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Dáil Éireann - Volume 114 - 02 March, 1949

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Moyvane Sub-Post Office Vacancy.

Éamon Ó Cíosáin Éamon Ó Cíosáin

Éamon Ó Cíosáin asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will indicate the reason for the unusually long delay in filling a vacancy for an auxiliary postman at Moyvane sub-post office (Newtownsandes), County Kerry.

Mr. Everett Mr. Everett

Mr. Everett: The necessary inquiries in this case are nearly completed and it is hoped to make an appointment in the near future. There has been no avoidable delay.





Dáil Éireann - Volume 30 - 20 June, 1929

Written Answers. - Dáil Eireann Loan.

Gearóid O Beoláin Gearóid O Beoláin

Gearóid O Beoláin asked the Minister for Finance whether he will state if Cormac McDermott, Main Street, Castlerea (now living in Cloonarrow, Castlerea), subscribed £5 (five pounds sterling) to Dáil Eireann Loan, 1919-20; and, if so, when he proposes to repay it.

Mr. Blythe Mr. Blythe

Mr. Blythe: Authority to issue a Savings Certificate to Mr. Cormac McDermott, of Cloonarrow, Castlerea, which will enable him to obtain repayment of his subscription to the Dáil Eireann Loan, has been given to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

Séamus O Riain Séamus O Riain

1471

[1471] Séamus O Riain asked the Minister for Finance whether the following are registered as subscribers to Dáil Eireann Loan for the following amounts: Andrew Parle (£5), Michael Redmond (£1), John Lambert (£1), Michael Forde (£1), Edmund Murphy (£2), B. Murphy (£1), W. Walsh (£1), J. Keating (£1), P. Carey (£1), J. Fitzhenry (£1), and R. O'Brien (£1), all of Tagoat, Co. Wexford.

Mr. Blythe Mr. Blythe

Mr. Blythe: I would refer the Deputy to previous replies given by me to similar questions and to the statement I made in the Dáil on the 22nd June, 1928. The claim of any subscriber who applied in writing before the expiration of the prescribed time for repayment of his subscription will be dealt with in my Department in due course.

Gearóid O Beoláin Gearóid O Beoláin

Gearóid O Beoláin asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware that Mr. Michael Finan (Philip), Lisalway, Castlerea, sent his receipt for £1 (one pound) subscribed to the Dáil Eireann Loan, 1919-20, to the Finance Department twelve months ago, and has not since been repaid; if he will state whether it is intended to repay Mr. Finan's subscription; and if he will give instructions for the return of the receipt.

Mr. Blythe Mr. Blythe

Mr. Blythe: Authority to issue a Savings Certificate to Mr. Michael Philip Finan of Lisalway, Castlerea, which will enable him to obtain repayment of his subscription of £1 (One Pound) to the Dáil Eireann Loan, has been given to the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. It is not the practice to return receipts in cases in which repayment has been authorised.

Mr. T. Crowley Mr. T. Crowley

1472

Mr. T. Crowley asked the Minister for Finance whether he will state how soon he expects to be in a position to authorise issue of Savings Certificates to the following subscribers to Dáil Eireann Internal Loan (1919-20):—Mrs. Deborah M. Condon. Ruphla, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, £25; Patrick Kennelly, Ballinagoul, Glin, Co. Limerick, £2; Thomas Dillane, Kinnard, Glin, Co. Limerick, £3; Margaret Pierce, Ross, Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick, £3; [1472] Maurice Drake, Ballinacourty, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, £25; and Daniel D. Casey, Killeedy, Ballagh, Charleville, Co. Cork, £5.

Mr. Blythe Mr. Blythe

Mr. Blythe: I would refer the Deputy to previous replies given by me to similar questions and to the statement I made in the Dáil on the 22nd June, 1928. The claim of any subscriber who applied in writing before the expiration of the prescribed time for repayment of his subscription will be dealt with in my Department in due course.





Dáil Éireann - Volume 22 - 28 March, 1928

WRITTEN ANSWERS. - OLD AGE PENSION CLAIMS.

Mr. S. JORDAN Mr. S. JORDAN

Mr. S. JORDAN asked the Minister for Finance on what grounds the old age pension granted to Bridget Kilkelly, Ryehill, Monivea, was reduced by 3/-, and whether the Minister will now consider restoring this amount to her.

Mr. BLYTHE Mr. BLYTHE

Mr. BLYTHE: Local inquiries are being made in this case. Perhaps the Deputy will be good enough to repeat the question in about ten days' time.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

1865

Mr. J. CROWLEY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state for what reasons the old age pension has been refused Mr. James Kissane, Kilcock Upper, Liselton, Co. Kerry; whether [1865] he is aware that Kissane is entirely dependent on the charity of his nephew, and has no means; and whether he is aware that but for the charity of his nephew this man would have to get out-door relief or go to the county home.

MINISTER for LOCAL GOVERNMENT and PUBLIC HEALTH (General Mulcahy) Richard (General) Mulcahy

MINISTER for LOCAL GOVERNMENT and PUBLIC HEALTH (General Mulcahy): An appeal was received on the 12th of November, 1927, arising out of this claim. It was determined on the 1st of December, 1927, that the claimant was not entitled to any pension, as it was not clear that his means, consisting of his maintenance by his nephew, were less than £39 5s. a year, the statutory limit for the receipt of a pension. In calculating means for old age pension purposes account must be taken of the yearly value of any benefit or privilege enjoyed by a claimant.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

Mr. J. CROWLEY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state the reasons why the old age pension at the rate of 9s. per week, has been refused to Mrs. M. Doran, Lyracrompane, Listowel; and if he is aware that she is absolutely destitute and entirely dependent on her relatives for support.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

General MULCAHY: This case came up on appeal in January last. It was reported that the claimant was maintained by her sister, a farmer and shopkeeper, and as it was not clear on the evidence submitted that the yearly value of her support was less than £39 5s. 0d., the claim was disallowed on the 31st of January, 1928. In calculating means for old age pension purposes account must be taken of the yearly value of any benefit or privilege enjoyed by a claimant.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

