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Several archaic Irish laws to be struck from the books in 2014

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Several archaic Irish laws will be struck from the books next year, including one centuries-old law preventing Catholics from carrying guns.

The review of outdated and obsolete legislation, the latest work on repealing defunct laws by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, has uncovered a long line of bizarre regulations initially put into place to keep order.

So far, 11 laws, orders and regulations have been identified for the scrapheap in 2014, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

A 1739 order of the Lord Lieutenant, William Cavendish, the Third Duke of Devonshire, that was made to preserve "the public peace and tranquillity of this Kingdom" demanded that arms, armour and ammunition be seized by force from "any Papist (or) reputed Papist."

Another regulation from King George III demanded that everyone across Britain and Ireland pay respects to the coming Union [of Britain & Ireland] of 1801.

"Subjects" were ordered to observe "a general fast and humiliation" to avoid "(God's) wrath and indignation" for their sins.

Another law offers a £200 reward to catch the owners of the Galway-based ship the Charming Sally who were accused of bringing convicts bound for America to Europe and selling them into foreign armies.

Other laws offering rewards include a 300-year-old proclamation offering a £500 reward to find the author of a book of "treasonable libels" against Queen Anne called "Honest Resolves" which was left in a coffee house in Dublin and a £20 reward offered to find "some idle and disorderly persons" who sneaked into the Phoenix Park after dark and killed one of the "King's deer."

A centuries-old law against begging stated that the penalty for unlicensed begging in Dublin was to be "tied to the end of a cart and whipped till his body be bloody." Other laws included a crackdown on swearing, gambling and the sale of commodities on the Sabbath, as well as a 1764 proclamation in the manhunt for a Kilkenny-based gang known as the "White Boys," the Belfast Telegraph states.

The review of archaic legislation follows the publication of laws being removed from pre-independence primary legislation in 2012.

"To date, the programme and its predecessor projects have produced the Statute Law Revision Acts 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012. These Acts are the culmination of the most extensive statute law revision programme ever undertaken anywhere in the world and the most extensive set of repealing measures in the history of the state," said a spokesman for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

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