asked the Minister for Fisheries whether in view of the dissatisfaction caused by the distribution of the lands of Inchedoney Island, County Cork, on account of the Land Commission not permitting the solicitor for certain claimants to have access to the file relating to the land awarded for the purpose of eliciting information concerning the grounds on which Michael O'Donovan, an alleged evicted tenant, claims title to the lands, he will now request the Land Commission to allow the file to be inspected by the interested parties.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - DISTRIBUTION OF CO. CORK LANDS.
These files are confidential and, consequently, the Deputy's request cannot be granted.
Is the Minister aware, in connection with this matter, that the solicitor for the claimants, who are evicted tenants has been endeavouring during the past five months to secure an interview with the Chairman of the evicted tenants' section of the Land Commissioners, the Minister for Lands and Agriculture, or the Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, and that the reply was that no useful purpose would be served by such an interview; and is the Minister aware of the general dissatisfaction caused by the distribution of this land, and will he not consider that in order to alleviate the suspicion that exists in the minds of the people that access should be given to those files?
Before the Parliamentary Secretary answers might I ask of him, on behalf of all the constituents, that there will be no attempt made to remove the privilege that attaches to files either of the Land Commission or any other Department. because if there is, there will be no possibility of carrying on once, I had almost said, the disgraceful suggestion is made that these files should be made public.
I am not aware that the solicitor for the evicted tenants ever sought an interview with any official of the Land Commission. As I explained to the Deputy, these lands have been permanently allotted, and the Land Commission cannot now reopen the question of their distribution.
In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the answer I want to give notice that I will raise this matter on the Adjournment, and I would ask why, if there is nothing to be afraid of, should the suggestion of Deputy Wolfe be entertained?