Mr. J. CROWLEY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state why John Carroll, Ballinorig West, Ardfert, Kerry, has been refused the old age pension; and whether the Minister is aware that he is partially dependent on the charity of his relatives.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

1866

General MULCAHY: This case has not come before me so far on appeal, [1866] and I have therefore no information in regard to it. I have, however, referred it to the Minister for Finance who will probably be in a position to reply to the Deputy shortly.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

Mr. J. CROWLEY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state the reasons why Ellen Prendiville, Ballincloher, Lixnaw, has been refused the old age pension; and whether he is aware that some months ago two old age pensioners made affidavits before a Peace Commissioner that she was over 70 years.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

General MULCAHY: This claim is at present under consideration on appeal on the ground of insufficient evidence of age. The only definite evidence so far furnished is the record that the claimant was 20 years old when married on the 29th of January, 1881. A certificate has, however, been produced of a child, said to be claimant's first-born, baptised on the 15th of March, 1873. Further investigation is being made, and a decision will be given as soon as possible.

Mr. HENRY Mr. HENRY

Mr. HENRY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he is aware that Mary Doyle, of Cleragh, Kiltimagh, County Mayo, was passed by the Kiltimagh Sub-Committee of the Old Age Pensions for a pension which was appealed against successfully by the Pension Officer; if he will give the reasons; and if he will have the matter further investigated.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

General MULCAHY: The Kiltimagh Pension Sub-Committee granted an old age pension of 9/- a week to this claimant on the 4th of January, 1928. An appeal was received on the ground of age. It was reported that no birth or baptismal certificate was produced, and that the claimant was merely recorded as of “full age” when married on 12th February, 1884. It was not clear that the statutory age had been attained, and the claim was disallowed on the 2nd of February, 1928. This decision is final and conclusive, and the case cannot now be reopened. If, however, more definite evidence of age can be produced, it is open to the claimant to make a fresh claim in the usual way.

Mr. S. JORDAN Mr. S. JORDAN

1867

[1867] Mr. S. JORDAN asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health on what grounds the old age pension granted to Michael Hanly, Monivea (Tuam area) was refused.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

General MULCAHY: No evidence was received from this claimant to show that he fulfilled the statutory conditions as to age or residence—and the claim was, therefore, disallowed on appeal on the 2nd of July, 1926.

Mr. S. JORDAN Mr. S. JORDAN

Mr. S. JORDAN asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health on what grounds the old age pension granted to Brigid Martyn, Cartymore, Athenry, was reduced.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

General MULCAHY: An appeal on grounds of age and means was received in this case on the 11th of April, 1927, against the proposed allowance of a pension of 9/- a week by the Oranmore Pension Sub-Committee. The value of the claimant's maintenance by her son-in-law was estimated at £31 4s. a year. While the appeal was under consideration this estimate was not challenged, and by a decision dated the 21st of June, 1927, a pension of 4/- a week was allowed as from the 8th of January, 1927.

Mr. COLOHAN Mr. COLOHAN

Mr. COLOHAN asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether he is aware that Michael Gorman, Kilgowan, Kilcullen, County Kildare (Ref. No. 957) states that his only income is the old age pension of six shillings, which is now being paid to him; whether he will give the reasons for refusal to pay the full pension; and if he will have further inquiries made in the case.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

1868

General MULCAHY: This pensioner, who is in receipt of an old age pension of 6/- a week, raised a question for an increase which came up on appeal in July last. It was reported that he received support in return for labour on a large holding of land. While the appeal was under consideration he failed to furnish any evidence in support of his application, and it was therefore determined on the 26th of August, 1927, that he was not entitled to a pension at a higher rate than 6/- a week. Decisions given on appeal in old age pension cases cannot be reconsidered, [1868] but if the claimant's circumstances have since changed it is open to him to raise a question for an increase in pension in the usual way.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

Mr. J. CROWLEY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health why Mrs. Johanna Quilter, Ahabeg, Lixnaw, County Kerry, has been refused the old age pension; if he is aware that Mrs. Quilter cannot find any record as regards her age, and if he will instruct the local officer to interview the applicant again, and report on her age from her appearance; and if he is aware that, not being originally from Ahabeg, Mrs. Qiulter finds it very difficult to get any old age pensioners to make declarations or affidavits as to her age.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

General MULCAHY: In this case an appeal was decided on the 22nd of October, 1927. It was determined that the claimant was not entitled to any pension, as it was not clear on the evidence submitted that she had attained the statutory age. Her name was not found in a search covering the years 1843 to 1867 in the Baptismal Register. The only members of her family whose names were found were Mary, baptised 15th September, 1844, and Francis, baptised 28th July, 1850. The years 1845, 1846, 1847, and part of 1848, are, however, missing from the Register.

While the appeal was under consideration special attention was given to the investigation of age, but the claimant was apparently unable to get anyone to vouch for her age except her relatives, and the two relatives who made declarations were not much more than 60 years of age.

The case can only be revived by the making of a fresh claim in the usual way, if further evidence is now available. It should, however, be noted that while every assistance is given to claimants the onus of proof of qualification lies on them.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

Mr. J. CROWLEY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state for what reason Mrs. Catherine McCarthy, Clahane, Ballyduff, Tralee, has been refused the old age pension; and if he is aware that she is entirely destitute and living on the charity of her friends.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

1869

[1869] General MULCAHY: An appeal was decided on the 18th of January, 1928, in this case. It was determined that the claimant was not entitled to any pension as it was not clear on the evidence submitted that she fulfilled the statutory condition as to residence, i.e., twelve years since attaining the age of 50 years.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

Mr. J. CROWLEY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state for what reason Daniel Nolan, Knockbrack, Knocknagoshel, County Kerry, is not receiving the old age pension at the rate of 9/- per week.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

General MULCAHY: An appeal was decided on the 7th of December, 1927, in this case. It was determined that the claimant was not entitled to any pension, as it was not clear on the evidence submitted that his means, as calculated under the Old Age Pensions Acts, were within the statutory limit (of £39 5s. a year) for the receipt of a pension.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

Mr. J. CROWLEY asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether he will state the reasons why the old age pension of Maurice Kennelly, Kilgorvin, Ballylongford, Kerry, has been reduced from 6/- to 2/-.

