HC Deb 01 March 1911 vol 22 cc385-9

Mr. Speaker informed the House that he had received the following Certificate and Report from the Judges appointed to try the several Election Petitions relating to the Election for the North Louth Division of County Louth:—

In the High Court of Justice in Ireland, King's Bench Division.

The Parliamentary Elections Act, 1868. The Ballot Act, 1872.

The Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Acts, 1883 and 1895.

And in the matter of an Election Petition in respect of a Parliamentary Election for the North Louth Division of the county of Louth, holden on the 8th day of December, 1910.

Between Daniel Fearon, James

Hanlon, Thomas Hanratty,

and Patrick Larkin and Petitioners.
Richard Hazleton Respondent.

To the Right Honourable the Speaker of the House of Commons.

We, John George Gibson and Dodgson Hamilton Madden, two of the Judges of the King's Bench Division, High Court of Justice in Ireland, on the rota for the time being for the trial of Parliamentary Election Petitions in Ireland, do hereby certify, in pursuance of the said Acts, that upon the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, and 27th February, 1911, we duly held a court for the trial of, and did try, the said Election Petition, and we certify that, at the conclusion of the said trial, we determined and adjudged that the said Richard Hazleton, being the Member whose Election was complained of in the said Petition, was not duly elected and returned, and that the said Election was, and is, void.

And whereas charges were made in the said Petition of corrupt and illegal practices having been committed at the said Election, we, in further pursuance of the said Acts, report that:—

  1. (1) No corrupt or illegal practice was proved to have been committed by or with the knowledge and consent of the said Richard Hazleton.
  2. (2) That the following persons were proved at the trial to have been guilty of corrupt practices at said Election:—

(a) Undue influence (intimidation):—

(b) Bribery:—

(c) Treating:—

With regard to treating at Casey's, Hackballscross, on December 8th, I, John George Gibson, found that, though the circumstances were highly suspicious, treating was not sufficiently proved. I, Dodgson Hamilton Madden, found that treating there was proved.

We accordingly certify the said differences and make no report as to this ease.

The following persons were proved to have been guilty of illegal practices—

(a) Joseph Dolan Payment for conveying voters to poll.
Bernard McKevitt

(b) Valentine Warren, Respondent's election agent, for circulating during the Election false statements of fact with respect to the personal character and conduct of T. M. Healy, candidate at said Election, for the purpose of affecting the return of the said T. M. Healy, which false statements materially assisted the Election of Richard Hazleton.

Three of the said persons, Joseph Dolan, Mathew Campbell, Valentine Warren, have received certificates of indemnity.

The Petition contained a charge of general intimidation at Common Law, but no charges of general bribery and general treating. We found a charge of general intimidation (sufficient to invalidate the election) was not established. In one polling district, Louth, with a comparatively small electorate, there was a good deal of undue influence. But we do not report that, in the constituency as a whole, undue influence or other corrupt and illegal practices prevailed, or that there was reason to believe that such corrupt or illegal practices prevailed.

We report that the said Richard Hazleton by his agents was guilty of corrupt practices, to wit, undue influence, bribery, treating; and by his agents was guilty of illegal practices, to wit, payments on account of election expenses not paid by and through the election agent, payment of conveyance of voters to and from poll, false statements of fact for the purpose of affecting the return of T. M. Healy in relation to his personal character and conduct, which false statements were circulated by the election agent of the said Richard Hazleton and materially assisted the election of the said Richard Hazleton.

A Copy of the Evidence and of our Judgments, written out by the official Shorthand Writers, accompanies our Certificate and Report.

All which we beg to certify and report.

Dated at Dublin the 28th day of February 1911.

J. G. GIBSON Judges

ED. GIBSON, Registrar.

And the said Certificate and Report were ordered to be entered in the Journal of this House.

Copy of Shorthand Writer's Notes laid upon the Table by Mr. Speaker.


I would like to ask the Government whether having regard to the character of the report just read, the number of names mentioned, and the series of charges dealt with, it would not be desirable that the evidence upon which the report is based should be published?


If there is any desire whatever expressed in any quarter that the evidence should be published it shall be done, and the judgment too.

Ordered, That the Copy of the Shorthand Writer's Notes of the Judgment of Mr. Justice Gibson and Mr. Justice Madden on the Trial of the Election Petition for the North Louth Division of County Louth, also the Minutes of Evidence taken at the Trial of the said Election Petition, be printed.


I beg to give notice that on Monday I shall move that you will issue a warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Ireland to make out a New Writ for the election of a Member to serve in this pre sent Parliament for the county of Louth, North Division.


If that Motion is going to be made would it be convenient that the evidence should be printed before the Motion for the Writ comes on?


Instructions will be given to have it printed. Whether it will be ready or not before Monday I cannot say.


I beg to give notice that I will move the Adjournment of the Motion on Monday if the House is not at that time in possession of the evidence.