HC Deb 14 July 1908 vol 192 cc587-8
MR. J. DEVLIN (Belfast, W.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether in view of the practice that lords-lieutenant of counties are appointed on the understanding that they were politically in sympathy with the Government of the day, he can state how many of the lords-lieutenant of counties in Ireland have been appointed by the present Government, and how many of them are in political sympathy with the present Government.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) Five appointments to lieutenancies of counties in Ireland have been made since His Majesty's present Government came into office, namely, the Bight Hon. T. Lough, M.P., County Cavan, Mr. J. Cooke, County Londonderry, Colonel M. T. Everard, County Meath, the O'Conor Don, County Roscommon, and Major Villiers-Stuart, Waterford County and City. I cannot say positively that all of these gentleman are in political sympathy with the present Government, but I sincerely hope that such is and will long continue to be the case.


To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state the rules governing the appointment of lords-lieutenant of counties in Ireland; whether there is any property qualification; with whom the appointment rests; when the appointments are made and for what term; what are the duties of the position; whether a Catholic may hold the appointment, and, if so, how many Catholics have held the position during the past five years, and how many hold it now; and what are the powers of those holding the position with regard to the appointment of justices of the peace.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) Lieutenants of counties in Ireland are appointed under the provisions of the Militia Act, 1882, by the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, subject to the approval of the Crown. No property qualification is prescribed. The appointment is made by Letters Patent, and is held during the pleasure of the Lord-Lieutenant. The Lieutenant is head of the magistracy of his county, and has the power of appointing deputy-lieutenants for the county with the approval of the Lord-Lieutenant. No religious disability attaches to the post and there is no record of the religious denominations to which lieutenants belong. The appointment of justices of the peace rests with the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, to whom the lieutenants submit names of persons for appointment.