General MULCAHY General MULCAHY

General MULCAHY: This pensioner was originally in receipt of an old age pension of 6/- a week, the value of his maintenance being estimated at 14/- a week. Under the review which took place in accordance with the provisions of the Old Age Pensions Act, 1924, the pension was, therefore, reduced to 2/- a week.

A question raised by the pensioner for an increase was disallowed by the Lisselton Pension Sub-Committee on the 25th of May, 1925, and their decision was confirmed on appeal on the 14th of July, 1925.

A further question by the pensioner was also disallowed on appeal on the 24th of February, 1927, as he failed to show that his means had in any way decreased.

1870

He is maintained on a farm of 39 acres (Poor Law Valuation, £12 10s.) which he assigned to his son on the [1870] 19th of February, 1924, on the occasion of the latter's marriage.

Dáil Éireann 22 WRITTEN ANSWERS. OLD AGE PENSION CLAIMS.

Questions



Dáil Éireann - Volume 11 - 29 April, 1925

PRIVATE BUSINESS. - LOSS OF STOCK THROUGH DISEASE.

Mr. BAXTER Mr. BAXTER

Mr. BAXTER: I move:—

That the Dáil is of opinion that immediate action should be taken by the Government, either by the granting of loans or otherwise, to enable farmers to restock their lands, in cases where the owners have lost their stock through disease.

505

In moving this motion I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not [505] accustomed to try to make things worse than they are. I think I have been twitted more than once with pretending that all is lovely in the garden, and I move this motion conscious of the fact that the matter contained therein is a thing of supreme urgency and a thing that will not brook delay, that it is a problem that confronts the country very seriously, a problem that demands the immediate attention of the Government, and one that ought to be tackled by them at once. It is conceded on all sides that the foundation of this State is agriculture. It will be conceded by every man who understands anything about the industry, and particularly by every farmer, that the cattle trade is the biggest and most important branch of our agricultural industry. The foundations of that trade, as we might say, are very largely, almost entirely, perhaps, built on the cattle and cows of the small farmers. If you go through the poorer counties of Ireland to-day everywhere you are confronted with this state of things. The small farmers of Ireland have never passed through a more trying period since 1847 than they have passed through this last twelve months, and particularly these last three or four months. The loss in cattle is so great that I do not think any statistics could be compiled that would show anything like a correct return of what that loss means to the State. If you ask these people what their losses are they will say, and I have met them myself, and heard them say it: “I would not like to tell.”

506

I concede that it is not right that anyone should try to magnify a problem like this, a problem that is so really serious. But I have myself very good reason to know what it means in my own constituency. I am raising this question because it has been forced on me, that the problem can only be dealt with by the Government, by their tackling it thoroughly and understanding the seriousness of it. That knowledge was the cause of my putting down this motion. In my county we have something like 19,000 holdings, and 13,000 of these are of a valuation of £10 and under. I am sure I would [506] be correct in saying that half of the agricultural holders in my county have lost a couple of cows. In some cases the number is small; in other cases it is very great. One-third of these, at least, have lost practically all their cattle. The unfortunate circumstances are, so far as my inquiries go, that it is the farmer with the three cows who has lost two. The Minister may question the figures I give, but I have gone to the trouble of making inquiries from other Deputies, and I think that the figures from other constituencies will be found more surprising than mine. I agree that in the drier counties, where the land is better, the farmers are more fortunate. They are very lucky. They have not the experience that the farmers in my county have. Let us consider what this must mean in the counties where the farmers have suffered. To-day we have thousands of farmers in the poorer counties who have had three cows, and who now have two, and some of them none at all. Some have lost all their young stock as well. When we consider that, we must ask what is to be the future of these farmers? In the first place, how are these farmers to live? This season, so far, the prospect for the smaller farmer is certainly not very promising. He was depending in practically every case for a living on his milk supply during the summer months until the harvest can be reaped. In most cases, in my experience, his milk is sold to the creamery. With the loss of his cows, that prospect is now taken from him. That is exactly his position. What can be done for him, or who can do it? If something is not done how can that farmer be expected to meet the demands that the State will make upon him? A farmer without his stock is like a workman without his tools, or the means that are necessary to enable him to work.

507

That is the position that many of our small farmers find themselves in now. They are hardly able to carry on until the harvest comes. If they are blessed with a good harvest they may manage to live. But by what means are they to replace the stock which have been lost? The farmer looks to his neighbour. Someone may suggest: [507] “Let him try to borrow money in the bank.” That might be a way out, if the number of these cases were very few. But we know it would take half the countryside going into a bank to-day to give a guarantee that would be sufficient to enable these men to get a sufficient loan to enable them to replace their stock. We must then look to some other means of relieving them. The farmer cannot get the money in the bank, because most of his neighbours are practically in the same position as he is in. The neighbour that has to borrow himself will not be much of a guarantee in the bank for a man who also wants to borrow money. There is, therefore, no remedy to be found in that direction. If the State does not come to his aid, if the State does not realise the difficulties that these people are placed in, and does not volunteer to do something to help them out it will, I am afraid, be a very serious matter for the State itself, from more than one point of view.

As I say, the State is depending on our agricultural exports to maintain its credit. I fear that our exports at the end of this year may be seriously down, and that if some remedy is not forthcoming they will be down in the years to come. Someone may ask me why. If we lose thousands and thousands of the best milking cows we have, all over the country, I would like to ask the Minister for Agriculture how will the Dairy Produce Act get us more this year than the four million cows that supplied us with milk and butter last year? If we sell perhaps one-third less butter than we sold last year, how will it affect us? When we consider the thousands of people and the thousands of families who are depending on the produce of the sale of milk for their living all through the summer months, and that that is removed, the difficulties of these people are very great, so great that only the State can help them. They cannot help themselves. We must agree that something must be done for them.

