HC Deb 19 June 1912 vol 39 cc1805-6W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether a portion of the lands of Vassagh, near Belleek, county Fermanagh, containing about nine acres, was many years ago divided between two of his tenants by the then Marquess of Ely and allowed ever since to be held by them without any regular tenancy, both being small tenants requiring additional land; whether one of these tenants, George Somerville, a Protestant, has been called on to give up his half by the local trustees of the Ely estate, presided over by the parish priest, while the other occupant, being a Roman Catholic, is to be allowed to keep his half; have the Estates Commissioners any power in the matter; and, if so, will he direct their attention to the case, by no means unusual in the Belleek district?


The Estates Commissioners inform me that the lands in question, which apparently had been let on the eleven months' system by the owner prior to the sale of the estate under the Irish Land Act, 1903, were not sold under the Land Purchase Acts as the owner agreed to hand them over without charge to trustees, with other untenanted land, for the benefit of the purchasing tenants. The Estates Commissioners have no knowledge of the religion of the persons who, prior to the sale, held the lands under the eleven months system, nor have they any power to interfere in the matter.


asked whether purchase agreements for the purchase of the M'Carthy-O'Leary estate, Millstreet, county Cork, have been lodged with the Irish Land Commission for several years past; and when the sale is likely to be completed?


This estate is the subject of proceedings for sale direct by the owner to the tenants, purchase agreements having been lodged in July, 1907. It is on the principal register of direct sales (all cash), and having regard to its position thereon and the claims of other estates in priority to it, the Estates Commissioners are not at present in a position to say when it will be reached in its turn.


asked if the Congested Districts Board have purchased the O'Callaghan-Westropp estate, county Clare?


The Congested Districts Board have made a final offer for the purchase of this estate, which has been accepted, and proceedings are now being taken for the purpose of vesting the estate.