§ Mr. FLAVIN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that Thomas Dowling and his wife, Julia Dowling, of Ardrahan, Ardfert, North Kerry, were in receipt of an old age pension from the Ballyheigue committee; that on appeal the Local Government Board disallowed the pension which the local committee granted, on the grounds that Thomas Dowling and his wife gave their land in marriage to one of their children on a deed under which Thomas Dowling and his wife received no pecuniary benefits; and whether, seeing that it has been the universal custom from time immemorial for land to be transferred in Ireland from parents to children on their marriage, the Local Government Board will reconsider their decision?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
As stated in the question, the Local Government Board upheld the appeals of the pension officer against the committee's decisions awarding pensions to Thomas and Julia Dowling. The claimant and his wife put forward their claims on 24th February, 1909, after having on 11th February made over their holding to their son in consideration of a sum of £260 with maintenance and clothing. Even assuming that the transfer was madebonâ fide on the occasion of the son's marriage, the value of the maintenance on the farm, which contains forty-nine statute acres, rented at £23 per annum, would be, in the opinion of the Local Government Board, sufficient to disqualify the claimants for pensions.