§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether he is aware that, on 23rd November, 1888, Lord Waterford issued a writ in ejectment forth of the Queen's Bench Division (O. No. 109) against Michael Keily, of Tramore, for two and a half years' rent of a statutory tenancy at £5 10s. a year; that the tenant thereupon, to avoid eviction, agreed to buy the holding under the Ashbourne Act; what is the amount of the instalment Mr. Keily agreed to pay the Government annually, what is the date of the agreement, and the amount of the purchase money; in how many cases has Lord Waterford bought back from the Purchase Commissioners holdings sold by him to tenants, and since evicted by them; will the Government provide that holdings so repurchased by landlords shall not be assigned, redeemed, or resold by the owner under the Purchase Acts during the 49 years; and in how many cases, if any, have the Purchase Commissioners been obliged to proceed, specifying whether by eviction or otherwise, owing to non-payment of instalments, and the names of the landlord who sold in such cases?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN, Dublin University)
The Land Commissioners report that on December 1, 1888, Michael Keily signed and verified an agreement for the purchase of his holding in the townland of Carrigarantry South, containing 16 acres 3 roods 7 poles, held at a judicial rent of £5 10s., the tenement valuation being £7. The price agreed upon was £150, the annuity thereon £6. The Commissioners caused the holding to be inspected in June, 1889, and, being satisfied as to the security, they provisionally sanctioned the advance applied for, and the case was closed in December, 1889. The Marquess of Waterford purchased four holdings which were put up for sale for default in payment of the instalments, 1629 there being no competition at these sales. As stated in the Annual Report of the Commissioners (page 10), "These holdings were sold subject to the future payment of the annuity." The holdings are therefore subject to all the conditions laid down in Section 30 of the Land Law (Ireland) Act, 1881. The Commissioners cannot make a Return of the cases in which, during a period of more than five years, they may have instituted proceedings for the recovery of unpaid instalments. A Return, however, has recently been laid upon the Table of the holdings in which final proceedings were necessary by putting up for sale the holdings in which the instalments were in default. I am informed no pressure whatever was used to induce the tenant to buy; that he was never asked to do so; and that it was at his own desire, put forward by him on the ground that he was the only remaining tenant on the townland who had not purchased, that he was permitted to do so.
§ In reply to a further question by Mr. T. M. HEALY,
§ MR. MADDEN said
Whether the Government regards this state of things as satisfactory or not, the tenant appears to have regarded it as eminently satisfactory, seeing that the sale was effected at his urgent request.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
Of course, it was at his urgent request in order to preserve the holding. Am I to understand that no duress was put upon the man?
§ MR. MADDEN
Certainly not. The holding was examined by the Land Commissioners, who considered the security sufficient.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY:
I beg to give notice that when the Land Purchase Bill is before the House I will move an Amendment to provide that the annual instalments paid under the Act shall not exceed the annual rent now paid.