To ask the Minister for Local Government if it is a fact that a grant of old age pension has been refused to Mary Costelloe, of Milltown, Tuam, Co. Galway; whether he is aware that the British Ministry of Pensions has withdrawn, or is about to withdraw, a grant of six shillings per week hitherto made to her as dependant of a near relative killed in the Great War, that such withdrawal is based on the grounds that she has now reached the age for receipt of an old age pension, that an old age pension has been paid for close on two years to a brother who is younger than she is, and whether the Minister will have further inquiries made with a view to allowing a pension to this woman.

The claim of Mrs. Mary Costelloe to an old age pension was disallowed on the ground of insufficient evidence to show that she had attained the age of 70 years.

The family was traced in the Census of 1851. The record showed that the parents were married in 1848, and that at the time of the Census there was only one child in the family, Thomas, aged 6 months. Mrs. Costelloe was married on the 21st March, 1877, and the marriage register showed her to be 21 years of age at that date.

In a letter to the Ministry Mrs. Costelloe stated (1) that the British Military Authorities had notified her that they would cease to pay her an allowance of 6/- per week in respect of her son who was killed in the European War unless she took steps to establish her age for old age pension; and (2) that her brother Thomas was two years her junior, and in receipt of old age pension since 1921. The statement made by Mrs. Costelloe as to her brother's age was obviously inaccurate in view of the Census records.

If the claimant is in a position to produce more definite and conclusive evidence of age her case can be reconsidered.

Is the Minister in a position to say whether her brother is actually in receipt of a pension?

I am not, but he is obviously her senior.