HL Deb 12 August 1839 vol 50 cc194-5
Viscount Duncannon

, in moving the second reading of the Sheep-stealer's (Ireland) bill, said, that since the bill was first brought before the House, he had made some inquiries into the subject, and he found that the proposed enactments were not exactly the same as those which were repealed by Sir R. Peel's Act. The present bill was much amended, and was intended to protect the poor people in mountainous districts, who had no means of finding out those who stole their sheep, except through the medium of some such process as that detailed in the bill.

The Duke of Richmond

observed, that the bill was extremely badly drawn up, but that defect might be altered in committee, and he should therefore offer no objection to the second reading on that ground. He did not, however, see any sufficient reason why there should be a different law for sheep stealing in Ireland, from that which was in force in England. The law formerly in force relative to sheep stealing, was repealed when Sir R. Peel consolidated the criminal law, and repealed after a great deal of consideration; and he wanted to know why that law should now be re-enacted in Ireland, with very little consideration at all?

The Earl of Wicklow

would always be willing to do what he could to assimilate the law in both countries; and if this were a good law, which he thought it was, he should be happy to do all in his power to get it extended to England. The law was very necessary in that part of the country with which he was connected. The evil of sheep stealing had increased so much, and it was so utterly impossible to detect the stealers of sheep at present, that unless some such measure as this was passed into a law, the farmers of the country must give up the feeding of sheep altogether.