1 MARCH 1873, Page 1

The Galway prosecutions have been dropped, as we said they

must be, since the very just acquittal of the Bishop of Clonfert, following as it did on the unfortunate failure to find a verdict against Father Loftus ; but it seems from an answer of Sir J. D. Coleridge in the louse of Commons yesterday week, that the civil disqualifications to which Dr. Duggan has been exposed by Judge Keogh's finding remain in full force, even after his acquittal. They are not very serious disqualifications in their bearing on a Bishop ; for they seem to be limited to rendering the election of any candi- date void who engages any person once found guilty of "corrupt practices" (which include undue influences) to act as his agent during the next seven years. A Bishop is not likely to desire to be agent to any candidate, either during the next seven years, or indeed a longer time. But as the Attorney-General said, it does seem a little hard that any one tried and acquitted should remain under the stigma of penal disqualification. The Attorney-General excused the continuance of the disqualifica- tion on the ground that a good deal of evidence accessible to the Election Judge was not accessible for the purposes of a criminal prosecution ; but that hardly meets the case. Such an acquittal ought at least to be a sufficient ground for re-examining the evidence adduced before the Election Judge, and reversing the sentence if the evidence is seen to be inadequate. An Irish Election Judge is almost the last person in the world whose sentence should be " irreformable." You might almost as well impute ex cathedra infallibility to him at once.