§ MR. D. KILBRIDE (Galway, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether extra 662 police have been drafted into North and East Galway to protect the Sheriff's bailiff in making seizures under decrees granted in connection with the Suck Drainage Award; will he state how many police are so engaged; when they commenced this duty; how long it is intended they should be so employed; and what is the cost per week; and whether the charge is a county or baronial charge, and off what particular area this charge will he levied?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The duty of protecting the Sheriff's bailiffs in the execution of these decrees has been carried out by a few of the local police, and no extra police have been drafted into the county for the purpose. Any additional expense that may have been incurred will, therefore, be borne by the Constabulary Vote, and not locally.
§ MR. JOHN ROCHE (Galway, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has received resolutions passed at several public meetings held in County Galway within the last six months, called to protest against the tax levied under the Suck Drainage Award and asking for relief; whether, for example, he is aware that in the case of Michael Lohan (Matt), in the neighbourhood of Ballygar, the tax charged on his holding is £8 13s. 3d., the judicial rent of this holding fixed in 1888 £6 6s., area 8a. 2r. 0p. Irish plantation measure, the area of holding on which tax is levied 7 acres Irish plantation measure, the tax imposed on the land said to be improved being about £1 5s. per acre annually; also Bridget Kenny, area 17a. 1r. 0p. Irish plantation measure, drainage tax £11 14s. 9d., over 13s. per acre, rent £9, a large portion of this holding being bog land not worth more than 5s. per acre; and whether he will induce the Government to make a grant in aid of this impost?
The HON. MEMBER
further asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—whether he is aware that in the neighbourhood of Ballygar, County Galway, several tenants holding, about an acre or two of lowland are charged under the Suck Drainage Award as much as 30s. per acre Irish plantation measure, and over; whether in these cases the upland, unaffected by the drainage, was included in the area improved; and, whether he can state on what principle the award was made?
§ MR. HANBURY
I understand that the hon. Member's Questions refer to the townlands of Tryhill East and West, and I have already explained, in answer to a Question put by him on the 20th February 1896, that these tenants hold under 99 years leases, and, therefore, are proprietors as well as occupiers for the purposes of the Drainage Acts. As occupiers, they are only liable for the actual benefit to their holdings resulting from the Drainage Works. As proprietors, they have to pay their share, along with other landlords, of the unprofitable outlay including maintenance. In this double capacity, Michael Lohan has to pay £8 17s. 7d., of which the occupier's share is £3 14s. 4d., or 5s. 4d. per statute acre (equal to 8s. 9d. per Irish acre) and the landlord's share is £5 3s. 3d. Similarly, Bridget Kenny has to pay £12 0s. 7d., of which the occupier's share is £5 0s. 8d. or 3s. 7d. per statute acre (equal to 5s. 9d. per Irish acre), and the landlord's £6 19s. 11d. The average rate on the other tenants qua occupiers is 8s. per statute acre (equal to 13s. per Irish acre). The upland which is unaffected by the drainage has not been included in the area improved, and except as collateral security there is no charge on it. The principle of the award is laid down in the River Suck Drainage Act 1889. As I have repeatedly explained in answer to similar questions, the Act provides that the actual improvements in the holdings shall be charged on the occupiers, and the unprofitable outlay and maintenance on the proprietors. The Government has already made a free grant of £50,000, and I can hold out no hope of further assistance from the taxpayer.
§ MR. KILBRIDE
asked whether the increase in the value of the land under the improvement scheme was worth the money that had been expended?
§ MR. HANBURY
Yes, Sir. So far as the occupiers are concerned, the extra charge on them is represented by the rise in the value of the land itself.