508

There is the other side. Our exports in cattle, I think, are by far the biggest item of our exports. These exports [508] depend on the quality and numbers of the cattle we breed and raise. That depends, in turn, on the numbers of our cows. The exports of our cattle this year are determined largely by the number of cows we kept last year and the year before. The number of cattle that we are exporting this year may not be altogether determined by the number of cows we have this year, but, unquestionably the number and the value of our exports next year, and, perhaps, the year after, will be determined by the number of cows we have this year. If the number of cows we have now are down by thousands, undoubtedly the number of cattle, suitable and available, for export next year and the year after, must be, and will be, I fear, down by thousands—perhaps by a hundred thousand—if steps are not taken to replace the cattle that we have lost. Undoubtedly, from the economic point of view this is a very serious problem for the State. I say that, apart altogether from what it means to the individual, and what it means as a livelihood for thousands and thousands of people. As far as I can see the State, and no other, can give this help. I say that these people have every claim on assistance from the State in the difficulties with which they are confronted. Men have said to me:—

“We think the Government should come to our aid. We think the Government ought to help. We are not asking anything from the Government. We are not asking something for nothing. We are asking nothing but what, please God, we will pay back; we think the Government have a duty to do what they can for us.”

509

If I could see that it was possible by other means than by appealing to the Government to intervene, I would not ask that any action should be taken by the Government. I would much prefer that individuals, when confronted with difficulties, would have the energy and the imagination to help themselves to find a way out. I would prefer that these people should find a way out of their own difficulties themselves by cooperating with one another, with a view to finding a solution for this problem. But I fear, in the present depressed conditions of agriculture, that [509] it is not possible to find a remedy by such means.

510

If the Government do not consider that it is their obligation and their responsibility, then the plight of these people for several years to come is going to be very bad. Many of them will be faced with the sale and transfer of their land. That would not be a satisfactory solution. The Government can help, and since they are encouraging—and rightly encouraging—increased productivity, they should not neglect the agricultural industry. They themselves recognise its value to the State. It is their duty to stimulate increased productivity in that industry. They know the depression under which it is labouring to-day. These unfortunate conditions make the present position much worse and much more difficult than it would otherwise be and I grant that it is not going to be a simple matter for the Government to deal with this problem. It cannot be solved by a wave of the hand, nor can it be solved by the passing or acceptance of a resolution in this House. But with courage and energy, the Government can do a great deal to alleviate the distress which exists at present and which will exist if the causes are not removed. It should be possible for the credit of the State to be pledged to some extent, so that agriculture—and particularly the branch of it that is in a very serious plight—would get a stimulus that is much needed. It would be but right that the Government should pledge the credit of the State, if necessary, in order to help these people out. I am not going to say that the Government are not conscious of the duty that they owe to agriculture. But it is not enough to say that they know the farmers have suffered loss, that their difficulties are very great, that something should be done to help them, but that there are many things they could do for themselves which they are not doing. That will not solve the problem. While it is not for me nor Deputies on these benches to suggest what the Government ought to do, it is our duty and, I think, a duty other Deputies will feel called upon to discharge, to press upon the Government the seriousness of the situation that exists. It is [510] their duty and their responsibility to do what they can for an industry which is so important to the State. The failure of the Government to rise to the occasion will not alone have serious effects presently but it will, as I have tried to point out, affect our productivity, our trade balance and the credit of the State perhaps two or three years hence. I am urging that the Government ought to take immediate action in this matter, and I feel confident that we will have the support of many Deputies in this House in our request. Further, it is practically the unanimous demand of the country that Government action should be taken.

Mr. J. CROWLEY Mr. J. CROWLEY

Mr. J. CROWLEY: I support Deputy Baxter's motion, and I would press upon the Executive the great necessity for immediate relief to farmers who have lost stock through disease. I am in a position to know as much as, or more than, any person, perhaps, in this Assembly, about mortality amongst cattle in Kerry, West Limerick and parts of Cork, but particularly in North Kerry, because I happen to be a veterinary surgeon and an inspector of dairies and cowsheds. Our firm are probably the largest buyers of hides and skins in County Kerry. I have been twenty years veterinary surgeon and about thirty years at the other business, and I can say confidently that during the time I remember—for the last thirty or thirty-five years—I have not seen as great a mortality amongst cattle as for the last three or four months. Thousands of yearlings have died and hundreds of milch cows are dying now. Many small uneconomic holders who were depending on the little money that a few yearlings—two, three or five—may bring at this time of the year, to pay rates and annuities, now cannot pay. Unless the State aids them, I can foresee an extremely busy time for the sub-sheriffs of County Kerry and other counties. In many cases, I believe, they will return: “Nothing to seize.” I believe that is the return just now in many cases in Kerry, because many of the small farmers have absolutely no stock left.

511

I can quote from statistics as to the execution of court judgments. During [511] the quarter ended March, 1925, in County Kerry there were, according to the return, 374 judgments executed. That fact speaks for itself. I know, in some cases in North Kerry, where the sub-sheriff seized the last cow belonging to a poor man. I saw him take from a small farmer in Listowel six cows out of ten for rates. I had myself to come to the rescue of some small uneconomic holders down there. I will quote the names and addresses of persons who have sustained losses in my district. These are cases that I can prove:—

Daniel Foran, Coolard, Listowel, lost 11 cows out of 14; lost all calves.

Patrick Kennelly, Dromin, Listowel, lost 8 cows out of 14; lost 8 young cattle out of 8.

John Lyons, Knockburrane, Lixnaw, lost 9 cows out of 24; lost 26 young cattle out of 26.

Michael Purtill, Kilcolgan, Ballylongford, lost 6 cows out of 12; lost 6 heifers out of 6; lost 4 calves out of 4.

