HC Deb 25 February 1886 vol 302 cc1199-200

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether his attention has been called to the large arrears of appeal cases, in reference to fixing fair rents, now depending in the Land Commission Courts in Ireland, and undisposed of, amounting to some 10,000 in number; and, further, to the great length of time which has elapsed since proceedings have been initiated by some of the poor tenantry concerned, and the harassing character of the dilatory proceedings; for instance, in the county Carlow appeal cases:—Denis Pack Beresford, landlord, Thomas O'Neill, tenant (Mr. M. M. Murphy, solicitor for the tenant). Record No. 631. That notice to have a fair rent fixed was served on the 21st April 1883; the case was heard by Sub-Commission, 19th March 1884, and rent reduced from £78 to £63; that notice of appeal was served by landlord immediately after; that appeal was listed for hearing, 15th July 1885, tenant and six witnesses brought to Dublin from Slyguff, county Carlow, seventy miles, kept in Dublin for two days, and appeal not heard; that appeal was again listed on 29th July 1885, and tenant and his witnesses had again to go to Dublin, but the case was not heard; that, pursuant to General Order, Session 1885–6, there will be no sitting for hearings for the county of Carlow until the 2nd August 1886. And, again, in the case of Arthur M'Murrogh Kavanagh, landlord, Denis Doherty, tenant (same solicitor). Record No. 660. That originating notice was served, 18th May 1883; case heard on 5th June 1884 by Sub-Commission at Bagenalstown, and rent fixed at £34, old rent £48; that notice of appeal by landlord was served on the 20th June 1884, and the case has never been listed for hearing by the Appeal Court; and, whether Her Majesty's Government is prepared to make immediate provision for this state of things?


I have not been able to go fully into the subject of the arrears of appeal cases before the Land Commission. I should observe, however, that the number of cases at present undisposed of is about 8,000. As regards the particular cases referred to, it appears that in both instances the appeal is by the landlord. It is fair, therefore, to assume that the tenants are not dissatisfied with the judicial rents, which, I believe, are considered to be the rents they are liable for pending the hearing of the appeals. The delay and expense due to a case not being reached, or having to be postponed for one cause or another, are, I fear, inevitable when the sittings at different places have to be fixed some time in advance. I am assured that the Land Commissioners use every effort to dispose of all the cases on their lists.