§ MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM (Cork County, N.E.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he will state whether the Lord-Lieutenant has yet considered the petition of the urban council of Fermoy respecting their right to hold meetings of the council in the Court-house, conferred by the Fermoy Act of 1808 and renewed by the Towns Improvement Act of 1854, and if this right, exercised and enjoyed for over 100 years, will be confirmed; whether he is aware that, while the memorial of the urban council was under the consideration of the Lord-Lieutenant, Mr. Carroll, Crown Solicitor, who had been duly notified thereof, proceeded to peremptorily demand from the council the surrender of their right, under threat of eviction; if he is cognisant of the fact that Mr. Carroll, who held the position of legal adviser to the urban council, was deprived of that office a month ago by the council acting within their discretion; and whether he will take any steps to restrain the action of the Crown Solicitor in this matter.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The petition referred to is still under the consideration of the Lord-Lieutenant, who will cause a reply to be sent to the Fermoy Urban District Council as soon as possible. As the hon. Member has already been informed, Mr. Carroll, is not acting in the matter as Crown Solicitor, but as the private solicitor of the High Sheriff, in whose custody and control the Courthouse is vested by statute. I am not aware that Mr. Carroll has been deprived of the office of legal adviser to the urban council. The Government cannot restrain Mr. Carroll from acting as solicitor to the High Sheriff.