§ Mr. CLANCY
asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been called to the circumstances under which the lands of Peamount, near Lucan, county Dublin, have been, or are said to have been, acquired for the purposes of a sanatorium; whether these lands were some time since required for the purposes of the Evicted Tenants Act by the Estates Commissioners and handed over to a person from the county of Clare as compensation to him for lands alleged to have been surrendered by him in the county of Clare for the benefit of evicted tenants in that county; whether that person has now re-sold the lands for the purposes of a sanatorium; whether that re-sale will be sanctioned by the Estates Commissioners, although land is required for the purposes of the Evicted Tenants Act in the county, and although the lack of land for those purposes has been frequently assigned by the Commissioners as the reason for not having yet restored certain evicted persons in Dublin 999W county to suitable holdings; whether the Commissioners are in the habit of inquiring from applicants for holdings whether they intend to remain on the holdings given to them, and whether they made such inquiry in the case of the person mentioned and received a satisfactory answer; and whether, if the re-sale of the lands has not yet been sanctioned, the Estates Commissioners will consider the advisability of taking over the lands in question and redistributing them amongst persons for whom they have obtained power to acquire lands?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The lands of Peamount have been transferred to trustees for the Woman's National Health Association by the registered owner to whom they were allotted by the Estates Commissioners on his surrendering other lands held by him in county Clare, which were urgently required for the relief of congestion, and to provide holdings for evicted tenants in that county. The Evicted Tenants Act provides that lands allotted to evicted tenants under that Act shall not be transferred without the consent of the Commissioners. The lands of Peamount were not, however, acquired under the Evicted Tenants Act as suggested in the question; they were purchased in the Land Judge's Court by the Estates Commissioners under the Irish Land Act, 1903, and when vested in the purchaser he was registered as owner thereof in fee simple under the Local Registration of Title (Ireland) Act, 1891, and he had full power to transfer the lands without the consent of the Commissioners. The Estates Commissioners have no power to re-acquire the lands for the purposes of distribution even if they wished to do so, which they do not. As regards county Dublin, evicted tenants whose names have been noted for consideration in connection with the distribution of land by the Commissioners, there are now only two persons so noted for consideration, while as regards those already provided with allotments by the Commissioners they have in a number of cases proved most unsatisfactory in working the lands allotted to them. On the lands surrounding Peamount the Commissioners some years ago allotted farms to seven evicted tenants, and equipped them with buildings, and in five cases gave them free grants to stock the lands. Only one of these reinstated evicted tenants is now working the lands to the satisfaction of the Commissioners, and three are not living on the lands at all. With the exception of one evicted tenant,1000W the only purchasers who, in the opinion of the Commissioners, are satisfactorily working their holdings on this estate are persons brought in from other counties, and who surrendered evicted holdings on plan of campaign estates to enable the original tenants to be reinstated.