lord Gough, Chargé d'Affairs at Dresden, a tenant on the estate, Mr. John Hennelly, took proceedings against his lordship at the Gort January quarter sessions to recover damages for trespass of game on his corn crops; can he state the approximate amount realised in fines for the past twenty years at the Gort petty sessions against his tenantry for alleged offences under the. Game Laws; is he aware that the tenants on the estate and in the neighbourhood, through fear of the class of men who compose the Gort bench of magistrates, submit to the fines imposed by the gamekeepers and the agent on the estate, outside the petty sessions court; and what action he purposes taking to remedy such a state of affairs.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell) I am informed that Mr. Hennelly brought an action against Lord Gough to recover damages for the trespass of game, and that the action was dismissed by the county court judge. During the past twenty years fines amounting approximately to £21 have been imposed at Gort petty sessions on some of Lord Gough's tenants for offences against the Game Laws. I have no definite information that the practice referred to in the latter part of the Question prevails. If it does, it is the fault of the persons who make the payments. I have no reason to suppose that the magistrates do not act impartially.