§ Mr. O'DOWD
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that old age pensions have been withdrawn from Mary M'Garry and Margaret M'Garry, of Cullea, and Pat Devanny, of Kingsfort, all in the parish of Killery, Collooney, county Sligo sub-committee; whether he is aware that the pension officer notified these pensioners to attend the committee meeting in Collooney, on 10th September, 1909, alleging they were not seventy years of age, and that these pensioners attended and produced evidence which satisfied the sub-committee, one of the witnesses being Mr. Hugh M'Guire, J.P.; whether he is aware that these witnesses offered to swear to the accuracy of their statements; whether birth certificates were forwarded to the Local Government Board in support of these statements; and whether, if so, he will order a reinvestigation of these cases?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
As regards Mary M'Garry, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to a question asked by him on 25th February. The pensions in the other two cases were withdrawn as the result of questions as to age raised by the pension officer. According to the Census Returns Margaret M'Garry was only two months old when the Census of 1841 was taken, while Patrick Devanny was only eight-years old in 1851. The Local Government Board cannot say what happened before the sub-committee, but no certificate of the birth of any of the three pensioners was furnished to the Board; nor WAS any proof afforded that they had attained the statutory age, though Mr. Hugh M'Guire, J.P., furnished a statement of his belief that Margaret M'Garry was entitled to a pension.