Johnstown Castle Agricultural College (Amendment) Bill, 1980: Committee Stage (Resumed).

Wednesday, 26 November 1980

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 324 No. 8

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Question again proposed: “That section 2 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): It transpired during the course of the debate on this section on the last occasion that it is proposed to operate the Bill through a map referred to in the definition section and other sections. It also transpired that the map had not been circulated with the Bill, that it was tucked away in the Valuation Office or the Ordnance Survey Office but was not available to Members. I pointed out that the Bill without the map was meaningless. The Minister then produced a map which was available to him but not to any other Member. I thanked the Minister for that gesture but pointed out that the map should be circulated to each Member. The Minister told me that he had no intention of circulating the map to each Member but would give the map to those he considered interested in the Bill. Apparently, he had decided that only Members representing the constituency of Wexford had any interest in the Bill and, consequently, a right to a copy of the map. He picked me out for VIP treatment and sent me a copy of the map. He also sent a copy to his three colleagues in the Wexford constituency.

I should like to record in a serious way my view that this is no way to treat this [1387] House. The Minister of State, or any Minister, in charge of a Bill does not have a right to decide who is or is not interested in a Bill. The Minister must take it that every Member is interested in what is taking place in the House. If Members are not they are guilty of a dereliction of their duty. I am moving that Committee Stage be adjourned until such time as the map is circulated to all Members. I ask the Chair to rule accordingly. Without the map the Bill is meaningless and unintelligible. Members cannot consider it in a sensible, reasonable or rational way without the map.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair does not have power to rule in that manner. We are dealing with section 2 and this is our second day for considering that provision.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Is there any precedent for a reference to a map in a Bill and the map not being given to Members of Parliament? There is a reference to the map in this Bill, but those who have not got the map do not know what is involved.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  It is not a function of the Chair.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I am asking the Minister through the Chair.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  When we dealt with a previous Bill which carried maps, the maps were left in the Library.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): The Chair is the costodian and guardian of procedure in this House. If Members of the House are to be deprived of this map today, how do we know that next week or the week after we will not be taking the Second Stage of a Bill without the Bill having been circulated? How do we know that on another day the Committee Stage of an 80 or 90 section Bill will not be taken without Deputies having the Bill before them? If I point out to the Chair on the Second Stage of a Bill that Members of the House have not got the Bill, the Chair is bound to [1388] take note of that and protect Members of the House. This is no joke. In all seriousness, without the map this Bill is meaningless.

Section 2 provides:

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 9 of the Act of 1959, section 14 (3) of the Agriculture (An Foras Talúntais) Act, 1958, shall apply to—

(a) such part or parts of the Estate as are defined on the deposited map by being coloured green, and

(b) such part or parts of the Estate as may be leased from time to time to the State.

There is the reference to the map. With the best will in the world I could not discuss this Bill without that map. If all Members of the House got the Bill without the map, they might as well have torn it up and thrown it into the waste paper basket.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The question of providing the map is a matter for the Minister, not for the Chair. The Chair has no responsibility in the matter.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  We are not suggesting the Chair has responsibility for it. Perhaps he has some responsibility for it, but surely the Minister of State could enlighten us. As Deputy Fitzpatrick said, without the map the Bill is meaningless. Deputies do not know what is involved. They do not know what parts of the land are involved. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the map. I forget how I got it.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  I gave it to the Deputy.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I suggest the Minister should give a copy of the map to every Member of the House. The section says—

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): I should like a ruling.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair cannot rule on a matter of this kind. The identity of the map is mentioned in section [1389] 1. It is up to the Minister whether copies are to be provided. It is not a matter for the Chair.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): What I object to is that on the last occasion the Minister of State said he would distribute copies of the map to such people as he saw fit.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  That is on the record and in a fit of pique he said: “No, I will not give you any map now.” That is the way he said it.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair has no responsibility for what the Minister says so long as it is relevant to the matter before the House. Deputy Corish is in possession. Perhaps we could dispose of the map issue first.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  I want to put it on record that, when I moved the Second Stage of this Bill, Deputies who were most interested in it were not in the House.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  We are in the House more often than you ever were.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  I want to make that point very clear. In introducing the Second Stage I said:

The specific areas which An Foras are to be allowed to dispose of have been finally determined and marked on the map referred to in section 1 of the Bill and this map has been deposited in the Ordnance Survey Office since 22 September last.

Deputies could have read that.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Was there notification to Deputies that it had been deposited.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  It was in the Bill.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  On what date was the map deposited?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  2 September last.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  When was the Bill circulated?

