Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Damage to Property Claims.

asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that a number of people in backward districts failed to make application for compensation under the Damage to Property (Compensation) (Amendment) Act, 1933, within the scheduled or statutory date, and that these people suffer a very great loss thereby; if he is further aware that the following people, i.e., Thomas Kiernan, Croft, Aughnacliffe, County Longford; Mrs. Annie Reilly, Drumlish, County Longford, and others did make claims direct to the Department prior to that date, and that they understood that that was a sufficient application, and if he will now take steps to extend the date for these persons or for those who have now made application or who have notified State solicitors of their intention to make application under that Act if the Minister extends the time.

I am aware that a number of persons, including those mentioned by name in the question, failed to make application for compensation under the Damage to Property (Compensation) (Amendment) Act, 1933, within the time prescribed by the Rules of Court framed under the Act.

The question of late applications has, however, been the subject of a recent judgment of the High Court, the general effect of which is that a circuit judge has power to extend the time for lodging applications under the Act where it appears to him that such extension is just and reasonable. Accordingly, it is open to any person to apply to the Circuit Court for an extension of time to enable him to lodge a claim for compensation under the Act, and it is within the discretion of the circuit judge to grant or refuse such an application.

Any person who intends to make a claim for compensation would do well to take the necessary steps in the matter without delay. State solicitors will be instructed to oppose strenuously the granting of an extension of time where the claim is not lodged on or before the 30th September, 1935.