I move amendment No. 2:—
In page 7, before Section 14 (3), to insert a new sub-section as follows:—
(3) When the price to be paid by the Board for a fishery or fishing right is being assessed in pursuance of this section and it is shown to the satisfaction of the arbitrator that the owner of such fishery or fishing right or a person entitled to a portion of such price by virtue of his having an estate or interest in such fishery or fishing right worked such fishery or exercised such fishing right personally by his own skill and labour and that the profits derived from such working or exercise formed the whole or a substantial part of the livelihood of such owner or person, the arbitrator shall add to and include in the price so payable to such owner or to the portion thereof so payable to such person (as the case may be), as assessed under the provisions of this Act other than this sub-section, such sum as appears to the arbitrator to be a reasonable compensation for the whole or partial (as the case may be) loss of livelihood suffered by such owner or person in consequence of the acquisition of such fishery or fishing right by the Board, regard being had to the likelihood of such owner or person being able, in the circumstances of his case, to transfer his skill and labour to some other profitable occupation.
This is the amendment which I indicated on the Committee Stage would be introduced although at that time I stated that it would form part of Section 23 instead of Section 14. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that, where the owners of a fishery or of a fishing right operate the fishery or exercise the fishing right themselves by their own labour, and, by doing so, have earned a livelihood, that they should receive, in addition to the price of the fishery as ascertained by the arbitrator under the Acquisition of Lands Act, compensation for the loss of livelihood, taking into account the possibility of their being able to transfer their skill and knowledge to some other profitable occupation. This, of course, is the amendment designed to meet the particular case of the Abbey fishermen who have fishing rights and own certain fisheries on the fresh waters of the Shannon. In the case of other fishery owners they will receive the compensation assessed by the arbitrator in accordance with the regulations under the Acquisition of Lands Act and with that compensation they can, in theory, if they so wish, remain fishery owners by acquiring fishery rights elsewhere.
The Abbey fishermen are not in that position. They are a community of people who have exercised this right of fishing in the Shannon over a long number of years, and merely to give the present members of that community the present value of their fisheries would be inequitable. Consequently, it is proposed to supplement the compensation which they will receive by another sum to be determined by the arbitrator, a sum which will take into account again the fact that the members of that community are losing their means of livelihood, and that it will not be practicable for them to transfer themselves to some other river and there exercise their skill as fishermen. They will, presumably, have to seek occupation in some other walk of life for which their training as fishermen will be of no particular advantage, and, consequently, it is proposed to give them this extra compensation.
It will be noted that another amendment, amendment No. 4, affects Section 23. Section 23 will operate and make it illegal for any person to fish with a net on the fresh waters of the Shannon, with certain exceptions. It is proposed to permit the right of net fishing to continue in the case of any person who has been lawfully exercising such a right for the 12 months previous to the passing of the Act. That will mean that there will not be a cessation of net fishing on the Shannon immediately the Bill becomes law, as would otherwise be the case, and that such persons will continue to exercise their right to fish on the stretches of the Shannon under their control until such time as their fishery rights have been acquired by the Electricity Supply Board and until the compensation, both in respect of the value of the property and in respect of the disturbance that will take place provided for in this amendment has been determined and awarded. The main purpose of the amendment is, I may say, to give consideration to the sympathetic claim which the members of that particular community have over and above the purely legal claim which other fishery owners can put forward.