[1390]Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  I am not sure of the exact date but it was after that.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  There was no intimation to Deputies concerned that there was a map.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  Section 1 which deals with the actual map has been disposed of. We are now talking about copies of the map.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Deputy Corish asked was there any precedent for maps of this sort. The Curragh of Kildare Bill, 1961, was the most relevant one. A memo, together with maps, was issued to all the Whips of the political parties.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Is the Minister saying copies of the map were given to the Whips of all parties?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Yes, and an explanatory memorandum.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): How many?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  More were not asked for. If more had been asked for they would have been supplied. I want to put that on the record.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  Does Deputy Corish wish to raise something on section 2?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I should like to have more information about the parts of Johnstown Castle which have the various colours on the map. In respect of which of these is there to be an outright purchase, and which are to be leased? I presume that the houses in Redmondstown which are somewhat in disrepair will be sold by private treaty or by auction. I think the Minister said they will be sold by auction. I presume the ones marked in red and described as “access required by county council” will be given over completely to the county council. Getting back to the green part of the map and the Redmondstown houses, could the Minister say what [1391] he means by “for posible future disposal”? Why not “for future disposal”? Paragraph (b) refers to such part or parts of the estate as may be leased from time to time to the State. Does that apply to some of the estate now mentioned, or to future plots?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Now mentioned.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I see. Could the Minister say which of these articles are to be disposed of by way of lease?

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): I did not want to interrupt Deputy Corish but, arising out of what the Minister has said about the map, it is true that one or two copies were sent to each Whip. That is no way to treat the House. I want this dealt with in the interest of the proper conduct of the business of this House. I want a ruling on it and I want the Chair to refer this matter to the Committee on Procedure and Privileges.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair will do that. The Chair could give his own feelings on it but it is not up to the Chair.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): I would ask the Chair to formally refer this case to the Committee on Procedure and Privileges so as to ensure that abuses do not creep in here and that members are treated properly.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy has his own way of doing that through representatives on the Committee on Procedure and Privileges and he might raise it with them.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): I am asking the Chair to——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy's comments will be brought to the attention of the Committe.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Will the St. Martin's football pitch be completely sold to the St. Martin's football club and not leased?

[1392]Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  To clarify the position, 13.75 acres will go to Wexford County Council for housing and road widening and that will be sold, 4.75 acres will go to the meteorological office and that will possibly be leased in years to come.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  It will possibly be leased in years to come. Are there no immediate plans?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  They have an option. It is written into the Bill now because they have looked for a site—

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  It is not written into the Bill; it is written into the map.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Yes, because the Department of Transport have looked for a site for future use. That is why it was embodied in the Bill at this stage. The eight acres can be either sold or leased to St. Martin's football club, whichever they wish.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  What do they want? They have made many representations to the Department.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  That is a matter for the Agricultural Institute and St. Martin's football club.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  So the Minister has nothing to do with the method of disposal?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  No.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  On section 2——

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Just one question. In respect of Redmondstown houses, the green part of the map, it says the “possible” future disposal. Why “possible”?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  The tenants will be offered——

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  There are no tenants.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  There are five.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  What about the houses that are in disrepair?

[1393]Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  They will be disposed of.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  By public auction?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Yes. That will be a matter for the board of the Agricultural Institute and not for me. They will have the power to dispose of it.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  On section 2 of the Bill I am giving notice that I intend to move an amendment on Report Stage. I handed in the amendment to the Bills Office but it has not yet been circulated. However, as far as I am concerned I have signed it and sent it in, so I will be moving an amendment on Report Stage.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  We have not reached Report Stage yet.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  I was asked if we could deal with Report Stage today and I agreed if my amendment could be included.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The amendment cannot be circulated until we reach Report Stage.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  In relation to the map it has made things very clear and the Minister must accept that it was a mistake that we did not get the map in the first instance. As Deputy Fitzpatrick stated, the Bill is nothing without the map.

In relation to the football pitch for the St. Martin's Club the Minister has stated that it is a matter between An Foras Talúntais and the St. Martin's Football Club. Having a certain amount of experience in dealing with facilities such as football pitches I feel it is only right that we should recommend to An Foras Talúntais that they sell this to St. Martin's because for development purposes it is essential that the club have proper ownership. What will the Minister recommend here? This is marked on the map as a portion for St. Martin's Club but how it will be disposed of is not specified.

