Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Roscommon Forest Centre.

asked the Minister for Lands if he will state what progress has been made to date by the Land Commission towards the establishment of a forest centre in the Slieve Bawn area, Strokestown, County Roscommon.

An area of 131 acres in the Slieve Bawn district was acquired in June, 1953, as the nucleus of a new forest centre. The area is not, in itself, big enough to justify commencement of forestry operations but further acquisitions in the district are anticipated.

Is the Minister aware that 12 months ago he made a similar answer and told me that 121 acres were about to be acquired and proceedings were under way for the purchase of another 81 acres? Is he aware that a great deal of dissatisfaction exists in the locality at the delay of the Forestry Department in paying those people for the land which has been purchased by the Forestry Department?

I think that is really not a proper supplementary question, but may I point out to the Deputy that questions of title have to be straightened out before the Forestry Branch can take possession of the lands? Generally speaking, it may be the solicitors or the owners, but it is not the Forestry Branch that is responsible for these delays.

Is there any possibility that the Forestry Branch would make representations to the legal men to hurry up proceedings in this matter, as the question of establishment of a forestry centre there has been mooted for five or six years and we are no nearer the starting of the planting than we were in 1949?

Certainly.