§ 2. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, having regard to the purpose for which the Congested Districts Board was founded, for what reason it retained the Roach estate in its hands for twelve years instead of distributing it for relief of congestion; why last year, in view of scarcity of food, the Board vested a tract of this land in a committee at Claremorris for a racecourse; why the Board has never even acknowledged the receipt of a memorial forwarded on 6th December last signed by nine congested tenants on the estate; and, in view of the condition of those people and the food prospect generally, whether this project of a racecourse on this land will be abandoned and the land distributed permanently among those people for the production of food?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Duke)
The Congested Districts Board purchased the Roche Estate in August, 1904, and it was re-sold to the tenants in 1908 except a few holdings and a tract of grass land near the town of Claremorris, which was held over for the purpose of providing grazing for milch cows belonging to residents in the town. The Board decided to sell these lands under Section 4 of the Irish Land Act, 1903, to trustees for the purpose of pasturage, but the trustees have only been appointed within the last few months. It is not intended to let the land for conacre. 544 The memorial referred to was duly received. I regret that through an oversight it was not acknowledged.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he agrees that this land ought to be let out in tennis grounds instead of being broken up for tillage?