HC Deb 01 March 1906 vol 152 cc1267-8
MR. JOHN ROCHE (Galway, E.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the tenants on the O'Hara Trench property in county Galway met the landlord and agent in May of last year at the rent office to discuss terms of sale and purchase; that both parties agreed to a sale of tenants' holdings at twenty-three years purchase of second-term rents or their equivalent; that the sale fell through owing to the fact that Mr. Trench insisted on retaining the game rights and refused to negotiate further on the matter of sale, and withdrew his offer; and that Mr. Trench has, since the negotiations were broken off, sold seven of the tenanted and occupied holdings to Lord Ashtown without communicating with these seven tenants or giving them a chance of availing of the Purchase Act, 1903; can he say what price Lord Ashtown paid for these holdings; whether it was above or below the tenants' offer, twenty-three years purchase of second-term rents, plus the bonus; and, if so, how much; whether Lord Ashtown has yet paid the purchase-money; and, in the event of a sale of either the O'Hara-Trench or Ashtown properties in the future, the Estates Commissioners will make full inquiry into all the facts of the case.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) The Estates Commissioners inform me that they have received a petition from the tenants on the estate referred to. The petition practically sets out the statements made in the Question, and requests that the Commissioners will intervene on the tenants' behalf. The estate has not come before the Commissioners, but they will consider whether now or hereafter they can usefully take any action in the matter.