§ Mr. PATRICK MEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the Inspector-General, Royal Irish Constabulary, acting on the recommendation of the local police officer, has instructed the police in Mary-borough, Queen's County, to bring all persons non-resident in the town, who are charged with offences within the township, before the Petty Sessions District Court instead of the Town Court; whether this arrangement causes a loss to the finances of the town, as fines imposed on persons found guilty of offences would go to the benefit of the town if the cases were brought as heretofore before the Town Court; and whether he will have this arrangement altered?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
There has been no change in the practice on the part of the constabulary in dealing with persons charged with offences in the town of Mary-borough. In the case of fines imposed at Petty Sessions for drunkenness committed within the town one-half of the penalty goes to the Town Commissioners and the other half to the police. The police, however, prosecute at the Town Court in all cases of acts of drunkenness committed by residents of the town, in which case the entire penalty goes to the Commissioners, and they prosecute at Petty Sessions in those cases only in which the offender resides outside the town or his residence is 1739W not known. This arrangement which has been in operation for a considerable number of years is regarded as an equitable compromise having regard to the respective interests of the Town Commissioners and the constabulary in the application and apportionment of the penalties imposed in such prosecutions.