HC Deb 14 April 1908 vol 187 cc995-6

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that about three years ago the Island farm, consisting of about 400 acres of good land, on the Knox estates, near Ballyhaunis, county Mayo, was purchased by the Congested Districts Board; that this farm has since then been grazed and managed by the Board, and that the greatest desire exists on the part of the tenants in the neighbourhood to have this farm broken up, so that there may be an enlargement of the, holdings on which they try to live suitably to their requirements, and that they have on many occasions asked the Board to carry out their wishes in this respect without result; and whether, in view of this treatment of these tenants, owing to the delay in the breaking up of this farm, he will have steps taken to have the places divided forthwith, so that each tenant might improve his portion in his own way and prevent further pain and disappointment to the tenantry.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The estate in question is for sale in the Land Judge's Court. The Congested Districts Board were negotiating for its purchase, but for reasons already fully stated they have been obliged to postpone making an offer in consequence of the state of their funds. The Board, therefore, are in the position of grazing tenants pending the sale to them of the estate. No steps for the division of the land can be taken until the sale to them has been effected.