Written Answers. - Land Purchases.

Wednesday, 1 March 2000

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 515 No. 4

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  82.  Mr. Perry  Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development  Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh   the number of non-nationals who have purchased land here since Ireland joined the European Community in 1973. [6348/00]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (Mr. Walsh): Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  My Department has no information on the actual purchase of land by non-nationals.

However, statistics are available for the number of non-qualified persons who applied for consent to purchase agricultural land under section 45 of the Land Act, 1965, in each year since 1989. Although the term qualified person is sometimes assumed to refer only to Irish nationals, there are other categories of qualified persons. Statutory Instrument 56 of 1995 broadened the term qualified person to include, among other categories, persons whose principal residence is in an EU member state and corporate bodies incorporated in an EU member state.

The number of consents issued to non-qualified persons over the years 1989 to 1999 was as follows:

Year 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
No. of non-qualified individuals 255 286 269 260 280 230 104 50 62 54 45
No. of non-qualified non-national companies 31 54 76 120 76 52 12 21 26 50 60
No. of non-qualified Irish companies* 343 347 233 275 241 264 84 23 18 22 4

*Irish companies were not covered by the definition “qualified person” prior to 1995. The numbers for this category from 1996 onwards are for retrospective consents.

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