WRITTEN ANSWERS. - COMMANDEERED CORK PREMISES.

asked the Minister for Home Affairs whether premises in Drimoleague, Co. Cork, owned by Mrs. Deane and occupied by a tenant named Denis O'Driscoll, were taken over forcibly by members of the Gárda Síochána on 23rd November; whether O'Driscoll and his wife, who is ill, were with their family confined to one small room in the house, and whether the business carried on by O'Driscoll in the shop was shut down; whether it is proposed to evacuate the premises, and, if not, whether it is proposed to compensate O'Driscoll?

Mr. O'HIGGINS

As a result of representations made to the Commissioner of the Gárda Síochána as to the urgent necessity for stationing a unit of the Gárda at Drimoleague, I requested the Commissioners of Public Works to acquire suitable accommodation for that purpose. In pursuance of the powers conferred by the Civic Guard (Acquisition of Premises) Act, 1923, the Commissioner having served the requisite notice, acquired a house belonging to Mrs. Deane, which was occupied by Mr. O'Driscoll, and to clear possession, of which the Gárda became entitled on the 11th ulto. On the 23rd ultimo, when the Guards arrived to take over the house, O'Driscoll was still in occupation, and refused to vacate on the plea that his wife was ill. The Guards were, accordingly, compelled to take forcible possession of the premises.

From reports which have been furnished to me I am satisfied that for all practical purposes O'Driscoll made no use of the shop for business purposes, and that if he so desired he could have obtained suitable accommodation elsewhere. I am further satisfied that his reluctance to vacate was the result of efforts which were made by certain parties to prevent the Gárda obtaining barracks in the town. I have been advised by the Commissioners of Public Works that no suitable alternative quarters are available for the Gárda, and as the necessity for a unit there is quite evident, the house in question will not be evacuated. The question of compensation is one for the Commissioners of Public Works, and in this connection I would refer the Deputy to the provision of Section 3 (1) of the Civic Guard (Acquisition of Premises) Act, 1923.