§ MR. HAMMOND (Carlow)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland is he aware that, in accordance with the terms of Section 3, Sub-section 5, of the Irish Education Act, 1892, the whole amount of fines imposed under this statute has hitherto been applied in relief of the local rates in Ireland; that quite recently the justices of Carlow Petty Sessions received a circular letter from the Registrar of Petty Sessions, Clerks Office, Dublin Castle, to the effect that only one-third of such fines may be paid to the local authority, the balance to go to the Crown; and, as the annual expenditure in connection with the working of the Act has always exceeded the revenue annually derived from the fines, will he direct, in the interest of primary education in Ireland, that the full amount of the fines imposed under this Act, will, as hitherto, be applied in relief of the local rates.
§ (Answered by Mr. Birrell.) I am aware that in some districts the penalties referred to in the first part of the Question have been applied in the manner stated. The matter was recently brought to the notice of the Irish Government, who have been advised that the section quoted merely provides for the application of fines which have been awarded to local authorities, and does not contain a direction that all fines should be paid to such authorities. Consequently the application of penalties under the Irish Education Act, 1892, is governed by the Fines Act, 1851, which provides that one-third of any fine may be paid to the prosecutor. Further, under Subsection 2 of Section 4 of the Education Act, the magistrates may award to the prosecutor the costs incurred, provided hat the fine and costs together do not exceed 5s. The Government have no power to give the direction suggested in the last part of the Question.