§ Mr. AUGUSTINE ROCHE
asked the Chief Secretary whether it has come under his notice that the deputy returning officer for the election of county councillors for the county of Louth, in the county electoral division of Drogheda, acting in defiance of the returning officer, insisted upon placing before the electors a ballot paper containing eight names, two of whom had withdrawn in proper time, and closed the polls and adjourned them until the following day, although the returning officer had provided proper ballot papers containing six names only; whether the adjourned poll was open between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. as required by the L.G.S. Act for Ireland; whether the deputy returning officer, in contravention of the order which requires ballot papers to be of the same colour throughout the county, adopted papers coloured blue instead of white as fixed by the returning officer; whether the Local Government Board have any power to override the decision of the returning officer as to withdrawals without consulting him; whether they are in order in communicating direct with the deputy returning officer; and will the order forthwith that a new election will 1472W be had, adopting the preliminary steps already taken on publication of a notice of poll?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Under the terms of the Election Orders it devolved on the town clerk of Drogheda, as deputy returning officer, to carry out all the duties in relation to the election of county councillors for the Drogheda County Electoral Division, and, while the Local Government Board have no jurisdiction to question the manner in which he conducted the election referred to, it appears to them that his return is valid, and can only be upset by order of a competent court. The trouble which arose in this case was due to the action of the returning officer in interfering with the town clerk's arrangements.