HC Deb 08 May 1907 vol 174 cc236-7
MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Shillelagh bench is composed of nine Protestant magistrates and one Catholic, the latter being the ex officio representative of the district council; and whether, in view of the fact that the population of the county is over 80 per cent. Catholic, he will draw the attention of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland to the amount of representation of the majority of the people in the Shillelagh Petty Sessions Court.


The Lord Chancellor informs me that he believes that two of the nine justices who attend the Petty Sessions mentioned are Catholics: otherwise the facts are as stated in the Question. The Lord Chancellor is considering the question of appointing for this district a gentleman whose name was recently brought before him.


I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Shillelagh District Council have considered it necessary, in the interests of the public, to pass resolutions calling attention to the uncertain attendance of magistrates at Shillelagh Petty Sessions, the absence of justices not infrequently compelling the adjournment of the Court, thus causing serious loss and inconvenience to litigants; and whether he will communicate with the Lord Chancellor of Ireland with a view to providing some remedy in this case.


I have referred this Question to the Lord Chancellor, who informs me that there is a fair attendance of magistrates at the Petty Sessions mentioned. During the past year there were two occcasions upon which only one magistrate attended, but on no occasion was the Court adjourned for want of the attendance of a magistrate.