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Limerick City Petitions


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Petitions Relating to the Local Taxation of the City of Limerick page 1
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Limerick City Petitions
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Limerick City Petitions

Date of Article: 31/07/1822
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PETITIONS HELATING TO LIMERICK TAXATION. 15 Then how do you account for your giving an answer diametrically reverse to day ?— On recollection, I thought it was a very erroneous answer, and I thought I was at liberty to alter it Have you had any conversation with any person on the subject of that answer ?— I have had conversation certainly. With whom have you had that conversation ?— Lord Gort remonstrated with me on the absurdity of the observation I made; he said I might let it stay as it was if I liked, but he recommended me to consider the circumstance, and I put down this note here of the absurdity of the observation I made. It was certainly Lord Gort suggested to me that it was an erroneous reply, and that it was contrary to the fact. Had you any conversation prior to your examination here at any time since you came to town, with respect to your examination here ?— I have had many conversa- tions with Lord Gort; he is a very intimate friend of mine. Since you have been in attendance upon this Committee?— Yes, certainly. Have those conversations been with reference to the evidence which you were to give here ?— I believe we have spoken on the subject. Did not Lord Gort after he had seen your evidence, tell you, " I do not know how you can face the city of Limerick after having put that down? "— Yes he did. Was not that the only remark he made to you?— Yes." The same witness, when examined with reference to certain transactions Mr. Parker, of the common council, refused to answer, on the ground of having taken Al'P'( A0 Min. Ev. an oath which enjoined secrecy. How far such an oath may appear binding to the conscientious scruples of individuals, Your Committee do not pretend to judge; but they hesitate not to declare their sense of the impropriety and illegality of such an obligation, especially when applied to prevent the progress of inquiry before a court of competent authority. A different construction is put upon this oath by another witness, to whose evidence in the Appendix, Your Committee refer. The admissibility of B. M'Mahon, ibid, such an oath would affect the administration of law and justice, and would sanction the most illegal associations : such an oath appears useless for any good purpose, though most fatal if employed to assist an improper design, or to cloak any improper practices. It is also worthy of observation, that when the evidence of this very officer, the town clerk, was required on behalf of the corporation, he was disfranchised by the council, in order to Mr. Parker, ibid, do away with any objection to his competency; and that soon after the termination of the trials on which he was examined, he was restored to his corporate rank and office. Such a practice Your Committee consider as liable to the most serious objections. An action having been brought Mr. J. N. Russell, against the town clerk for his neglect of duty, a single juror appears to lbld- have differed from his eleven brethren, who were unanimous in finding against the corporate officer. The single individual, who, during one night, and part of the ensuing day, withstood the opinions of the remain- ing eleven, and thereby forced the parties to withdraw a juror, thus pro- Minutes, 1820, tecting the town clerk from a penalty, was soon after presented with the P- 59> 6o- freedom of the city, and a silver box, " for his virtuous and upright " conduct." This person was appointed, and now is sheriff of the city of Limerick. SUCH are the Observations Your Committee feel it their duty to submit to the House, on the subjects referred to them. When the petitions against the corporation of Limerick were presented to the Irish Parliament in 1761, the House resolved " that the interposition of the legislature was Irish journa] 3> " absolutely necessary for redressing the several grievances and abuses 1761. " complained of, and for preventing the like in future." Since that period the ancient muniments of the corporation have been suppressed or destroyed by the public officers bound to preserve and produce them. The most material questions have been decided in general terms, by the courts
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