HC Deb 23 May 1895 vol 34 cc85-6
MR. D. SHEEHY (Galway, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) whether he has received an extract from the Minutes of Proceedings of the Board of Guardians of Galway Union, at its meeting of the 15th instant, from which it appears that the Guardians took all necessary steps to put the Seed Supply Act into operation in Arran Islands; (2) whether he is aware that upwards of 80 persons applied for seed, and were informed that, not being rated, they could not be supplied unless they gave security; (3) whether Dr. Clements, Local Government Inspector, reported to the Board that a number of persons who were in a very poor condition on the Islands were in the position of squatters; (4) whether he is aware that it is only by a free grant of seed or by employment on relief works that these people could be relieved; (5) and whether the Government will take steps, either by an immediate free grant of seed or by the opening of relief works, to save these people from impending starvation?


I have received the communication referred to in the first paragraph and understand that the facts are as stated in the second paragraph. Dr. Clements reported that a number of the fishermen on the islands were cottiers. The Local Government Board inform me that the potato crop on the islands last year was undoubtedly a good one and that the relieving officer reported to the Guardians in October last that the people never had a better crop. Nearly all the tenants on the islands, with perhaps one or two exceptions, are reputed to have planted their potatoes some weeks ago. There is a reduction of 30 per cent. in the numbers receiving outdoor relief as compared with the corresponding period of last year, and only one landholder, who is sick, is now in receipt of relief. The Board advise me that the circumstances of the people would not justify the opening of relief works.