rose to present a petition to their lordships from the Catholic Association, 533 though he believed he must not call it by that name. He would say, then, that it was a petition from the ghost of that Association; and he believed the ghost would be found quite as terrific as the Association itself in its material form. The ghost was not yet laid, in spite of the exertions of all the right reverend prelates opposite, who were so powerful at laying ghosts, even though they had been zealously supported by the noble and learned lord. The petitioners complained of the great abuses which existed in the corporate towns of Ireland. He could state, not from the petition, but from the evidence given on oath before their lordships, that abuses—flagrant abuses—did exist. From that evidence it appeared, that the provost of Tralee was in the habit of taking particular sums of money for giving bail. For a capital felony he charged ten guineas; for a minor offence the charge was five. It appeared in evidence, also, that if the magistrate was convicted of such offences, he was not displaced; if prosecuted on a criminal indictment, the magistrate was not dispossessed. There were other abuses in these corporations. Between thirty and forty years ago, the Catholics were by law, permitted to belong to the corporation of Dublin, but in fact they were always kept out of it. He had, last year, presented a petition from an individual who had undoubtedly a right to enter this corporation, but who, being a Catholic, was rejected. Another person had obtained a mandamus, but he died. The Catholics were not permitted to be magistrates in any corporate towns in Ireland. They could neither be mayors, sheriffs, nor common-council-men. The petitioners wished to see the monopoly of the corporate bodies done away; but fearing that their lordships would not go along with them they prayed that their lordships would take some measures to rectify the abuses complained of. The petition was then read, and appeared to be from certain Catholics in Ireland.
The Earl of Limerick
said, that in the city of Limerick there was a Catholic gentleman a magistrate.
said, that by the new rules in all the large corporate towns no Catholic could be either a mayor, a sheriff, or common-council-man.
The Earl of Limerick
said, that the individual in question, a Mr. Roche, had been made a magistrate of Limerick by the government, under authority of a special 534 act of parliament passed for the purpose, of remedying the abuses of that corporation.
§ Lord Clifden
said, that Catholics were excluded from the corporation of Dublin. He reminded their lordships that he had predicted that they could never put down the Catholic Association. That Association spoke the sentiments of one fifth of the population, having a common object; and they were no more to be put down, except by removing from the Statute-book the last remnant of those laws which were a disgrace to it, than the sun was to be stopped in its course. He reminded their lordships of what had passed in Ireland in 1782, and predicted, that if they went on, year after year, denying the Catholic claims, a time of difficulty would come, when those Catholics would extort from fear what was denied to justice.