HC Deb 17 February 1908 vol 184 cc454-5
MR. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that, during the passing of The Irish Education Act, 1892, through the House of Commons, an understanding was arrived at whereby the whole of the fines under the Act were to go in aid of local rates; whether this has been the practice for the past fifteen years; and can he say upon what grounds the Government now claim to appropriate two-thirds of those fines to the Crown.


I have no information that any understanding was arrived at in this matter other than that embodied in the Act itself, namely, that any revenue from penalties under the Act shall be applied in relief of local rates. The practice for many years was to pay over to local authorities the whole of the fines imposed under the Act. Doubts having been raised as to the correctness of the procedure, I thought it right to have proceedings instituted in the King's Bench Division in order to obtain an authoritative judicial interpretation of the Act upon this point. The King's Bench Division held that penalties under the Act were not payable in their entirety to the local authorities, but were to be applied in accordance with the provisions of the Fines Act (Ireland) 1851. That decision was affirmed last month by the Court of Appeal.