New Zealand Tablet, 25th November, 1909 p1867
At a meeting of the Gort sub-Pension Committee, Right Rev Monsignor Fahey V.G. presiding, there were 37 cases of pensioners submitted to the meeting by the local Excise for the purpose of having their pensions cancelled. Neither the Excise Officer nor his representative attended to offer any explanation or answer any questions. The meeting was therefore adjourned and several resolutions were adopted, amongst them being the following;
In the cases before us today we are asked by our local representative of Excise to cancel 37 claims, only because the ages of the claimants do not appear in the census of ’41. Even in England it has been held that the census of ’41 cannot be received as the sole standard of a claimant’s age. We strongly urge that it is a far less just standard in Ireland, and were it accepted as the sole standard of age in Ireland it would exclude over 50% of claimants fully entitled to pension by reason of age.
To set aside all collateral evidence would be to frustrate the avowed object of the Act, and rob the poor in the interests of the Treasury. As a committee we are determined to lend neither sanction nor support to this obvious departure from the spirit and purpose of the law. We protest against it as a cruel injustice to our poor and should our priest be unavailing we shall further mark our strong disapproval by at once tendering our resignation as a committee.