§ MR. PARNELL
asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether Mr. G. A. H. Moore, of Moore Hall, county Mayo, has, since the rejection by the House of Lords of the Compensation for Disturbance Bill, evicted a number of tenants, and, amongst them, one named Stephen Loftus, of Ashbrook, Strard, Ballyvoy, Mayo, whose family numbers eleven, and the rent of whose holding was £8 15s., while the Poor Law Valuation is only £4 7s. 6d.; whether the holding has been in Loftus's possession and that of his forefathers for one hundred and ten years; whether he has been left by the eviction without any employment or means of living; and, whether he will consider the desirability of advising the insertion of such clauses in the Land Law (Ireland) Bill as will protect this class of tenants?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. LAW)
Stephen Loftus, the man referred to in this Question, was not originally recognized by Mr. Moore as a tenant. The farm was held by his brother, Thomas Loftus. It consisted of 38 acres; the annual rent was £28 2s. 6d.; tenement valuation, £17. Thomas Loftus sub-let a portion of the land to Stephen—about 12 acres, for which he received £8 15s. per annum; tenement valuation, £5 5s. I have received a letter from Mr. Moore's agent on the subject, which shows that Mr. Moore has acted with great considerateness and kindness to his tenants. The following is an extract from that letter:—Last November, instructed by Mr. Moore, I offered the Loftuses, if they paid one year's rent, £28 2s. 6d., that we would take it in full discharge of the £61 16s. 3d. due on the holding, and give them a clear rent receipt for same. This offer was refused, they holding out to get the land at the Government valuation; and in February last we consented to take a year's rent at the valuation. The tenants then turned round and asked us would we 1638 take half Griffith's valuation, and if we did not that they would pay nothing. This offer, I need not say, we declined; and Mr. Moore then sent them word that he had withdrawn his previous offer to them, and instructed me to take proceedings for the recovery of his rent. …. An ejectment decree had been obtained on the 14th April, 1880, and as same was running out of date on the 8th April last, I put the decree into force, but instantly reinstated them as caretakers pending a settlement, at the same time stating that if they paid £14 1s. 3d., a half-year's rent, out of the £75 17s. 6d., which they would owe on the 1st of May, I would take it and give them separate receipts for same, thereby creating a new tenancy. They paid this amount, and I even then remitted arrears to the amount of £19 12s. 6d. The holding had been a very long time in their possession, and I am sure Mr. Moore wished it to remain as long more should they continue to pay their rents.Stephen Loftus was for four days a caretaker instead of a tenant on his holding, and now he is in undisturbed possession of his separate farm and recognized as a tenant. I must say I cannot see any hardship in this case.