§ MR. O'SHEE (Waterford, W.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that Mr. Michael Murphy was elected sanitary sub-officer and collector of labourers' cottages rents by the Lismore Rural Council on 18th May last, eleven members being present and seven voting for him and other candidates; that the Local Government Board in September last informed the district council that they could not sanction Mr. Murphy's appointment; that the district council by resolution passed unanimously, sixteen members being present, requested the Local Government Board to give their reasons; and that subsequently the Local Government Board wrote asking if there was a quorum present when Mr. Murphy was elected; and whether, seeing that the Local Government Board have received a complaint with regard to neglect as to the local water supply of which the sanitary sub-officer acts as caretaker, they will now sanction the appointment made.
(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) The facts are substantially as stated. An advertisment was issued by the board of guardians inviting applications for the position of relieving officer, and the advertisment contained the following statement: "It has been arranged that the person elected relieving officer will be appointed by the district council as sanitary sub-officer for 317 the district." The guardians elected a man named Higgins as relieving officer by seventeen votes against thirteen given in favour of Michael Murphy, who is referred to in the Question. After the election of Higgins, nineteen members (including, apparently, all Higgin's supporters) left the board room. It was then proposed to make a separate appointment as sanitary sub-officer, there being only eleven members present. At this election only seven members voted, and only four of these votes were cast for Murphy. The remaining four members, including the chairman, declined to vote. If, therefore, Murphy's election were now sanctioned, the result would be that the nominee of only four out of the thirty-nine members comprising the council would be chosen. Having regard to all the circumstances the Local Government Board have informed the district council that they are not prepared to express their sanction to the appointment of Murphy as sanitary sub-officer, unless the proposal be ratified at a meeting of the council of which due notice is given to each member.