HC Deb 13 March 1917 vol 91 cc913-4

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that a number of small landholders on the Ussher estate, county Galway, purchased their holdings some years ago through the Estates Commissioners on the understanding that the same would be enlarged at the first opportunity; if he will say whether the Congested Districts Board have acquired huundreds of acres on the Smyth estate, in the immediate neighbourhood; if so, if he will state whether and, if so, when these lands or a portion of them will be distributed amongst the people who are trying to eke out an existence on a few acres of cut-away bog; and, pending final distribution, will the Congested Districts Board now let to the congests at moderate rents one acre for meadow for each acre they till on their present small holdings?


If the estates referred to are those of William A. Ussher, near Ballinasloe and Mountbellow, County Galway, purchased by the Estates Commissioners under the Irish Land Act, 1903, the tenants have purchased their holdings and the untenanted land has been allotted. I have no information regarding the alleged understanding that the holdings of small landholders would be enlarged at the first opportunity. The Congested Districts Board have purchased the estate of J. J. Smyth, in the Union of Loughrea, on which there is a large quantity of untenanted land, but the question of the final distribution of this land has not been considered, except for a portion agreed to be exchanged with the Estates Commissioners for the enlargement of small holdings on the Clonbrook estate. The visual practice in the distribution of untenanted land will be followed in this case and enlargements will be provided, as far as practicable, for the holdings of the adjacent small landholders before the migration of persons from a distance is provided for. Pending the permanent distribution of the untenanted land, grazing and meadowing is provided for the neighbouring small tenants on the usual conditions.