[1394]Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  The Minister has said that it can be either leased or sold.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  It is a matter for negotiation.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Deputy D'Arcy wants the Minister to recommend that it be sold outright.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  I have a very deep interest in the matter.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  That is not sufficient for us. I want it on the Official Report that the Minister is prepared to recommend the sale of this portion of land to the St. Martin's Football Club rather than the leasing of it.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Once this Bill is passed it is a matter for An Foras Talúntais and St. Martin's Football Club. The Minister has no function in the matter.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I have received several representations recently. Did they ask to buy the portion?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  I understand that that is the case.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Will the Minister recommend that?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Yes, certainly.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  To An Foras Talúntais?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Yes.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  In relation to the green portion here for possible future disposal, the Minister stated that a certain number of these houses have no tenants at the moment.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  They are in bad repair.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  Do I take it that An Foras Talúntais will offer these houses for sale without carrying out any repairs?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  That is a matter for An [1395] Foras Talúntais, it has nothing to do with me.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  Down through the years they have refused to repair these houses.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  The five occupied houses will be offered to the tenants and the other houses will be either sold by private treaty or by auction.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Are they capable of being restored?

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): Deputy D'Arcy has made the House aware that he intends to introduce an amendment to section 2 on Report Stage. That amendment is necessary on Report Stage because the map we have been talking about was not available on Committee Stage. I do not have to tell the Chair that on a Committee Stage amendment more latitude is given than on a Report Stage amendment.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  We will circulate the amendment when we reach Report Stage.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): Yes, but there is a procedure for recommitting a section on Report Stage so that Members may enjoy the same privileges in regard to the amendment on Report Stage as they would have had, had it been possible to move the amendment on Committee Stage. Will the Minister agree to recommitting the section?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  We will deal with that when we reach it on Report stage and then the House will have to agree as to whether it is recommitted for committee debate on Report Stage.

Mr. T.F. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): It is only reasonable that that be done in the circumstances of this case.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  During the Second Stage speech the Minister stated that the object of the Bill was a simple one, to permit An Foras Talúntais to sell or lease certain [1396] portions of the Johnstown Castle Estate in Wexford and generally to lease to the State parts of the estate from time to time if required, and that this was not possible at present because of the existing legal position. The only areas are those areas marked on the map, as far as this portion of the speech is concerned. Is that right?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  That is correct.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  These are the only areas over which the Minister has any power.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  If any other part of it is being disposed of do we have to have another Bill? It seems ridiculous.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  There is an amendment coming up.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): As I understand it, section 2(a) applies the 1959 Act and parts of the 1958 Act to the parts of the estate defined on the map but it also applies to sections mentioned in section 2 to such part or parts of the estate as may be leased from time to time to the State, so what the Minister says, that it only applies to the parts mentioned and coloured on the map, is not correct. It also applies or it is proposed to apply the other Acts to such parts of the estate as may be leased from time to time to the State. Will the Minister agree that that is so?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  One could lease but not buy, is that so?

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  It is very hard to understand the thing the way it is. The Minister stated that it is not possible.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  This was fairly well explained in the Second Reading speech.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): We are on Committee Stage now.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  If the Deputy read my Second Stage speech I would not have to explain it again.

[1397]Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): The Minister was not here when the Bill was called. He came in late, does not know what was in the Bill and is being perfectly insolent.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  Deputies will ask questions—

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): The Minister will answer them.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  Everything is to be done in a civil and polite way. As far as it is possible to do so, the Chair will ensure that it is done in that way.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  By way of explanation, the inclusion in section 2 of a general power in future to make a lease to the State — for example, in the case of a request for a site like that for the meteorological office referred to earlier — is to avoid the need for similar legislation at a later date. At the same time the power is sufficiently narrow to ensure that there is no danger of the wholesale erosion of the estate as a single entity. Such a development would, of course, be at variance with the spirit of the donation and acceptance of the lands as a free gift to the nation.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Everybody in Johnstown Castle would be very pleased if it was the stated intention of An Foras Talúntais and the Minister that much of it would be sold or leased to the State. Section 2(b) says that it shall apply to such part or parts of the estate as may be leased from time to time to the State. It means therefore that the Bill is giving permission to An Foras Talúntais to lease parts of the site to the State.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Only.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  If a small part is to be disposed of to a county council or private individual new legislation would be needed. In other words, if it is sold to the State, no legislation; leased to anyone [1398] else, a new Bill. Is that not a cumbersome way of doing it?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Unfortunately the donors still have a say. They have made it very plain they do not want any more of the estate disposed of. There has been a lot of road widening and some was used for housing. They do not want any further erosion of the estate.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan:) I understand section 2(a) but could the Minister classify what exactly the effect of section 2(b) is and what it enables the Minister to do?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  It enabled the Agriculture Institute to lease the portion I have already mentioned for a meteorological office and which the Department do not at present require. It was written into the Bill on this occasion so that it would be available to them when they wanted it.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): They can lease it to the State but can the State sell the parts leased to it?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  No.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): Can the State sell the sections referred to in section 2(a)?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  That is referred to in the map.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): I understand that the effect of section 2(a) was to enable An Foras Talúntais to sell parts of the estate that are marked in various colours on this map. Is that so?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Yes.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): I am clear in my own mind beyond doubt that it can do the very same thing with such parts of the estate as are leased to the State because (b) states:

