§ Mr. J. P. FARRELL
asked the Chief Secretary if he will state the grounds on which a man named Walker, and his wife, of Coolarty, county Longford, both of whom are nearly eighty years of age, have again been refused an old age pension; whether it has been decided by his department to refuse the evidence of admittedly older persons in such cases; and, if not, will he direct the Local Government Board to send one of their inspectors to interview these poor people and take evidence on the spot as to their age?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
If the name of the man referred to is Thomas Walker the Local Government Board upheld the decision of the pension sub-committee in each case not to allow the pension on the ground that the claimant had not attained the statutory age. The claimants only assert that they are seventy-two years old, not eighty, as stated. The reasons for the Board's last decision in the case of Thomas Walker are the same as those given in my reply to the hon. Member's question on 20th February last. In the case of Bridget Walker her name did not appear in the Census Return of her parents' family in either 1841 or 1851, and not other satisfactory evidence was produced. The statements of belief referred to in the question did not, in the circumstances, satisfy the Board that the claimant was seventy years of age. The Board, having decided the appeals of the claimants, have no further power in the matter.
§ Mr. FRANCIS MEEHAN
asked on what grounds Mary Flanagan, of Buckhill, Dromahair, county Leitrim, was refused an old age pension, having regard to the 1138W fact that she produced a certificate of her marriage, which took place fifty-nine years ago, and also certificates and affidavits proving her to be over seventy-two years of age?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Local Government Board disallowed Mary Flanagan's claim in January last on the ground that she had not attained the statutory age. Her marriage took place on 11th February, 1861, less than fifty years prior to the date of the sub-committee's decision to allow her a pension, not fifty-nine years ago as stated.