asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that negotiations for the sale of the Boyton estate, Convoy, county Donegal, commenced about six years ago, and that the tenants have been paying 4½ per cent. interest on the purchase money during this long period; will he state the cause of the delay in completing the sale; and will he urge on the Estates Commissioners the desirability of expediting this sale so as to relieve the tenants of the payments of interest which they have at present to meet?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
This estate is on the principal register of direct sales and is in priority for payment during the present financial year. The Estates Commissioners anticipate that the greater number of the holdings will be vested in the tenants next month, and the remainder when the requisitions of the Commissioners have been discharged.
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that, when the Duke of Devonshire sold his Tallow 2097W property to the tenants about six years ago, he declined to accept a Mr. P. F. Walsh as a tenant of two farms which he held as accommodation land; whether the farms remained vacant until quite recently, when they were purchased by the Estates Commissioners, who have given them back to Walsh, together with a grant of £100 to purchase farm implements; whether he is aware that Walsh is president of the local branch of the United Irish League and is an undischarged bankrupt, never having paid any of the damages given against him in the Tallow conspiracy action, when he was cast in £5,000 for a boycotting conspiracy in Ireland; whether he can state if Walsh has ever tilled the farms; and why such a man was selected by the Estates Commissioners in preference to many others of a respectable character?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Estates Commissioners received an application from P. F. Walsh for reinstatement in a holding of 16½ acres formerly occupied by him on the estate of the Duke of Devonshire, County Waterford, and which they understand has been in the owner's possession since Walsh's eviction. In 1905, on the sale of the Duke of Devonshire's Tallow estate to the tenants, the agent agreed with the tenants to sell the holding in question as untenanted land to the Commissioners, and they purchased it under Section 6 of the Irish Land Act, 1903. They have reinstated Walsh in the holding, and have sanctioned a grant to him of £100 for the purchase of stock. The Commissioners cannot say whether Walsh is President of the local branch of the United Irish League, nor are they aware whether he is undischarged bankrupt. Walsh was only put in possession of the land on 30th January last, and the Commissioners presume that he has not yet tilled it.