HC Deb 10 April 1911 vol 24 cc191-2W

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, when appointing Mr. John Sweeney recently to be a justice of the peace for the county of Donegal, was aware that he was a licensed publican and also a commissioner for oaths, and was there any special reason to appoint a publican to an already very well filled local bench; is he aware that this Mr. John Sweeney, J.P., is the same person who was, on the 14th of February last, for selling drink on premises not duly licensed, fined £50, and at the same court was also fined for a breath of the Children's Act, both convictions being by a numerous bench at Burtonport, in the same court in which Mr. Sweeney usually assists in dispensing justice; and what steps does the Lord Chancellor propose to take?


Mr. John Sweeney was appointed a magistrate for county Donegal three years ago on the recommendation of the lieutenant of the county. The Lord Chancellor was not aware that Mr. Sweeney possessed an ordinary public-house, but understood that he was an hotel proprietor and a Commissioner for Oaths. Mr. Sweeney was on 21st February last convicted of the illegal sale of spirits and beer at his hotel in Burtonport, which is not licensed, and was fined nominally £50 in each case, but reduced by the magistrates under their powers to £12 10s. in each case, with a recommendation by the Bench that the amount be further reduced to 10s. in each case. Mr. Sweeney has not been prosecuted for any offence under the Children's Act. The Lord Chancellor will make further inquiry into the matter.