HC Deb 29 February 1884 vol 285 cc213-4

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the following paragraph, which appears in The Freeman's Journal of the 25th inst.:— Widespread dissatisfaction prevails amongst the tenants in this part of the county as well as in Scariff, Feakle, and other places at the deadlock which has taken place in the hearing of their cases. At the court which was held here this week there were 125 cases listed, of which five cases were struck out for various causes, five more were settled, about twenty were heard on evidence, and all the rest were adjourned to Ennis, where only fiteen cases were gone into. The remainder were postponed to some future sitting; but when that may take place no one can divine, for the Commissioners that should continue to hear the Clare cases now in court, but still unheard, numbering upwards of 1,000, have been ordered to Limerick county to hear the cases still pending there. Several of the cases adjourned from Killaloe this week (where the chairman, Mr. Reeves, Q.C., sat only for a few hours) have been lodged for more than eighteen months. If a separate set of Commissioners were told off to-morrow for Clare county, they would not be able to dispose of the unheard cases for two years to come. Meanwhile the tenants will have to pay the old rack rents in full; and, whether he will take steps to remedy the grievance?


Sir, there is a good deal of inaccuracy in the paragraph quoted. The Killaloe list contained 108 cases, not 125 as stated. Of these, 29 were disposed of at the first day's sitting at Killaloe. More than half the cases on the list were nearer to Ennis than Killaloe. It was accordingly arranged, apparently with the approval of all the parties, and at the express request of the solicitor for some of the tenants, that the second day's sitting should be held at Ennis. Nineteen cases were heard at Ennis. The remaining four days of the sitting were unavoidably taking up in visiting farms, the district being remote and mountainous. The number of cases awaiting trial in the whole county of Clare is not upwards of 1,000, as stated, but 659.