Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Galway Estates.

Thursday, 26 July 1973

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 267 No. 12

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3.

Mr. Hussey: Information on Thomas Hussey  Zoom on Thomas 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.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark Cooney  The selection of allottees is a matter that is exclusively reserved to the commissioners.

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: Information on Thomas Hussey  Zoom on Thomas 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: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark 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. Hussey: Information on Thomas Hussey  Zoom on Thomas Hussey  He is a very worthy applicant and that is the opinion of most of his neighbours.

Mr. Donnellan: Information on John F. Donnellan  Zoom on John F. 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 [2082] entitled to a share of this land as some of those who were successful?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark 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. Donnellan: Information on John F. Donnellan  Zoom on John F. Donnellan  What else does he do?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark Cooney  He is a builder's labourer.

Mr. Donnellan: Information on John F. Donnellan  Zoom on John F. Donnellan  Part-time or full-time?

Mr. Hussey: Information on Thomas Hussey  Zoom on Thomas 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: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark 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. Donnellan: Information on John F. Donnellan  Zoom on John F. Donnellan  Would the Minister not agree that where an applicant has other employment, it should not bar him if he cannot live on the amount of land he has?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark 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 [2083] a builder's labourer is the factor that caused his application to be rejected. I am not saying that at all.

4.

Mr. Hussey: Information on Thomas Hussey  Zoom on Thomas Hussey  asked the Minister for Lands if any efforts have been made by the Land Commission to acquire the Fahy and Forde estates, Knockbawn and Knockbrack, Athenry, County Galway.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark 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.

5.

Mr. Hussey: Information on Thomas Hussey  Zoom on Thomas Hussey  asked the Minister for Lands when it is proposed to allot the Flanagan and Scanlon estates at Ballyglass, Ballymoe, County Galway.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark 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.

6.

Mr. Callanan: Information on John Callanan  Zoom on John Callanan  asked the Minister for Lands when the Land Commission intend to take possession of the Glynn estate, Abbeyview, Kilconnell, County Galway.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark Cooney  Proceedings for the compulsory acquisition of the property referred to are at the final stages and efforts are at present being made to obtain possession.

Mr. Callanan: Information on John Callanan  Zoom on John 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?

[2084]Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark 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.

Mr. Callanan: Information on John Callanan  Zoom on John Callanan  Is the Minister not aware that if the owner is not anxious for title it will be very slow if the Land Commission do not get a High Court Order?

Mr. Cooney: Information on Patrick Mark Cooney  Zoom on Patrick Mark Cooney  The Land Commission are aware of this tactic. In this case I understand they are considering making an order under section 19 of the Land Act, 1927, which would overcome that diffiiculty.

Mr. Donnellan: Information on John F. Donnellan  Zoom on John F. Donnellan  The Land Commission are a slow body anyway.


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