HC Deb 01 May 1913 vol 52 cc1388-90W

asked the Chief Secretary why the accidental loss of her pension book since 7th March deprives Mrs. Landers, of Staigbroad, Modeligo, county Waterford, of her pension for the weeks of 14th and 21st March; whether he is aware that the new pension book issued to her only entitled her to get pension for the week of 28th March; and whether he will suggest payment of the two weeks' arrears?


I am making inquiries in this matter, and will communicate with the hon. Member in due course.


asked the Chief Secretary whether his attention has been called to the case of James Hegarty, of Gulladuff, Knockloghrim, county Derry, whose application for an old age pension, although it was on three several occasions passed by the local pension sub-committee, was refused on the appeal of the pension officer to the Local Government Board; whether the Census Return, on which the pension officer relies for proof that the applicant is only sixty-nine years of age, has been proved to be inaccurate to the extent of two years in the case of the applicant's elder brother; whether the applicant, in addition to three several tames satisfying the pension sub-committee, produced witnesses who were prepared to swear affidavits to the effect that he was the required age; whether the applicant has a wife and a delicate daughter to support out of his scanty earnings as a stone-breaker; and, in view of all the circumstances of the case, whether he will direct the Local Government Board to withdraw opposition and to grant this pension without further delay?


James Hegarty has made several claims for an old age pension (the first being made in 1908) which were disallowed by the Local Government Board on appeal on the grounds of age, as in the 1851 Census Return he was recorded as being only seven years of age. Even assuming, as alleged in the question, that the record of his brother's age in that Return is inaccurate that fact could not be accepted as proof that a similar mistake was made in the claimant's case. Apart from the Census Return the claimant was unable to produce any other evidence of age and the testimony of the witnesses alluded to, which were merely statements of belief on their part, could not be accepted as sufficient evidence to prove that he was of the statutory age. The Board have no information as to the circumstances of the claimant's family. On the present evidence, Hegarty would appear to be entitled to an old age pension early next year provided that no other cause of disqualification is found to exist, but in the meantime the Board have no authority to reopen the case or to award a pension.


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland the grounds upon which the Local Government Board have disallowed the application for an old age pension of Bridget Kelly, of St. John's Hospital, Sligo, who, according to the Census Returns of 1851, is now seventy-eight years of age; and whether the Board are prepared to reconsider the case if a fresh application is made?


Bridget Kelly's claim for pension was disallowed on the ground that she was in receipt of Poor Law relief, seeing that she is an inmate of a workhouse in receipt of ordinary indoor relief. In the event of any alteration in her circum- stances, it is open to her to make a fresh claim, and if the case comes before the Local Government Board on appeal her claim will be duly investigated.