Reports relative to valuation for poor rates, and to registered elective franchise in Ireland (local reports) (first series, part I)

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The Union of Balrothery occupies nearly the whole of the northern part of the county of Bdrothery.
Dublin. It was stated to us to comprise the entire barony of Balrothery, or nearly so, and
parts of the barony of Nethercross, Coolock, and Castleknock.

The towns and villages of Balbriggan, Balrothery, Skerries, The Naul, Rush, Lusk, Dona-
bete, Swords, Malahide, Kilsalaghan, Ballyboghill, and other smaller hamlets, lie within the

The Union is divided into 12 electoral divisions. The first election of guardians took Division of Union
place on the 8th May, 1839. The number of elected guardians is 22, and of ex-ojficio
guardians 7. The names of the divisions and of the guardians will be found in the

The Board, (after the usual advertisements), on the 18th October, 1839, appointed Messrs.

George Taylor and Geoffry Morris, valuators of the Union.

Messrs. 1 aylor and Morris are professional valuators, and produce high testimonials of
ability. Mr. Morris was employed on the ordnance survey, and has been highly recom¬
mended by Captain Portlock for judgment and skill.

The documents which Messrs. Taylor and Morris received from the Board, in order to
assist them in their task, were—

Appointment of

1. The tithe composition.

2. The applotments to county cess.

3. The maps of the ordnance survey.

They commenced their valuation of the Union in the town of Swords early in October. At
first they remained together and made a joint valuation, but afterwards took different districts.

They made use of the tithe composition only for the purpose of ascertaining the quantity of
land in the possession of each occupier, but did not rely on it even for that purpose, and paid
no regard to it for the purpose of ascertaining value.

The applotments to county cess were also used, but not relied on, in determining the quan¬
tity of land in the possession of each occupier. No reliance whatever was placed on them as
to the value.

The maps of the ordnance survey were a valuable check on the former documents as to areas.

They did not obtain the rentals of the landlords ; and though they sometimes inquired what
amount of rent was paid, they never relied on the result of such mquiries. They found the
occupiers not disposed to be communicative on the subject of their rent, or the number of
acres occupied by them, and they consequently seldom sought such information, and never
relied upon it when offered.

They adopted the same system in towns and villages as in the coimty districts, but checked
their own opinions by those of pei'sons having local knowledge in estimating the effect of local
advantages or disadvantages.

The test of value adopted by the valuators was described to us by Mr. Morris as follows :—

" We did not take the rent at which the tenement would let in the market, because that is
raised by competition for land. But we took what a solvent steady man would be reasonably
able to pay for it. We did not take the rack-rent as a criterion, although a man might con¬
tinue to pay it. We assumed the value to be the rent which a person might pay for it,
supposing him to have a reasonable remuneration for his capital, time, and labour."—See
Appendix E, p. 10.

The valuators proceeded with their task on these principles, and made a valuation which we
had an opportunity of inspecting. That valuation has been altered under the circumstances
hereinafter detailed.

On 2nd December, 1839, the following resolution was passed by the Board, three ex-
officio guardians and 16 elected guardians being present:—

" Resolved,—That, with a view to insure the utmost accuracy in the valuation, and to pre¬
vent the necessity of appeals, it is desirable that committees of the guardians be appointed to
superintend the progress of the valuation; that the Union be divided into three parts for that
purpose; that the electoral divisions of Balbriggan, Belscadden, and Holmpatrick form the
first division ; the electoral division of Lusk, Ballyboghill, Hollywood, and Clonmethen form
the second division; and those of Swords, Kilsalaghan, Donabete, Kinsealy, and Malahide
form the third. That the elected guardians of those divisions respectively do form the com¬
mittee for each of those divisions, and that the ex-officio guardians be members of all the
committees. That those committees be instructed to meet from time to time as often as they
shall deem necessary, as the valuation shall be in progress, and render such assistance as they
may deem advisable to the valuators. That the valuators be directed to communicate with
those committees, and to lay before them draft valuations from time to time. Tliat the com¬
mittees be instructed to report progress to the Board at each meeting. That Mr. Corbally be

Documents fur¬
nished to valua¬
tors. (See App. E,
Evidence, p. 10.)

Test of value at first

Resolutions of
Board as to valua¬