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9 1962

CORONERS ACT, 1962

PART II

Coroners and Coroners' Districts

Coroners' districts.

6. —(1) The coroners districts of the State shall, subject to subsection (2) of this section, the provisions of any order under subsection (3) of this section and section 7 of this Act be the same as the coroners' districts immediately before the commencement of this Act.

(2) The boroughs of Kilkenny, Clonmel, Drogheda and Sligo shall be included, respectively, with the areas which, heretofore, constituted the coroners' districts of County Kilkenny, County Tipperary South Riding, County Louth and North County Sligo to form new coroners' districts.

(3) The boundary between two adjoining coroners' districts the coroners for which were appointed by the same local authority may be altered by the Minister by order made after consultation with the Minister for Local Government and with the consent of the coroners for such districts.

(4) Where a vacancy occurs in a coroner's district portion of which is within a county borough, that portion shall thereupon cease to be part of that district and shall be amalgamated with the district comprising the remainder of the county borough, the coroner of which shall become coroner for the district thereby created and comprising the whole of the county borough.

(5) Section 10 of this Act shall have effect in the case of the creation of a coroner's district under subsection (4) of this section in like manner as if such creation were an amalgamation under a scheme under section 7 of this Act and, for that purpose, the references in subsections (1) and (9) of the said section 10 to the coming into force of a scheme under the said section 7 shall be construed as references to the creation of a district under subsection (4) of this section.

Amalgamation of districts.

7. —(1) When a coroner ceases to hold office, the local authority by whom he was appointed, in lieu of appointing a successor, may, and if required by the Minister shall, submit to the Minister a scheme for the amalgamation of his district or part of his district with the district or districts of any other coroner or coroners appointed by that local authority.

(2) A scheme under this section, if approved of by the Minister after consultation with the Minister for Local Government, shall come into force on such day as the Minister determines.

Office of coroner.

8. —(1) There shall be a coroner for every coroner's district.

(2) The coroner for a coroner's district shall be appointed by the local authority in whose area the district is situate.

(3) The office of coroner shall be an office to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926 , applies and that Act shall apply accordingly but with the following modifications:

(a) “the Minister” in the said Act shall, in relation to the office of coroner, mean the Minister for Justice,

(b) subsection (1) of section 5, subsections (1) and (2) of section 7 and section 11 of that Act shall not apply to the office of coroner,

(c) the Minister shall, after consultation with the Local Appointments Commissioners, declare, either generally or for a particular appointment, the qualifications as to age, health and character for appointment to the office of coroner,

(d) the reference in subsection (3) of section 7 of that Act to qualifications prescribed under that section shall be construed as a reference to qualifications declared under paragraph (c) of this subsection, and

(e) every person to be recommended for appointment to the office of coroner shall be selected by such means and in such manner as the Local Appointments Commissioners think proper.

(4) The modifications effected by subsection (3) of this section shall not apply in the case of the appointment of a coroner after the commencement of this Act where the qualifications for the appointment were prescribed before such commencement, and the appointment shall be made as if this Act had not been passed.

(5) The Local Appointments Commissioners shall, before recommending a person for appointment to the office of coroner, satisfy themselves that the person possesses the requisite knowledge and ability for the proper discharge of the duties of that office.

Salary of coroner.

9. —(1) Every coroner shall be paid by the local authority by whom he is appointed such salary as shall from time to time be fixed, with the approval of the Minister, by that local authority.

(2) The Minister shall not give any approval under this section save after consultation with the Minister for Local Government.

(3) The salary of a coroner shall be inclusive of any travelling, subsistence and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred by him in the course of his duties as coroner.

Review of salary.

10. —(1) Within six months after a scheme under section 7 of this Act has come into force, the salary of a coroner whose district has been enlarged under the scheme shall be reviewed by the local authority who pay the salary.

(2) On a review under this section of a salary, the local authority shall, subject to the approval of the Minister, make a determination (in this section referred to as a provisional determination) that the salary shall be increased in a specified manner or that it shall be confirmed.

(3) A local authority who make a provisional determination shall inform the coroner to whom the determination relates of the terms of the determination within one month after it is made.

(4) Where a coroner is dissatisfied with a provisional determination, he may, within three months after being informed of the terms of the determination, appeal against it to the Minister.

(5) Where an appeal is taken against a provisional determination, the Minister shall either dismiss the appeal or determine that the salary in question shall be increased in a specified manner.

(6) Where a provisional determination is made and an appeal against it is not taken or, if taken, is dismissed, the salary in question shall stand confirmed or increased in accordance with the determination.

(7) Where an appeal is taken against a provisional determination and on the appeal the Minister determines that the salary in question shall be increased in a specified manner, the salary shall stand so increased.

(8) Where a local authority who are required by this section to review the salary of a coroner refuse to review it or, on the expiration of one month after the expiration of the period during which they are required to review the salary, have failed to inform the coroner of the terms of a provisional determination made by them in respect of the salary—

(a) the coroner may request the Minister to review the salary,

(b) the Minister shall review the salary and on such review shall determine either that the salary shall be increased in a specified manner or that it shall be confirmed,

(c) the salary shall thereupon stand increased or confirmed in accordance with the determination of the Minister.

