HC Deb 20 February 1908 vol 184 c1012

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that prosecutions for trespass in pursuit of game in Ireland are brought under a Statute passed in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of George III., and that, under this Statute, any stranger having no immediate interest in the matter can maintain a prosecution against any person who is traversing lands in the possession of any other person, and appearing to be in the pursuit of game; whether he is aware that heavy penalties are usually inflicted, and that John Campion was fined on the 1st instant, by a majority of the bench at Lismore petty sessions, £2 for being on the lands of John O'Farrell, a judicial tenant of the Duke of Devonshire, on 8th January, accompanied by two greyhounds, in a prosecution by the duke's gamekeeper; and whether he will consider the advisability of an alteration in the game laws.

(Answered by Mr. Cherry.) I am informed that the prosecution was not under the Act of George III., but under 27 and 28 Vic, c. 67. which provides that when a landlord has reserved to himself the exclusive right to game on any land he shall be deemed the legal occupier of such land for the purposes of that Act. It may be inferred from the fact that the Duke of Devonshire was the prosecutor in this case that the game rights are reserved to him in respect of the holding purchased by John O'Farrell under the Lands Acts. It is the fact that Campion was fined the full penalty of £2. I am informed that he had been fined 10s. for a similar offence, at the prosecution of the Duke of Devonshire, in the previous month. The Government do not contemplate any legislation for amending the game laws in Ireland.