§ MR. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that negotiations have been proceeding since August, 1904, between Colonel Richard Irwin and the Estates Commissioners, for the sale of the county of Roscommon estate of the former to the latter; will he say whether any definite offer has been made by either party; whether he is aware that three of the tenants, namely, James Gibbons, James Owens, and Nicholas Fahey, whose first statutory term rents were fixed out of court so far back as 1883 and 1885, and who have- been, since that time, receiving voluntary abatements of from 20 per cent, to 25 per cent., have lodged originating notices to have there rents revised by the county court; and that, at the instance of the landlord, their applications have boon transferred to the Land Commission; and, whether, in view of the character of the existing rents, he will secure for these applications an early hearing by the Sub-Commission, so that they may be decided before the purchase of the estate.
I am informed by the Land Commission that the estate referred to in the Question is at present being inspected with a view to their making an offer for purchase under Section 6 of the Act of 1903. There are sixty-one tenants, and there will be a considerable quantity of untenanted land for distribution if the estate should be purchased. No definite offer has yet been made. 419 The three tenants named served applications in February last to have fair rents fixed. A Sub-Commission Court heard cases in the district in January last, and no further sitting has yet been arranged. The decision as to when it may be possible to hold a further sitting rests with the Land Commission, who are obliged to have regard to the claims of other districts.