Thursday, 28 February 1952
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Blowick: asked the Minister for Lands if he will state (a) the number of acquired estates possession of which was taken by the Land Commission between 1st December, 1949, and a date six months after the passing of the Land Act, 1950; (b) in how many cases application was made to have the price redetermined, and (c) if he will introduce proposals for an amending Bill with retrospective effect to enable those who failed to take advantage of the Land Act, 1950, to have the price of their estates redetermined.
Mr. Blowick: It is common knowledge that a small number of people whose lands were taken possession of just when the 1950 Act was going through the House did not take advantage of Section 5 of the Act, which was expressly designed for their benefit. Would the Minister now reconsider the position and introduce an amending Bill to include these 23 people affected? Might I draw his attention to the fact that in most of the Land Acts passed in recent years it was necessary to introduce clauses covering in some cases only one person in order to give that person the benefit of the Land Acts which had been passed prior to that date.
Mr. Blowick: May I say I do not think that is sufficient reason for the Minister to evade such a small matter as this? It is common knowledge that the previous method of determining price was neither fair nor just. Surely these 23 persons are entitled to justice by the introduction of a single-section Bill to put their case right. It is not sufficient to say they should have known and taken advantage of the Act.
Mr. Madden: May I be permitted to ask one question? Is there any redress for farmers or landowners whose lands have been compulsorily and arbitrarily acquired and who were unaware of the provisions in the Land Act of 1950? In one particular case, with which Deputies on the Government Benches are in complete and absolute sympathy, Deputies from all Parties went before the Minister in 1949. The landowner died rather tragically and two months after ——
Mr. Madden: In that particular case is not amending legislation a matter of both urgency and justice? This happened in the County Tipperary. The holding is not in my constituency. I see Deputies here who are in full and complete agreement with all that I am saying.
Mr. Blowick: This is a very serious matter. Would the Minister reconsider his decision? It is not such a staggering proposal. Is there a Land Act in course of preparation at the present time? If there is, would the Minister include one section to give these people a fresh chance?
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