TO INQUIRE INTO THE OCCUPATION OP LAND IN IRELAND.
Who is the agent for the college ?-â€”Mr.
Edward Orpen, of this place.
His sister is 7th September,l844.
actjilg for Mm, under thc college,â€”he is caUed to the bar.
There is another great cause ~
of the distress in this country, the unequal proportion of land to the county cess.
exactions of grand juries have become so exorbitant it is enough to create pauperism.
'' u "
This barony consists of seventy-five ploughlands, that is subdivided again into twelve parts, and we call thorn gneeves, and those consist of four parishes.
Now, in what ever manner it first happened, I beHevo it happened thus:â€”In former times this country was generaUy held by middlemen, one holding four or five farms ; and in letting a farm to a tenant they threw a proportion of two farms upon one tenant, and that has continued so long that it has become the custom.
I have known farms in this barony of the value of Â£80 pay but for one gneeve, while one of Â£6 or Â£7 would pay as much.
Last summer there was a meeting caUed, and it was awarded that there should bo a valuation of this parish.
I was one of the valuators myself; but it fell to pieces one way or another after it had been properly regulatedâ€”as well as it could be.
There was too much interest against it, and the whole was tMown back.
TMs barony consists of four parishes; tMs parish must pay a proportion of the thirty-six ploughlands, while thc other three parishes together only pay nearly the same amount.
On the coUege estates thc rents are especially Mgh.
If there were leases given at a fair rent, to pay something more than thc value of tho land, the people woidd not complain.
But the people are desperate; thoro is not any mischief that they are not ready for, driven to desperation.
They have not to blame thc middlemen ; the middlemen are as indulgent as they can be, but tho rent must be paid, sooner or later.
They see nothing but that dismal gulf before them.
Have you any lease ?â€”No;
I never had a lease.
I would Hke to get a lease at present, but what to do in tho mean time I clo not lmow.
Is there any class of farmers uj>on the college lands maMng money ?â€”They
are losing it, if they had it.
What is the condition of the labourers?â€”The
condition of the labourers is bad enough.
Many gentlemen in tins country have labourers, and aUow them 8c/.
a day without diet.
The poor farmer gives the labourer a house, whatever sort it isâ€”God knows it is no great things; he gives Mm a garden and the grass of a pig, and if he has out-land he gives him the grass of a few sheep or goats.
He charges Mm Â£3 a year often, or Â£2 105.
He wiH allow him 6d.
a day for Ms labour, and two meals a day to eat.
He wUI make a bargain to givo Mm three days labour in a week, or five in a fortnight, and they continue so to work out tho rent.
If the poor farmers could help it, I do not sec any class , who require tho labour of their fellow-creatures for nothing loss than thoy clo.
I know of men working for 6d.
without any diet.
I have known them work for 5d.
one part of the year, and 6d.
the other part of the year.
If tbe Irish farmer can get potatoes, ancl a drop of milk one-half of the year, and potatoes and whatever else God Almighty sends him the other half of the year, and can pay his cess, he is contented.
Under Lord Lansdowne it is materially different.
But many who come here have their noses to the grinding stone ; but they have been aUowed Â£6 for building houses, together with timber, and they are allowed so much a perch for building ditches between them; and their co-partners and they have good roads leading from the main roads.
They have bye-roads leading into every locality where they can run a road; but on tho college estate there never was Â£100 expended upon roads through the college estates, because thero is no man cares for it, and then tho tenants pay such an enormous sum in county charges.
Do the college ever send any one down to visit the estates, or clo they come themÂ¬ selves?â€”I
never knew of any one*; but one Reverend came down to visit Glengarriff on a torn* of pleasure, and thero was a dispute between thc tenants and the agent.
Has thc middleman as much out of tho land as the college, or more ?â€”I
can give you one illustration in my own person.
Out of Â£13 6a*.
I pay to the coHege Â£8_ of that, and my co-partners on tho ploughland, every man pays in that proportion according to his rent.
Is the rent that thc middleman receives Mgher than the rent paid on Lord Lans-dovvne's estate ?â€”Yes,
If you held that same land from Lord Lansdowno, should you pay Â£13 for it?â€”I
know I should pay no more than Â£7, for a son-in-law of my own pays Â£4 15s.;
and by the oath I have sworn, he has better value for it than I have for Â£13 6s.
I think if the government took tMs mto then* hands, they could not help doing something to prevent the people being reduced to beggary, wMch is apt to make a man a rogue; for when he is deprived of Ms means he is ready for every tMng that is bad.
[ The witness withdrew.]
BANTRY, MONDAY, 9TH SepTEMBEE, 1844.
9th September, 1844.
The Reverend Christopher Freeman, sworn and examined.
Are you Roman CathoHc curate of the parish of Bantry ?â€”Yes,
How long have you held that situation ?â€”Eight
Have you any statement you wish to make to the commissioners ?â€”Yes,
The parish of Bantry comprises tho barony of Bantry, and a portion of the west division of West Carberry.
I am woH acquainted with that district, and with the people residing therein.
The principal landlords, those holding in fee, in thc barony of Bantry, arc Lord
6 B 2