HC Deb 24 November 1884 vol 294 cc274-5

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the attention of the Irish Government has been given to the character and circumstances of the eviction of a number of families, on the 6th and 7th instants, at Killasaer, county Mayo, from the properties of Mr. Roger M'Carrick, of Kilglass, Mr. John M'Carrick, of Cloonboney, and Mr. William Lyons of Ballina; whether, in most of the cases, the tenants owed but one year's rent, to which an amount, for law costs, about equal to a year's rent, was added in consequence of the expensive mode of legal procedure adopted by the landlords; whether the widow Nieland, with her six children, was evicted because she could not pay the legal costs on the spot, though an offer of the year's rent due by her was made; whether, in the case of Martin Joy, in which the tenant had gone to a neighbouring town to arrange for immediate satisfaction of the decree, the sheriff refused to wait for half-a-day; whether, in the case of Thomas Brennan, the tenant went to England to labour, and sent from England to the agent, Mr. Scott, £3 out of a total of £6 15s. due for one year's rent only, but the agent took out a decree for the full amount (not acknowledging the remittance), and added over £3 for costs; and, whether the Government will consider the need of legislation to oblige landlords, in cases of small tenants, to use the cheapest system of legal procedure, and, in cases where the full amount of rent due is tendered, to give time in respect of the legal costs?


I am informed that several families were evicted for non-payment of a year's rent, as stated in the first part of the Question. I have not been able to ascertain the relative amounts of debts and costs in the several cases; but, as the decrees were obtained in the County Courts, the incidental costs must have been small. I am informed that, though there was some proposal for a subscription being made to pay the widow Nieland's rent, no money was offered. In the case of Martin Joy, the Sheriff's assistant himself lent the money to pay the amount of the decree, and no eviction took place in that instance. In the case of Brennan I am informed that credit was given in the decree for the £3 paid, though the receipt of it was not at the time acknowledged. All the tenants evicted were readmitted as caretakers. I am informed that the costs have been reduced by law to the minimum scale which would cover expenses. I believe it to be quite true that in some cases the necessary costs form a considerable proportion of the decree; but if the acceptance of the rent apart from the costs were made obligatory, it would, I fear, be practically impossible to recover the costs.