§ Mr. JOHN O'DONNELL
asked whether a man named H. V. Smith, of Cootehill, county Cavan, purchased a grazing ranch of 1,000 acres at Colemanstown, near Athenry, some years ago under the Ashbourne Act; that in the immediate vicinity of this ranch there are a number of slum holdings and many persons in a most congested condition; that there is no other land available in that part of the district for the enlargement of these holdings; whether a memorial has been forwarded to the Congested Districts Board asking them to purchase this ranch; and, if so, whether the Board will, in the interests of peace in that part of Galway, open negotiations with Mr. Smith with a view to purchase and redistribution?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Congested Districts Board have received the memorial referred to. They have no power to acquire compulsorily any lands in the occupation of a tenant-purchaser. If the owner is willing to soil, the Board would be prepared to negotiate with him for the purchase of the lands.