§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Monaghan, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Edward Fitzgerald, a Guardian of the Cork Union, who was, in April last, convicted on three charges of forging and tendering proxy voting papers in his own favour in the last election of Guardians, was again, on the 6th instant, convicted on six other charges of forging the names of 13 persons to voting papers and tendering the same also in his own favour in the same election of Guardians; whether the Government intend to take steps to remove Mr. Fitzgerald from the Board of Guardians, and prosecute him for these forgeries; and whether a sworn inquiry will be held to test the legality of the election of a number of other Guardians of the Cork Union, who are alleged to have been elected by forged proxy votes?
§ MR. JACKSON
The facts are as stated in the first paragraph, with the exception that the convictions number in all eight. The Local Government Board have been informed by the solicitor acting for Mr. Fitzgerald that he has lodged appeals against these convictions. Pending the hearing of these appeals, the Board are unable to express any opinion as to whether the convictions in question disqualify Mr. Fitzgerald from acting as a Guardian. Mr. Fitzgerald and two others were returned as Guardians for the South Ward. The Local Government Board have ordered an inquiry with the view of ascertaining whether the majority in any of these three cases is due to votes recorded in respect of the forged papers.