Law and practice in respect to the occupation of land in Ireland: minutes of evidence: part II

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925 The means by which the consolidation was ancl is about to be accomplished, I am well $& September, 1844. 
acquainted with. 
In the groat majority of cases, no law process was required. 
The popu-rri lation to be evicted were told that if thoy gave possession peaceably, and left Lord Kenmare's property, they would get their potato gardens, ancl a certain portion of the other crops then growing on their farms. 
They wore then told that if they did not comply with those terms, law proceedings would be immediately commenced against them. 
They wero then to expect notMng but the heaviest vengeance of Lord Kenmare ancl his agent. 
Such were the means Mtherto adopted, and such arc tho means now being adopted, to induce several indus¬ trious and well-disposed persons to abandon their farms—their only means of subsistence ; for it is very well ascertained that it is equal to death to the poor people to be deprived of their lands. 
Some of them die miserably. 
The consequences are indeed melancholy, both as regards the persons ejected ancl many of those who took the large farms at rack rents. 
In the discharge of my duty as Cathoh'c clergyman, I have witnessed scenes of misery and distress (I allude only to the people evicted by Lord Kenmare) which can never be effaced from my mind. 
Many of those poor people are since dead. 
Some have been induced to leave the country, to prevent consequences calculated to do much injury. 
I state, upon my oath, that I have prevented, to the best of my knowledge, scenes of murder and bloodshed in the country. 
I acted, of course, under the parish priest, the Very Reverend Thomas Barry. 
_At present there are a great number in a state of uncertainty; and they must give up ultimately. 
Thoy are threatened to be turned out; and in consequence of it, they do not draw the sea manure, which is expensive. 
They do not manure the land, because they say if they improved it, it would be doing so for other persons; ancl in that state of uncertainty, the rents will be demanded in a short time, and they will not be able to meet them. 
I have now before mo the comparative letting of one middleman (David Mellifont, esq.) 
and of Lord Kenmare. 
This is given not from memory, but as I learned it from the people, by making strict inquiries. 
I find that a district let by the middleman (David MelhTont, esq.) 
for £160, was let by Lord Kenmare for £230. 
I find that another district, let by said middleman for £76 16s. 
is let by Ms lordsliip for £150. 
It is worthy of remark that Melhfont was known to keep those lands waste for sonic years rather than let them for the value. 
It is also weU known that ho generaUy selected as his tenant some poor person, who, in order to get some means of subsistence, would promise more than could be paid for the lands. 
There were then war prices for agricultural produce ; and yet we find lands then let by such a person as MelHfont for £237, now lot for £380 by Lord Kenmare. 
Aro you aware whether they were let by Mr. 
Mollifont on lease, or under him at wffl?—At-will. 
Are you aware whether any thing had been done to those lands in the way of improving them, in tho mean time, in thc way of building houses ?—JNb. 
I am aware that they were thc worst description of houses. 
Nothing whatever was clone at Lord Kenmare's expense, except making a road. 
I behove he aUowed some persons for a small quantity of sand. 
State the townland in which this occurred ?—AMU. 
Were aU the persons you havo mentioned upon that townland ?—Yes. 
I am spcalting now of the comparative letting. 
These rents are rigidly exacted, they must be paid on a certain day. 
If not, thc pounds are filled with cattle, and the unfortunate tenant must either seH his property at a great disadvantage, take money from the butter merchant at a high rate of interest, or have recourse to the pawn office to make the rent ancl save Ms cattle. 
With respect to their going to the pawn office, I do not state it from my own knowledge, I have it from hearsay. 
I have in my hand a memorial, the contents of wMch I beheve to bo true to tho best of my knowledge. 
I have made inquiries, and I beHeve it to be true from the knowledge I have of the parties. 
The memorialist, together with Ms mother ancl brother, were living aU happily in thc same house ; Ms mother is a widow, a very old woman. 
The brother was married, and ho was obHged to give a part of his land to John Sullivan; tho mother went away with the other son, they would not remain with John Sullivan. 
I know he was obliged to leave, and that he appHed for some compensation for his outlay. 
I posted the memorial to Lord Kenmare for Mm, but Ms potatoes and every thing he had, as it is stated thero, was sold for thc rent. 
That is an instance of what is occurring, and I state it to you. 
He was obHged to give one-third of the land to another tenant before he was dispossessed, and was aUowed notMng for his improvements ; and tMs man owed no rent whatever, except the half-year for which the things were sold. 
Do you know who got his land ?—It 
was a relation of SuUivan's that got Ms land. 
He was evicted by another landlord upon the Kenmare property, Mr. 
He spoke to the agent and got him tMs land. 
Where is John SulHvan Hving now ?—Under 
John White, at Cohnola. 
I have no hesitation in saying that the statement is correct. 
The system of letting farms at rack rents is generaUy adopted in this part of the country. 
The landlords screw out as much as they can by distrainmg ancl impounding the tenants' cattle. 
When they find that the tenants cannot possibly pay more, the cattle are returned much diminished in value from driving and confinement. 
Should the value of agricultural produce, from some accidental cause, be much improved one year, tho tenant is not much benefited by that improvements as the landlord must get not oidy that year's rent, but the arrears that accrued for years, previously. 
Some of the landlords in this and the neighbouring baronies would be, I am certam, weU disposed to treat then* tenantry with more consideration if then* difficulties!, 
permitted them. 
They got their properties encumbered with debt, They must meet the>