§ Mr. FRANCIS MEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that James M'Gourty, of Gortnaderry, Kilty-clogher, county Leitrim, was granted an old age pension in August last by the subcommittee, and on appeal by the pension officer the Local Government Board disallowed it on the ground of means; and whether, having regard to the fact that M'Gourty has no other means of support than that derived from the profits of one cow which is kept on his son's farm, the Local Government Board will reconsider his claim?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The farm referred to by the hon. Member belonged to the claimant, and was only assigned by him to his son in January last. It is an extensive farm, although portion of it is poor. It carries sixteen head of cattle, and was fairly well tilled, and the value of the privileges and maintenance derived therefrom was, in the opinion of the Local Government Board, well over the statutory limit for a pension.
§ Mr. LUNDON
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if Denis Leahy, of Gal-bally, county Limerick, had his claim for a pension passed on three different occa- 266W sions by the local pensions committee and rejected by the Local Government Board; that evidence that he was beyond seventy years was given by various people, amongst whom were the parish priest, the local Protestant clergyman, and the medical officer; has any pension officer the right to ignore the evidence of such people as those mentioned, or are instructions given that no evidence of any kind will be accepted unless a certificate can be produced; and, in view of the feeling which has been expressed in this case owing to the insult offered to those who certified that the applicant was more than seventy, will a special inspector be sent to investigate the matter?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Leahy's pension was disallowed by the Local Government Board on appeal, on the ground that he had not reached the statutory age. He was unable to furnish any documentary proof of age, the evidence alluded to by the hon. Member consisting of mere expressions of opinion on the part of the gentlemen referred to. All representations made by or on behalf of claimants are carefully considered, and no evidence of age is ignored either by the pension officer or the Board. As the case has been decided, the Board have no power to reconsider their decision in the matter.