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Sheriff

Info about Sheriff

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Prior to the 1922 creation of the Irish Free State, Irish law regarding sheriffs mirrored that of England, latterly with each administrative county and county borough having a ceremonial High Sheriff and functional under-sheriffs responsible for enforcing court orders of the county court or quarter sessions. The Courts of Justice Act 1924 replaced these courts with a new Circuit Court. The Court Officers Act 1926 formally abolished High Sheriffs and phased out under-sheriffs by providing that, as each retired, his functions would be transferred to the county registrar, established by the 1926 act as an officer of the Circuit Court. When the Dublin city under-sheriff retired in 1945, the city registrar was too overworked with other responsibilities to take over his duties, so the Court Officers Act 1945 was passed to allow a new office of sheriff to take over some or all of the under-sheriff's functions. The four Dublin and Cork sheriffs were soon appointed, with much of the under-sheriff's responsibilities. Revenue sheriffs were introduced for the rest of the state in the late 1980s as part of a crackdown on tax evasion. In 1993 the Comptroller and Auditor General expressed concern that funds collected and held in trust by sheriffs on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners were at risk of commingling. This was reformed in 1998 by prohibiting sheriffs from retaining the interest earned on such monies and, to compensate, increasing their retainer. Through to the 1990s the sheriff's post was in the gift of the minister for Justice, but in the 2010s it is advertised by the Public Appointments Service.