HC Deb 27 February 1908 vol 185 cc62-3
MR. MOORE (Armagh, N.)

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney-General for Ireland if he is aware that three men named respectively Hugh Duck, Mike Donnelly, and Michael Coleman, occupiers of labourers' cottages near Rathowen, in the Mullingar Union, under the Labourers Acts, have been served with notices to quit by the Mullingar Rural Council, the offence charged being that they have continued to work for two owners of property who have incurred unpopularity by refusing to sell their land on terms demanded; and if the Local Government Board are prepared to sanction such action of the rural council.


I am informed that notices to quit have been served by the Mullingar Rural District Council upon the three men mentioned in the Question, but I have no information as to the grounds of the action of the council other than a newspaper statement that the council did not feel bound to provide cottages for the servants of landlords or their agents. The tenancies of the labourers' cottages referred to are regulated by agreements which enable the council to terminate them after due notice. The Local Government Board have no power to interfere with the action of the council in the matter.

MR. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)

Is it not the fact that proceedings have been taken against these men because one of them has not been in occupation of the house for a considerable time, another has not cultivated the plot of land allotted to him, and the third is not an agricultural labourer at all?


I have no information.


Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire the reason for this action by a so-called public body? Is it not part of a general conspiracy to boycott these men and turn them out on the roadside? Will he take steps to protect them?


If any evidence is brought before me showing breach of the criminal law I will prosecute.


Is it necessary for the tenant of one of these cottages to cultivate the ground as a condition of occupation?


I really do not know what the conditions imposed by the guardians are.