Mrs. Bridget Kennelly, Moybella, Liselton, lost 4 cows out of 10; lost 12 young cattle out of 12.

Maurice Carmody, Skehenerin, Listowel, lost 7 cows out of 7.

T. O'Connor, Derry, Listowel, lost 23 cows out of 35.

P. Lynch, Bunagare, Listowel, lost 4 cows out of 4.

T. O'Connor, Kilmorna, lost 22 yearlings, 6 two-year-olds, 2 cows.

P. O'Connor, Kealid, Newtownsandes, lost 11 cows, 10 yearlings and 6 two-year-olds.

These are only a few of the many cases that I can prove.

MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan) MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan)

MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan): Does the Deputy know what they died of?

Mr. CROWLEY Mr. CROWLEY

Mr. CROWLEY: Generally fluke.

Mr. HOGAN Mr. HOGAN

Mr. HOGAN: Generally?

Mr. CROWLEY Mr. CROWLEY

512

Mr. CROWLEY: Yes. All the yearlings and young animals died of fluke, except the calves. I can prove to the Minister that in the Rural District of Listowel approximately 4,000 or 5,000 yearlings died. You can estimate the loss if you take an average value of £8 per head. I was in our own firm's [512] premises a fortnight ago and in half-an-hour I saw fifteen cow-hides coming in, some farmers having two. These cows died generally at calving or before calving. Many cows have “missed” and there are many cases of contagious abortion. The Department's inspectors and the agricultural instructor in North Kerry would be able to assure the Minister of the accuracy of these facts.

I say again that the Executive or the Government should take serious notice of this matter and try and help some of these farmers. If they do not, they cannot go on, and the Land Commission will not get their annuities next year. How can they hope to get them? There is nothing there. The sub-sheriff, even at present, cannot get anything to seize.

Mr. GOREY Mr. GOREY

513

Mr. GOREY: This is a question that cannot be very well overstated. Although Deputies Baxter and Crowley have dealt with the matter, they have only dealt with, approximately, half of it. The losses in cattle are not the only ones. The losses to sheep farmers are equal to, if not worse than, the cattle losses. The south-western counties, Kerry, and perhaps portion of Cork, Clare, and Limerick, have been remarkable for the losses in cattle. Go to the north-west, to the counties of Galway, Roscommon, and Mayo, and go to Westmeath, Wexford, and Cavan, and you will find that those counties have suffered equally heavy losses in sheep. In some of those counties there is loss in cattle also. This question is very serious from more points of view than one. It is very serious from the individual point of view and from the farmers' point of view. The farmer is bankrupt; he has lost his stock, and he has nothing to put on his land. These things also affect national output, the national balance-sheet, and the national credit, and I think the matter cannot be overstated. I know the Minister appreciates the position. This matter cannot be handled by an ill-conceived measure. To be effective it can only be handled by a well-thought-out measure. Not alone is the position bad for those who have lost, but it is bad for those who have not lost even in those areas. Cattle-dealers will not [513] operate in those areas, and I ask any Deputy to correct me if I am wrong. Cattle-dealers will not go in to buy stock.

MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan) MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan)

MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan): Will they not go into Galway?

Mr. GOREY Mr. GOREY

Mr. GOREY: I do not know. I know that in the case of cattle-dealers. The same thing applies to sheep-dealers. Cattle-dealers have no confidence going into a fair where they can buy stock which they can pass on to their customers. The result is that people if they can sell cattle can only sell them at a small price in the counties of Kerry and Clare. Then we have the problem of what is to be done with this year's grass and hay. What is to be done with this year's grass crop? There are no cattle there to eat the grass, and there will be no cattle to eat the hay when it is saved. It is a more complex situation than the actual cattle loss. I see nothing for it except a loan to enable those people to restock, not perhaps in a hurry but when the weather has got warmer and the land dry, and when this epidemic has passed. I suppose the Minister will say that he will find great difficulty in stocking those wet and mountainy districts with cattle suitable to them. I know it is useless to send down highly-bred cattle to those wet districts, but I know there is more responsible for the death of cattle in these districts than the actual fluke plague.

MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE

MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE: I agree.

Mr. GOREY Mr. GOREY

514

Mr. GOREY: Anyone going into those winter and spring fairs will be struck by the quality of the young cattle and their condition when they come into the market. Hand feeding seems to be conspicuous by its absence. Cattle are not treated on up-to-date methods. We may as well face the truth. This is going to be an excellent opportunity to bring home to the breeders of stock that they must change their methods. Proper food must be got for cattle, and it is a paying proposition to do it. That does not get us away from the position. Actual loss of cattle is there. Anyone can give the [514] numbers, and the approximate cost can be easily ascertained. The question is, what is the best thing to be done. It is only by considerable thinking out that a proper scheme can be devised as to what is the best thing to be done. Something must be done, not alone from the point of view of the individual but from the point of view of the nation. It will not be to the good of this nation to have output reduced or to have national credit impaired, and this is going to do it. People cannot meet their liabilities and cannot pay taxes. Something must be done quickly. I do not advocate rushing. I want a well-thought-out measure, and only want cattle to be replaced in these districts when it is proper to do it. It is no argument to say that these people do not take precautions. It is a fault, of course, that they did not administer male fern in time. That is a fault, but it does not meet the situation to say, “Why did they not do it?” It might not have been got in time or might not have been availed of. That is not the position we are up against. We are up against a position that the best thing must be done. It is a duty of the Dáil and the Government to do it, and I am sure the Minister will have as much sympathy with this question as we have. I want to say that, that the fault has not been altogether the fault of the season. I said before that it has been the fault of the people's neglect in not being alive to the necessity of keeping their cattle in good health and condition, and in giving them the best turnips. A good deal of this is the fault of the people themselves, and I hope this is a lesson that the people of this country are not likely to forget. I hope they will have their cattle properly fed for the future and kept in proper health and condition. If they do that, not alone will the evil of fluke be met, but the evil of bad handling will also be met.

