Thursday, 26 July 1973
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Hussey: asked the Minister for Lands why a person (name supplied) in Athenry, County Galway, was not considered entitled to an addition of land in the Murphy estate, Tiaquin, Colmanstown, Ballinasloe, County Galway.
I am informed that an application by the person mentioned for portion of the Murphy estate at Tiaquin was fully considered in competition with other applications received but, having regard to the limited area available for disposal—58 acres—it was not found possible to provide him with an allotment.
Mr. Hussey: Would the Minister give an assurance that this applicant, whom I would consider to be a very worthy applicant, will be given favourable consideration for any land that becomes available in that area?
Mr. Cooney: The selection of allottees is a matter exclusively for the commissioners and I would not be in a position to give the undertaking the Deputy requests. I have no doubt that if, as he says, the person is a deserving applicant he will be considered in due course when further land becomes available.
Mr. Donnellan: Is the Minister aware that the individual referred to by Deputy Hussey is a small farmer with a small valuation and a large family who lives within a mile of the land that was divided? Would the Minister not think he was as much  entitled to a share of this land as some of those who were successful?
Mr. Cooney: I have no information as to the situation of those who were successful. I am aware that this unsuccessful applicant is a small farmer but whether the Deputies are aware of it or not this man is not depending exclusively on agriculture for his livelihood. This perhaps, affected his position when he was being considered in competition with others. It is a matter exclusively for the commissioners.
Mr. Hussey: It is not true to say he is employed regularly as a builder's labourer. He takes on part-time employment. Some of the successful applicants for land on this estate were not employed full-time in agriculture either. One in particular is a school bus driver whose wife is a teacher and he got an addition of land.
Mr. Cooney: I have no information as to the situation of those who were successful. It is a matter in law exclusively for the commissioners and the commissioners and their staff had to consider the various applicants in competition with each other. I have no doubt they take all factors into consideration, including family circumstances, and a very relevant fact would be the state of the holding of the person seeking land, the standard of husbandry displayed on it.
Mr. Cooney: I agree entirely that if a man's holding is not of sufficient size to maintain him he has to have other employment and I am not suggesting that the fact that this man is  a builder's labourer is the factor that caused his application to be rejected. I am not saying that at all.
Mr. Cooney: The Fahy holding is the subject of acquisition proceedings and negotiations on price are at present in progress. Proceedings have also been instituted for the acquisition of the Forde property and in default of agreement price has been fixed and published. The period allowed for lodging an appeal against price has not yet expired.
Mr. Cooney: I understand the aim is to include these lands in the current year's allocation programme. An area of one acre, approximately, on the Scanlon holding has already been allotted to the Elphin Diocesan Trustees.
Mr. Callanan: Is the Minister aware that this has gone before the High Court before and the price has been fixed and there was to be a payment of £26,000 at 9½ per cent land bonds? Is he also aware that possession was to be given up on 2nd May and it was to be given up on 15th May and there is still no sign of it being given up?
Mr. Cooney: I am aware that there was an arrangement about possession at the beginning of May but title has not been cleared and the owner is not anxious to give possession until such time as title has been cleared. When title is cleared possession will then have to be given.
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