Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (136, 137)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

136. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the policy in respect of showing sea-weed harvesting rights registered on folios on the PRAI land registry search mechanism; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28630/14]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

137. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her plans to issue a directive under section 20(1) of the Registration of Title Deeds Act 2006 instructing the PRAI land registry to correctly register seaweed harvesting rights on folios and to re-issue faulty title deeds, free of charge, where the PRAI land registry has not detailed these rights on a folio on transfer, as they should; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28631/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 136 and 137 together.

I should advise the Deputy that the register of titles, maintained in the Land Registry office by the Property Registration Authority, can only show legal rights that are burdens on title, within the meaning of Section 69 of the Registration of Title Act 1964, or that are appurtenant to registered lands. Such rights must be created by express Deed of Grant or where the law allows, acquired by prescription. In the case of the right to harvest seaweed, only rights vested by Land Commission as appurtenant to lands purchased under the Land Purchase Acts have been registered in the Land Registry.

A right to take something from the land of another, which is created by Deed of Grant or acquired by prescription, is a profit à prendre. The holder of a profit à prendre has a legal right in land that is capable of registration as an appurtenant right by including such right as part of the description of the lands to which it is appurtenant. It can also be held in gross, that is existing in its own right and not as an appurtenance to other land. In that case, it may be registered on the subsidiary register maintained by the Property Registration Authority.

A licence is generally defined as permission to enter land and do something that would otherwise be a trespass. A licence to harvest seaweed, issued pursuant to Section 3 of the Foreshore Act 1933 (as amended) is not a profit à prendre, as it is not created by a Deed of Grant. It is not, therefore, a legal right in property that is registerable under the Registration of Title Act 1964 as amended.

As set out in Section 20(1) of the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006, I can issue general policy directives concerning registration of deeds or ownership or any other function of the Authority. However, registrations are made on application and it would not be a matter for the Authority to make any registration for which no application is made. The rights that are capable of registration are set out in the Registration of Deeds and Title Acts 1964 to 2006.

In any event, a licence to harvest seaweed, issued pursuant to Section 3 of the Foreshore Act 1933 (as amended) is not a legal right in property that is registerable under the Registration of Title Act 1964 as amended. Therefore, any such registration is beyond the remit of the Property Registration Authority. Accordingly, I cannot avail of the policy provisions of Section 20(1) to instruct the Property Registration Authority to act in a manner that is outside of its legislative functions and powers.