Mr. JOHNSON Mr. JOHNSON

515

Mr. JOHNSON: I rose after Deputy Crowley sat down for the purpose of complimenting him on the most eloquent speech that he could have made. It was perhaps one of the most convincing that he could have made, inasmuch as he gave us a statement of fact in respect to a restricted area. To me [515] it was most appalling. I think the only comparison one can really make is the comparison of an earthquake, and then to ask oneself what we would do if an earthquake affected a certain portion of the country and destroyed the industrial works in that area upon which the country relied for its subsistence. If the sample that Deputy Crowley gave us of the country is in any way at all typical of any considerable area of the country, then we are in a very serious situation. Of course it is not only the grown cattle, the cows, which are the basis of the future progeny. The young cattle, apparently, have died in very much greater numbers than the aged cattle. I am sure the Minister has full particulars, and will be able to give us some information as to how this visitation has affected the remaining areas of the country, whether in cattle or sheep. I am sure that he has considered the needs of the situation as it affects the country's prosperity in future years. It seems to me that if loans are the best way of meeting the situation with respect to the individual, the House will be glad to support any proposition of that kind. It occurs to me that, looking at the problem from the national side, it would require some kind of regulation with respect to the export of milch cows. If the supplies are to be maintained, if those who have lost their cattle are to be supplied and their stocks replenished, there will have to be some regulation, perhaps, of the market for export. I think that Deputy Baxter and the Deputies who have supported him are justified in asking for the fullest possible information from the Ministry, both as to the reports from the country as a whole, in respect of this disease and of the destruction caused by it, and in respect of the measures which it is proposed to take to meet these evils. I can assure the Minister that so far as we are concerned we will give full support to any well-considered proposition for loans or other means to meet the needs of the case that he propounds.

Mr. McKENNA Mr. McKENNA

516

Mr. McKENNA: I rise to support the motion moved by Deputy Baxter. I am sure that Deputies who have heard [516] his statement, and also the statement made by Deputy Crowley, will agree that these statements are in no way exaggerated, but are a true presentation of facts as they exist in most counties of the Saorstát at the present time. These Deputies have performed a great public service in calling the attention of the House to the position at the present moment. Most diseases are preventative, and this is a disease in my opinion which cannot be eradicated without Government aid. I have had a good deal of experience of the work of the veterinary branch of the Department of Agriculture and Tech nical Instruction for Ireland, and during the 1912 outbreak of foot and mouth disease, and other outbreaks scheduled under the Diseases of Animals Act, I had often times to spend many days visiting these Departments. I must say, from my experience of the work of the veterinary branch of the Department of Agriculture, that it gave us as good and clean bill of health, so far as our live stock were concerned, as any other nation possessed. But, while I do not unduly wish to criticise the veterinary branch over this epidemic, I believe, from what I have seen, that a great amount of the loss sustained by owners is due to lack of educational propaganda on the part of the Department.

517

The difficulty is that this disease, known as fluke, is not a scheduled disease under the Diseases of Animals Act. As a disease which has caused such widespread havoc among our live stock population, it should be scheduled under the Diseases of Animals Act as notifiable. Unless you do that, what is the use asking the State to come to the aid of people if there is a repetition of the disease next year? Something, of course, must be done now, but we must also take precautions that this disease must be stamped out. Due to the blessing of Divine Providence, we were not visited with foot and mouth disease when it broke out in England. Had we been unfortunate enough to get it here, it would have perhaps cost us millions of money, as it did in England. I have the figures which the British paid in compensation, and I think they will astound the House. They show [517] what England did for the agricultural population when visited with such an infectious disease as foot and mouth disease.

In 1921 there were 44 outbreaks in England, and these cost £48,745; in 1922 there were 1,140 outbreaks, which cost £803,529; in 1923 there were 1,029 outbreaks, which cost £2,209,812; in 1924 there were 1,440 outbreaks, which cost £1,289,696. These amounts total a sum of between four and five millions. When the disease broke out in England all the money earmarked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer under the Diseases of Animals Act, to cope with that disease was £140,000, and out of that sum £100,000 was earmarked for diseases amongst cattle and anthrax and other diseases amongst horses, and £40,000 for swine fever. They passed legislation, and most of the money voted by the House of Commons to compensate owners for the slaughter of their cattle was taken from the Imperial Exchequer, and very little fell upon the local rates.

Now, the difficulty of this problem is the great hold the disease has got of the entire cattle and sheep population of the country. Of course it is impossible, without a census, to know the numbers of live-stock lost, but, glancing at the returns of the Free State of the number of animals exported for three months—I take the three months commencing January to 28th March this year—show, we are not increasing our export. Our cattle export only totalled 61,128, as against 102,043 for the corresponding period of 1924. Sheep were less this year than last year by 21,000 head. The total is 46,446, as against 67,143. In my opinion the hope for the future lies in the methods of disseminating amongst owners information regarding the means by which they might gradually reduce the incidence of the disease in their own flocks. I do not mean to say that the Department did nothing. They did a lot. They published leaflets, they published Press notices, but did they do what most countries do when disease such as this breaks out? Did they set up an experimental station for the purpose of testing the remedy mentioned, or can they state is it a cure as well as a remedy?

MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan) MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan)

518

[518] MINISTER for LANDS and AGRICULTURE (Mr. Hogan): Every consignment that went out was tested.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE Michael Hayes

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE resumed the Chair.

Mr. McKENNA Mr. McKENNA

Mr. McKENNA: If it is a cure steps should be taken to see that supplies of the remedy should be placed in the hands of every veterinary surgeon throughout the country. I am aware of cases, and I was speaking to several veterinary surgeons dealing with cases, where they had to wait for days before they could get a supply of the remedy.

