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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 20 Mar 1969

Vol. 239 No. 5

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Land Commission Lands.


asked the Minister for Lands the total area of land held by the Land Commission which is set in conacre; and the area of such land in each county.


asked the Minister for Lands the amount of land in West Waterford awaiting division by the Land Commission.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 96 together.

The current season's land settlement programme, which has been gathering momentum in recent months, is now at its peak. This means that the position regarding lands taken over by the Land Commission for division throughout the country generally is rapidly changing from day to day according as new properties are taken over and acquired estates allotted — and it is not feasible just now to state precisely the statistical position regarding lands in the possession of the Land Commission.

In the circumstances, perhaps the Deputies would repeat the questions in about six weeks time when a more realistic assessment of the position regarding lands awaiting division and the extent of lettings on these lands should be feasible.

Has the Minister replied to Question No. 95 in that?

I have asked the Deputy to put down a question in a few weeks time.

Surely Question No. 95 asks specifically about conacre and surely the intake of land has nothing to do with the letting of land in conacre. Would the Minister not be able to say what the position is in relation to that specific question?

I shall be able to give more precise information in a few weeks time.

Unfortunately, in a few weeks time there will be no Dáil, according to what we are told. The Minister should have been able to give a reply to that one question today. The main reason why we want the information is to find out if, in fact, the Land Commission have been taking over land and setting it in conacre rather than dividing it amongst people who require land.

The Deputy will appreciate that when the Land Commission take over land they cannot prepare schemes immediately and some of the land must be let in conacre until such time as the Land Commission are ready to divide the land.

The Deputy also appreciates the fact that, if you set land in conacre for three or four years, some of it is of very little use for a number of years after that. The Minister is aware of that. Is he aware that his predecessor told me two or three years ago that the period for which land was retained was not more than two years except in exceptional circumstances?

That is still the position.

How can land be set in conacre then over a much longer period?

The vast bulk of the land taken over by the Land Commission is, in fact, held for two years only and the figures of intake and allotment prove that.

I will take a chance on asking a question on that next week because I can give the Minister particulars of a sizeable farm let in conacre by the Land Commission for five or six years.

That is the case in some instances, but there are always good reasons for it.

There are no good reasons for it at all.