With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 22 together.
I have seen a newspaper report of the statement referred to.
In her will, Mrs. Margaret Pearse, who died in 1932, left the Hermitage, or St. Enda's, to her daughter Margaret for life and thereafter to the Nation, to be kept as a memorial to her sons Patrick and William Pearse. The Executive Council decided in 1936 that the gift should be accepted. It transpired, however, that the bequest to the State was not legally valid because of the death of the testatrix within three months after the date of the will and that the property fell to Senator Margaret Pearse, absolutely. I am advised that she being concerned to fulfil her dead mother's wishes made a will confirming the original bequest.
To date I have not had any discussion with Senator Miss Pearse about the reported change of intention in regard to the disposition of the property.
Works costing a total of approximately £7,800 have been carried out at the property by the Office of Public Works. These included repairs to roofs, boundary walls and avenues, the removal of dangerous trees, the reconstruction of a conservatory, and the provision of a limited system of electric heating to preserve the fabric of the house.
Repairs to the roof were carried out in February, 1966, at Miss Pearse's request. The cost was £45 10s. Od.