HC Deb 15 July 1889 vol 338 cc386-8
MR. MAC NEILL () Donegal, S.

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether 82 applications on behalf of tenants on the Olphert estate to have fair rents fixed, although received by the Land Commission before the 1st November, 1887, were not heard till June last at the sitting of the Sub-Commissioners at Dunfanaghy and Falcarragh; whether in 20 instances tenants who had lodged their notices had, in the interval of more than a year and a half which had elapsed between their application to the Court and the hearing of their cases, been actually evicted from their holdings by Mr. Olphert, and had lost their status as tenants; whether in a still greater number of cases tenants had in this interval, by service of registered letters, been converted into caretakers, thus losing their status as tenants; whether the evicted tenants and the tenants who had been converted into caretakers were held by the Court to have no locus standi, their cases being dismissed with costs; whether the other tenants declined under the circumstances to have their cases heard, electing to stand by their fellow tenants, whom they considered unjustly deprived of their rights; and, on whom rests the responsibility for this delay?


The Land Commissioners report that 92 applications on behalf of tenants on the Olphert estate to have fair rents fixed were listed for hearing before a Sub-Commission in the months of May and June, 1889. These applications had been in most, if not all, cases lodged on or before November 1, 1887. With respect to paragraphs 2 and 3, the Commissioners have no information; but it is to be borne in mind that none of the tenants could have lost their status except through their own default, their interests having been amply safeguarded by statute. The Commissioners are unable to state the motives which influenced the other tenants to withdraw their cases. There was no unnecessary delay in listing the cases on this estate, which had to wait their turn according to priority of date. The Commissioners are ready in all instances to list a case for hearing out of turn on special grounds, of which pending eviction is one, in which an application supported by sufficient evidence is made to them to do so. But no such special application was made from this estate.

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

Are there no means of getting information in reference to the second paragraph of the question?


I cannot get the information through the Land Commissioners, but if my hon. Friend will suggest any other means of obtaining it I shall be happy to make inquiry.


I beg to give notice that I will ask a question on the subject on Thursday.