There is another aspect of this case that Deputies who spoke did not touch at all, and I call the attention of the House, and also the attention of the Minister for Public Health, to it. It is that hundreds of those fluky sheep were sold by their owners at any price that they could get for them to butchers, and they were sold for human consumption. I am not a doctor and consequently I cannot offer an opinion as to whether or not such meat was fit or wholesome for human food. But I believe if some of the Deputies in this House saw one of those sheep opened and the parasites alive and kicking in the carcase they would not relish a mixed grill with portion of the liver through it, or a mutton cutlet from off the carcase. Now, we are passing a lot of legislation, and in my opinion there is no Bill so urgently needed as the Meat Inspection Bill. There are hundreds of those kinds of carcases being pawned off on people of what is known as “God's own killing.” These must have a most injurious effect upon the health of the public. What is a man to do with, say, 20 or 30 sheep afflicted with this disease? He goes to the knacker; he says, “I will try and get something for them,” and he sells them at 15/-, 20/-, or 25/-, anything he can get. Where do they go? The buyer does not invest in this kind of thing unless he gets some return.

519

Sheep farming at the present time is the one bright spot in agriculture, but our farmers in this country cannot be expected to gamble in sheep farming unless the State comes to the rescue and [519] helps them to eradicate this disease and gives them some help to restock their lands. I saw a census the other day with reference to the world's supply of live stock, which stated that there are ten millions increase in cattle from the pre-war census. Pigs decreased thirty millions; sheep decreased eighty-eight millions. Now, I think the Department of Agriculture should publish these facts, and I would like to see the Statistics Branch educate the farmers upon matters like that, and I hope that the State will accede to our wishes. I am sure it is the general opinion of the whole House, and the country, that something should be done to help the people who have been afflicted by this scourge. The British Government gave last year a grant of £10,000 towards research work to try and cope with foot and mouth disease, and £15,000 this year. I do not know what research work is going on here. I am sure there is some, but I do not know what amount of money has been earmarked by the Minister for Finance for research work under the Diseases of Animals Act. I remember the late Sir Thos. Russell got £14,000 from the British Government for research work to cope with swine fever. It was insufficient and nothing was done since. Of course the rural districts are practically immune from it. I will not delay the House further than to hope that the reply of the Minister will be favourable, and that when he approaches the Executive Council he will not be told, in the words of the holy man in the Bible, “the Lord gave them and the Lord took them away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Mr. JAMES COSGRAVE Mr. JAMES COSGRAVE

520

Mr. JAMES COSGRAVE: I regret exceedingly that it is my painful duty to inform Deputies of this House, and the public generally, of the misfortune, or scourge, if you like, that has fallen on the poor farmers of the County Galway. The total number of sheep in Galway last October was in or about 500,000. I am confident, from information I have received from my constituents, that at least one-fifth of them have been lost by fluke since November last. There are small farmers in my immediate district who [520] have lost from 10 to 100 sheep each through this dreadful disease. The loss of, say, 10 or 20 sheep and four or five calves to a poor man means bankruptcy to him except the Government comes to his assistance. The Galway County Committee of Agriculture, at their monthly meeting on Wednesday last, decided to call on the Government to formulate a scheme for the issue of low rate loans to relieve farmers who have suffered as a result of the ravages of fluke in sheep in that county. Several members of that important Committee spoke very strongly on this matter, and I hope the Minister for Lands and Agriculture will carefully consider their recommendations and formulate the scheme suggested by them.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN Mr. CONNOR HOGAN

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: As the seconder of Deputy Baxter's motion, I desire to say that in the five minutes which remain of the time allotted to this debate, I cannot finish this afternoon. I presume the debate will be resumed on Friday.

Mr. JOHNSON Mr. JOHNSON

Mr. JOHNSON: We must have the Minister's reply this evening.

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN Mr. CONNOR HOGAN

Mr. CONNOR HOGAN: It is not conceivable that we could deal with such a stupendous question, which must be examined as to cause and effect in all its aspects: economical, social and political, in the short compass of an hour. The thing is impossible. This question primarily affects the tiller of the soil—the poor peasant—and raises issues of such gravity that it could not be debated in an hour. We are dealing with a very dreadful crisis in agricultural affairs in certain counties in the west. There, at least, the hardship is greatest. I am not saying that live stock losses are not frequent in other parts of the country. I have no doubt of it. But the fact is that along the Atlantic belt from West Cork to Donegal you have in certain large areas a most serious mortality amongst cattle and sheep.

521

I have got some figures here for certain districts—not necessarily complete figures. What I have got are certainly reliable as far as the areas go, but I do not say that the return is absolutely full. Taking them at random, I find [521] that in a certain area in West Clare, called the Peninsula—that is the district west of a line between Kilkee and Kilrush—in the townland of Belaha, there are just six calves left out of a total of forty. In the townland of Baltard 30 per cent. of the calves and some of the elder cattle died. At a place called Newton, in the same district, there are three yearlings left out of fifty. Turning to other areas, there were losses amongst yearlings and two-year-old cows. The mortality amongst sheep was small, because very few sheep are kept there. I understand, however, that only an odd sheep survives.

522

This question must be debated in the light of its economic reaction. What will the position of these people be this year—or in some subsequent year? What is the position at the moment? I am sorry to say that while the mortality has been to a large extent confined to yearlings, the elder cattle have not escaped. A large number of cows have died, and these which remain are not producing milk. Possibly this is due to the fact that last year's harvest was a failure, the hay saved was inferior, and the people in many cases were too poor to buy concentrated foods to give added sustenance to their cattle. The fact remains that at present, in many places, the cows are unproductive, and in several of these areas the children of many a poor peasant are crying out for milk. That may appear to be an exaggerated statement, but I am prepared to assert that it is essentially true. In any case, it may be taken that the cows will not produce much milk this year—where the owners have been lucky enough to have any cows left. These cows will not produce much milk or butter, and in the west butter-making is more or less the staple industry. The sale of the butter keeps the family, while the yearlings are sold to meet certain charges, such as land purchase annuities, rates, and other demands. The money realised from the sale of butter really goes to keep the home from week to week. You have, then, this position: that, with a lot of the young cattle gone, the week-to-week earning power of the family has sensibly diminished. That is a very [522] serious position. In addition, you have to remember that charges are pressing on these small farmers, and as a rule the farms are exceedingly small, three, five, or seven cows only being kept. A man with twelve or fifteen cows is considered a very large farmer in the districts I am speaking of, and is recognised as an opulent and well-to-do man. It has been amongst the poorest class that the mortality has been highest. I would not lay that down as a general principle, as it would be scarcely fair to do so, but when the question is examined it will be found that the small peasant has been the most unfortunate in losing most of his stock. I beg to move the adjournment of the debate until Friday.

