HC Deb 20 February 1908 vol 184 cc1011-2

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the resolution passed by the Lismore rural council on the 7th instant, with reference to the action of the magistrates at Lismore petty sessions, has come under the notice of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland; whether, in view of the facts referred to, and the resolutions of other public bodies in the county Waterford calling for the appointment of additional magistrates, the Lord Chancellor will take steps accordingly; and whether, as the Lord-Lieutenant of the county is the Duke of Devonshire, who resides in the county for not more than two or three weeks yearly, the Lord Chancellor will consider the appointment of additional magistrates by virtue of his own authority.

(Answered by Mr. Cherry.) I have referred this Question to the Lord Chancellor who has furnished me with the following reply A copy of a resolution passed by the Lismore rural district council on the 7th instant was transmitted to the Lord Chancellor, asking him to appoint additional magistrates in that district on the ground that the magistrates sitting at petty sessions, presided over by the resident magistrate, had refused to grant a decree against a tenant of a cottage who was sued by the collector of the council. The magistrates appear to have acted within their judicial discretion, and the Lord Chancellor cannot interfere with its exercise. There are, besides the resident magistrate, eleven justices attending the Lismore petty sessions. The Lord Chancellor is always ready to consider the appointment of magistrates whenever necessary, and the names of several persons suggested for appointment to the bench have been sent to the Duke of Devonshire by the Lord Chancellor, and he believes that the Duke will deal with them as soon as he returns to England, which it is hoped will be at an early date.