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Leinster Express 19 March 1859

Enlargement of the Court-house at Naas

To the Editor of the Leinster Express
 Sir, - Will you allow me through the medium of the public press, to call attention to  a circumstance which occurred at the Meeting of the Grand Jury of the County of Kildare, previous to the last assizes. On the 22nd of January last, the associated cesspayers at a Presentment Sessions held at Naas, for the County at Large, rejected an application for the sum of £1400 to improve and enlarge the court-house there, not because they (the associated cesspayers), grudged the amount, but on account of the county being heavily taxed just now, in consequence of the very large sum imposed on the cesspayers by the enlargement of the gaol at Naas. The taxes have been nearly doubled within the last few years, and the cesspayers think, and reasonably think, that the improvement of the court-house might be deferred for a little time till they become accustomed to those heavy imposts; or until the cess is paid equally and more equitably upon owner and occupier; for, I believe, and the cesspayers of the county generally think, there is little chance under the present grand jury system of their ever obtaining relief. But this is not all the cesspayers have to complain of, they ask why was the matter laid before them at all, if they had the power to reject it? Why place them in such a ludicrous position? This, Sir, is taxation without representation with a witness!
I am, Mr. Editor, yours &c.,
A Working Man.
P.S. – I send you my name and address, you may make use of it or not as you think proper.

[In giving publicity to the foregoing letter, which has been fully authenticated, it is only fair to state that the charge for the enlargement of Naas Gaol, (required, in consequence of discontinuing Athy as a second assizes town,) is to run over a period of ten years, 20 instalments of £450 each, without interest. £500 had been already granted for enlarging the court-house, which the judges and others had declared to be inconvenient, as well as insufficient for the public business; the improvements requisite were found, upon the plans proposed, to be much more expensive than at first anticipated, and £900 additional, making up £1400, for the court-house were granted at last assizes. We suppose this sum will also be borrowed, and levied over a lengthened period. The greatest hardship, in our opinion, arises from Naas court-house being so much used at Assizes, with business altogether unconnected with the County; cases being sent there for trial from its contiguity to the metropolis, and being the last on Circuit. Not alone are the cesspayers put to this additional expense, to meet the convenience of those who do not contribute in any way to the county expenditure, but the jurors are often kept from their homes and their business pursuits, at considerable loss and expense, upon trails of records and squabbles between parties, who have no connection with the county or its interests. In any new law – and we concur with the writer that a better Grand Jury system is required – special attention should be given to these matters, with a view that suitors from a distance, should be required to compensate parties engaged with their affairs; if some allowance be not made from the public treasury towards the expenses incurred in affording court-house accommodation to persons having no identity with Kildare. Mr. Cogan is, for instance, a Barrister as well as an able and excellent representative, and we feel assured it is only necessary to direct his attention to the subject, to have justice done to his constituents at the proper time and in the proper quarter. – EDT.]

A letter to the Leinster Express 19 March 1859 on the proposed enlargement of the Courthouse at Naas

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