Debate adjourned until Friday.

Sitting suspended at 6.30 and resumed at 7 p.m.,

AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE Padraic Ó Máille

AN LEAS-CHEANN COMHAIRLE in the Chair.

Dáil Éireann 11 PRIVATE BUSINESS. LOSS OF STOCK THROUGH DIS







Dáil Éireann - Volume 113 - 17 November, 1948

Written Answers to Questions. - Condition of North Kerry Roads.

Éamon Ó Ciosáin Éamon Ó Ciosáin

Éamon Ó Ciosáin asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware that although the steam-rolling of the 1¾ miles of road from Murhur Cross to the village of Moyvane in North Kerry has been listed for attention for some time, the work has not yet been commenced; and if he will indicate the approximate date on which the work will start and the estimated cost thereof.

Éamon Ó Ciosáin Éamon Ó Ciosáin

Éamon Ó Ciosáin asked the Minister for Local Government if he is aware that the 1½ miles of road from the village of Moyvane in North Kerry to the Ballylongford Cross, which is part of the Tarbert-Listowel bus route, is in a bad state of repair at present; and if he will say whether it is the intention to have it steam-rolled in the near future.

Mr. Murphy Mr. Murphy

Mr. Murphy: With the Ceann Comhairle's permission I propose to take Questions 96 and 97 together.

The matters raised by the Deputy are for the county council. I understand that work on the rolling of a section of the Murhur Cross-Moyvane road started recently and that the inclusion of the Moyvane-Ballylongford Cross road in the Estimates for next Financial Year may come up for consideration by the county council in December or January next.

The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, 18th November, 1948.







Dáil Éireann - Volume 21 - 02 November, 1927

CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - PURCHASE OF NORTH KERRY ESTATES.

SEAMUS O CRUADHLAOICH SEAMUS O CRUADHLAOICH

SEAMUS O CRUADHLAOICH asked the Minister for Fisheries if he will expedite the purchase and division of the estates of Madame de Janasz, Kilmorna; Dr. Davidage, Tanavilla; and Mr. Eyre Stack, Ballyconrey, all in North Kerry, and if the purchase and division of those estates will be accomplished before the spring of 1928.

Mr. RODDY Mr. RODDY

607

Mr. RODDY: Proceedings are pending for the acquisition of the lands of Kilmeany and Trien on the estate of Madame de Janasz; the lands of Island-ganniv South, Kilcreen and Garryantavally, on Surgeon Commander Davidage's estate, and for the lands of Ballyconrey, Mweevoo and Trohana, on [607] the estate of Eyre Massy Stack, all in County Kerry, but the Land Commission are not at present in a position to say when the lands will be divided.

Mr. CROWLEY Mr. CROWLEY

Mr. CROWLEY: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the lands of Mr. Stack are in the hands of the Land Commission for the last ten years for the purpose of purchase and distribution amongst congests? Is he aware also that the lands of Madame de Janasz and Dr. Davidage are in the hands of the Land Commission for the past six years for purchase and distribution amongst the congests in the district, and will he take any action in the matter?

Mr. RODDY Mr. RODDY

Mr. RODDY: The Land Commission is not responsible for the delay in connection with the acquisition of these lands. The agents acting on behalf of these people are primarily responsible for the delay.





Dáil Éireann - Volume 21 - 10 November, 1927

CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - KERRY POSTMEN'S REINSTATEMENT.

Mr. O'LEARY Mr. O'LEARY

Mr. O'LEARY asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will consider the question of the reinstatement of John Reidy, Lixnaw, and Timothy Cronin, Knockanure, County Kerry, postmen, who were imprisoned in 1922 and not re-employed when released.

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTER for POSTS and TELEGRAPHS (Mr. Heffernan) Michael Richard Heffernan

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTER for POSTS and TELEGRAPHS (Mr. Heffernan): Any applications for re-employment in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs which are submitted by the persons mentioned in the Deputy's question will receive consideration.

Mr. O'LEARY Mr. O'LEARY

1175

Mr. O'LEARY: Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that vacancies exist in [1175] these two districts at present, and could he see his way to employ these men to fill these vacancies?

Mr. HEFFERNAN Mr. HEFFERNAN

Mr. HEFFERNAN: I have nothing to add to my answer, that any applications which are received from these men, or from other men in the district, will receive consideration, and that all the circumstances will be taken into account when the appointments are being made.

Mr. CORRY Mr. CORRY

Mr. CORRY: Will these men get a preference, or is a preference going to be given to ex-service men of the National Army?

Mr. HEFFERNAN Mr. HEFFERNAN

Mr. HEFFERNAN: The appointments will be made, taking all the circumstances into account and the qualifications of the applicants.

Mr. O'LEARY Mr. O'LEARY

EARY: Will the past service of these men be taken into account?. HEFFERNAN Mr. HEFFERNAN

Mr. HEFFERNAN: I presume that every circumstance connected with the men's qualifications will be taken into account.





Dáil Éireann - Volume 609 - 08 November, 2005

Written Answers. - Special Educational Needs.

Mr. Ferris Mr. Ferris

  617. Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of special needs assistants attached to each school in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32808/05]

Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin

  Ms Hanafin: The total number of special needs assistants employed to meet the needs of specified children in primary, voluntary, secondary and community and comprehensive schools in County Kerry is 209. Following is a breakdown of the number in each school for the Deputy’s information.

Primary SNA’s in Co. Kerry as at 4/11/05


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