such part or parts of the Estate as may be leased from time to time to the State

[1399] That puts those parts in the same position as the parts coloured green on the map. Notwithstanding what the Minister said, the entire estate can be sold because they may lease parts to the State and the State, having taken a lease, could decide to sell.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  Is that correct?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  No, I am satisfied that there is nothing about sale in section 2(b).

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): Would the Minister read section 9 of the 1959 Act and section 14(3) of the 1958 Act?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Section 14(3) of the 1958 Act states:

The Institute may sell or lease any land, offices or premises held by it and no longer required for the performance of its functions.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): What is section 9 of the 1959 Act?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  It states that subsection (3) of section 14 of The Agriculture (An Foras Talúntais) Act, 1958, shall not apply in respect of the estate. The other section does not apply specifically to Johnstown Castle.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): Notwithstanding the provisions of section 9 of the Act of 1959 — that is the section which says the Act shall not apply to Johnstown Castle — section 14(3) of the Agriculture (An Foras Talúntais) Act, 1958, shall apply to the parts coloured on the map and to the parts that may be leased to the State from time to time. There is machinery there to sell the whole estate lock, stock and barrel if An Foras Talúntais and the State between them want to do so. All they would have to do is lease in two or three lots the entire estate to the State and then the [1400] 1958 Act would apply and they could sell it off if they did not want it.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  I am satisfied that paragraph (b) of section 2 is specific and that section 9 of the Johnstown Castle Agricultural (Amendment) Act, 1959, spells it out that the 1958 Act does not apply to Johnstown Castle.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): This Act applies.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  To lease only.

Mr. D'Arcy: Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy  To the State.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): Such parts of the estate as may be leased to the State from time to time may be sold. There is no doubt about that.

Question put and agreed to.

Question proposed: “That section 3 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I apologise to the Minister. Our Whip got a copy of the map.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): They got one map for 20 Deputies.

Question put and agreed to.

Question proposed: “That section 4 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  What does section 4 mean?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  The Johnstown Castle Agricultural College (Amendment) Act, 1959, transferred the estate to the institute. Section 3 of that Act restricts the use of the Estate as follows:

The Estate shall be used exclusively for the purpose of a lay agricultural [1401] college ... include the conduct of agricultural research, and for no other purpose whatever...

This section of the Bill removes that restriction from the portions of the estate to be disposed of.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Is there any reference to Johnstown Castle as an amenity area? We would be anxious that that would not be disturbed. It has been accepted by An Foras as an amenity area, a public park.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  I referred to the section where it would be disposed of.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  The value of Johnstown Castle as an amenity area should be taken into consideration.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): The effect of section 4 is to free the Johnstown Castle estate from the restrictions on usure as set out in the Act of 1959, or, more correctly to free the portion mentioned on the map and any portion leased to the State. In effect it is a machinery for freeing the entire estate. There is sufficient machinery in section 4 to release the entire estate from the usures imposed on it in the 1959 Act.

Question put and agreed to.

Question proposed: “That section 5 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): What does section 6 of the 1959 Act do?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Section 6 of the Johnstown Castle Agricultural College (Amendment) Act, 1959, provides:

(1) No further demolition of Johnstown Castle or exterior structural alterations thereof shall be undertaken and no alteration to the crenellated entrances to the Estate shall be made, [1402] unless, with the passage of time, it should be found necessary to undertake such demolition or alternations because the maintenance of the structures would be no longer practicable, in which case, no such demolition or alterations shall be made until Maurice Victor Lakin shall have been notified of the proposal to do so and has been afforded an opportunity of making representations.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Who is this man?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Maurice Victor Lakin.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Who will it be in the future.

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  He has two sons.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Would that provision be given to his sons and any successors?

Mr. Allen: Information on Lorcan Allen  Zoom on Lorcan Allen  Yes.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): It means that anybody who buys any part of the estate buys it subject to that provision.

Question put and agreed to.

Sections 6 and 7 agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment.

Agreed to take remaining stages today.


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