To ask the Minister for Defence whether he is aware that the licensed premises of Mr. E. O'Connor, Patrick-Street, Mountmellick, was taken over by R.I.C. forces on 12th January, 1921, and held by them at a rent of £10 per month up to March 25th, 1922, on which date the premises were evacuated by R.I.C. and occupied by National Troops; whether it is a fact that the National Troops left the town on June 28th, 1922, without giving over possession to the owner, and subsequently returned to another premises in the same town; and whether the Military Authorities are now in a position to hand over possession of the premises to Mr. O'Connor, if they intend to pay the rent up to the date of such handing over, and to compensate him for damage done to the premises by reason of their occupation, and also for loss of profits.

Mr. O'Connor's house was occupied by our troops from the 1st April to the 29th June. Very little damage was done during their occupation and the house was locked up when they left.

Mr. O'Connor was advised both verbally and in writing that he was at liberty to resume possession. In the situation as it then was, it was not always possible to adhere to strict points of law in dealing with the occupation of and evacuation of premises required by our troops. Claims for rent in respect of the occupation of the premises by the troops and of any damage caused during that occupation will be dealt with by the Office of Public Works.