HC Deb 30 July 1906 vol 162 cc416-7

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland is he aware that, when the tenants of the Earl of Dunraven purchased their holdings on his Lordship's estates around Adare and Croom, one tenant, named George Spearing, refused to purchase, on the grounds that, since his judicial rent had been fixed, Lord Dunraven had constructed fish hatcheries, raising the water flowing by the farm in the River Maigue so as to flood eleven acres of Spearing's land; also that he was unwilling to give away to the landlord his sporting rights and his claim to sand, gravel, and quarry, so that, with his farm depreciated in value, he could not agree to pay twenty-three years purchase; is he aware that Lord Dunraven offered £28 compensation for the construction of the fishing weir; that Lord Dunraven and his agent, Mr. Peter Fitzgerald, have harassed the tenant by writs from the King's Bench and law costs; and will the Estates Commissioners be instructed to interpose and try to fix a fair purchase price between Lord Dunraven and Mr. Spearing.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) The Estates Commissioners inform me that the estate referred to was purchased by them under the provisions of Section 6 of the Act of 1903. The holding in question was inspected by the Estates Commissioners' inspector who estimated the price of it at £842, representing a reduction of 25 per cent. on the judicial rent. The purchase money of the holding has been paid to the Earl of Dunraven. The Commissioners have no knowledge as to the compensation offered to the tenant for the construction of the fishing weir, nor as to the legal proceedings which may have been taken for the recovery of rent previous to the purchase of the estate by them. The Commissioners intend to consider Spearing's case, together with others on the same estate, with a view to dealing with them pursuant to Section 19 of the Act.