(9) An increase of salary under this section shall have effect as from the coming into force of the relevant scheme.

(10) The Minister shall not under this section give an approval, dismiss an appeal or review, or make a determination in relation to, a salary save after consultation with the Minister for Local Government.

Tenure of office of coroner.

11. —(1) Every coroner appointed after the commencement of this Act shall, unless he sooner dies, resigns or is removed from office, hold office until he reaches the age of seventy years.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to a coroner appointed after the commencement of this Act where the qualifications for his appointment were prescribed before such commencement.

Place of residence of coroner.

12. —(1) A coroner shall have his ordinary residence in his district.

(2) Where a coroner has the permission of the Minister (which permission may at any time be withdrawn by the Minister) to have his ordinary residence at a particular place outside his district, he shall be deemed to be fulfilling the requirement of subsection (1) of this section so long as he has his ordinary residence at that place.

Deputy coroners.

13. —(1) Every coroner shall appoint a person approved of for the purpose by the local authority by which the coroner was appointed to be his deputy and the deputy shall be known, and is in this Act referred to, as a deputy coroner.

(2) A coroner may at any time revoke an appointment made by him under this section, but the revocation shall not have effect unless and until he makes a new appointment of a deputy coroner.

(3) A deputy coroner may act for the coroner by whom he was appointed during the illness or absence of the coroner and may also act for the coroner at any inquest which the coroner is disqualified under this Act for holding unless he is himself disqualified under this Act for holding the inquest.

(4) Whenever the office of coroner for a coroner's district is vacant, the following provisions shall have effect:

(a) the person (if any) who was the deputy coroner for that district immediately before the occurrence of the vacancy shall, unless he sooner dies, resigns or is removed from office, continue in office as deputy coroner for that district until the termination of the vacancy;

(b) during the continuance of the vacancy, the deputy coroner for that district shall have all the powers and duties of the coroner for that district and shall be paid by the local authority in whose area the district is situate the same salary as would have been payable by such local authority to the coroner for that district if he had continued in office.

(5) (a) Where a coroner is absent from his duties with the permission of the Minister, the Minister may authorise the deputy coroner for the district of that coroner to perform all the duties of that coroner's office and, while the authorisation is in force, the deputy coroner shall, for the purposes of this Act except section 9 , be deemed to be the coroner for that district.

(b) The Minister may revoke an authorisation given under this subsection.

(6) A deputy coroner shall, while acting as coroner in the place of the coroner by whom he was appointed, have all the duties and powers of a coroner.

(7) A deputy coroner shall have his ordinary residence in the coroner's district for which he is deputy coroner.

(8) Where a deputy coroner has the permission of the Minister (which permission may at any time be withdrawn by the Minister) to have his ordinary residence at a particular place outside that coroner's district, he shall be deemed to be fulfilling the requirement of subsection (7) of this section so long as he has his ordinary residence at that place.

Restriction on appointment as coroner or deputy coroner.

14. —(1) No person shall be appointed to be a coroner or a deputy coroner unless he is a practising barrister of at least five years' standing, a practising solicitor of at least five years' standing or a registered medical practitioner who has been registered, other than provisionally or temporarily, under the Medical Practitioners Acts, 1927 to 1961, in the Register of Medical Practitioners for Ireland, or who has been entitled to be so registered, for at least five years.

(2) In reckoning the number of years' standing of a barrister who during a previous period was a solicitor, or of a solicitor who during a previous period was a barrister, such period shall be taken into account.

Removal from office of coroner and deputy coroner.

15. —(1) Whenever the Minister is of opinion that any coroner or deputy coroner has been guilty of misconduct or neglect of duty or is unfit for office or incapable of the due discharge of his duties by reason of physical or mental infirmity, the Minister may send by registered post to such coroner or deputy coroner at his ordinary residence a notice in writing stating the said opinion and, if the Minister, after the expiration of seven days from the sending of the notice and after consideration of the representations (if any) made to him by such coroner or deputy coroner, remains of the said opinion, he may by order remove such coroner or deputy coroner from office.

(2) Every order removing a coroner or deputy coroner from office shall specify the reason for the removal.

First coroners under this Act.

16. —(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act—

(a) every person who, immediately before the commencement of this Act, was a coroner under the law then relating to coroners shall (save as otherwise provided by this section) be deemed immediately upon such commencement to have been appointed under and in accordance with this Act to be the first coroner for the coroner's district corresponding to the district for which he was coroner immediately before such commencement; and

(b) the salary of every such first coroner shall not be less than that which he was paid as coroner immediately before the commencement of this Act.

(2) The respective offices of coroner for the several boroughs of Kilkenny, Clonmel, Drogheda and Sligo shall, upon the commencement of this Act, cease to exist, and every coroner's district which, by virtue of section 6 of this Act, contains one of those boroughs shall be deemed for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section to correspond to the district, as existing immediately before such commencement, to which the borough was added to form that coroner's district.

(3) Every person who is deemed under this section to have been appointed to be a coroner shall furnish to the Minister the name and address of the person (if any) who immediately before the commencement of this Act was, under the law then relating to coroners, deputy coroner for the district of that coroner and thereupon, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the last mentioned person shall be deemed to have been appointed under and in accordance with this Act to be the deputy coroner for the district of that coroner.