CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - WESTMEATH OLD AGE PENSION CLAIM.

SEAN O LAIDHIN

asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he is aware that an old age pension of 9/- per week was granted to Mr. Patrick McCann, Killenmore, Glasson, Westmeath, by the Athlone Old Age Pension Committee, twice within the last eighteen months, and on each occasion an appeal was lodged against this decision by the local Pension Officer; further, if he is aware that the Pension Officer can certify that the applicant is over seventy-three years of age, and whether, as he is in poor circumstances, he will state why the pension has not been granted.

I am aware of the first two claims made in this case, which were disallowed on appeal on the ground of means. The appeal on the third claim, also on means, has been received and has not yet been decided. Age was established. The claimant originally possessed a farm of eight acres—valuation £6 10s. Od.—but acquired another holding of similar extent and valuation. On the 25th February, 1925, the claimant assigned the new holding of eight acres—valuation £6 10s. Od.—to an unmarried son.

The Pension Officer, in accordance with the directions in Section 7 (1) of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1924, disregarded the assignment and estimated as the claimant's the means arising from the entire holding of 16 acres (valuation £13). The means are estimated to exceed £39 5s. Od. a year, and therefore debar the claimant from any pension.

On the facts there does not appear to be any course open to me but to disallow the claim.

There is no use in asking a supplementary question, because I will get the usual reply, that they know nothing about it.