asked the Minister for Home Affairs whether he is aware that a farm, belonging to Mr. I.C. Gibson, Rathwalkin, Kildare, situate at Ballykin, Geashill, Offaly, consisting of 120 Irish acres, and which has been in possession of the Gibson family for 70 years, was forcibly seized by a number of persons from the locality in the months of July and August, 1922; whether they drove off his stock, removed gates, threw down fences, and dismantled the two-storied dwelling house, unroofing it, and carrying away doors, windows, etc.; whether these persons drove in their own cattle, which are still grazing on the lands; whether Mr. Gibson's claim for compensation is still in abeyance, although he has had to pay all rates and charges without having derived any income whatever from the farm from the time of the seizure; whether the Land Commission will forego payment of arrears until the claim for compensation is heard, and if said arrears will be included in the amount awarded; whether the Minister can explain the failure of the local police authorities to deal with a case of this kind.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - ILLEGAL SEIZURE OF LAND.
The trespass of cattle on the lands belonging to Mr. I. C. Gibson was brought to notice last June. It transpired that no fences existed and that neighbouring farmers could not be blamed for accidental trespass. Mr. Gibson was, therefore, advised to fence his lands when police support would be afforded to him to prevent any further trespass, but he took no action in this direction. He subsequently complained that a number of his gates had been stolen. Inquiries were instituted by the Gárda Síochána with the result that one of the gates was traced. Proceedings were instituted against persons in whose premises it was found, but before the hearing of the case Mr. Gibson wrote to the sergeant stating that he was not anxious to proceed with the matter and requesting that no further action should be taken. In the circumstances the Gárda Síochána withdrew the charge. The task of the Civil Authorities in such cases is rendered exceedingly difficult by the unwillingness of such persons as Mr. Gibson to render any assistance. It is open to him to take proceedings against any person whom he finds trespassing, when the forces of the State will be used to carry out any order made by Court.
Questions regarding the payment of compensation and the remission of Land Commission arrears should be addressed to the Ministers for Finance and Agriculture, respectively.