HC Deb 12 April 1911 vol 24 cc593-4W

asked the Attorney-General for Ireland whether the editor of the paper, which was held guilty of the publication of false statements of fact in connection with the recent North Louth election, is sitting on the bench as a magistrate to hear cases arising out of the report of the election petition judges; whether the accused are defended by this magistrate's brother; whether informations have already been refused in some cases; was the Attorney-General's counsel directed to prosecute; if not, why was he present to attempt to uphold the conviction by one of the persons reported for bribery in North Louth; is it intended, as in the case of eight of the Bantry prisoners recently convicted at the Cork Assizes, to send up an indictment against the persons reported by the judges in North Louth, notwithstanding the refusal of informations at Dundalk petty sessions; and will the assize trials be held in Dundalk in cases arising out of the election petition there?


I understand the fact is as stated in the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question. The magistrate indicated is sitting contrary to the protest offered by the Crown Solicitor at the beginning of the cases. I have no knowledge whether or not the solicitor for the defence is a brother of one of the magistrates. Informations have already been refused in some cases, but I can make no statement on the question of taking further action until I have had the opportunity of considering the depositions sworn before the magistrates. Nor can I, at this stage, make any statement as to the place of trial. My counsel was not directed to prosecute. The cases are being conducted by the Crown Solicitor. As to the appearance of my Counsel in the other case alluded to, I refer the hon. Gentleman to my reply to his question on the subject dated the 3rd April.