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The Irish Magistracy—County Of Tipperary—Question

Volume 220: debated on Thursday 25 June 1874

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asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether it is true that the Commissioners of the Great Seal have refused to appoint two magistrates recommended by Lord Lismore as Lord Lieutenant of the county Tipperary; whether it is a fact that his Lordship has held that office for 17 years, and has never before been refused; and, whether Her Majesty's Government approve of the course pursued; and, if not, what action they propose taking in the matter?

In reply, Sir, to the Question of the hon. Member, I beg to say that it is a fact that the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal did refuse to appoint two gentlemen recommended by Lord Lismore; and, without wishing to cast any reflection upon the recommendation of Lord Lismore, I must say I think the Lords Commissioners were perfectly justified in the course they adopted. It is not alleged that an appointment was required for either of the districts in question. One of the gentlemen referred to was an agent not for one property but for several; and there is a rule, strictly acted on by the late Government, against appointing agents to the Commission of the Peace except under peculiar circumstances, such as that of an agent representing a largo proprietor or a Company, or there being a great necessity for a magistrate and none more suitable being in the locality. In Ireland it is the established rule not to make a dispensary medical officer a magistrate. This rule, which applies to the other gentleman, was strictly acted on by the late Government.