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The quarter acre clause – 1850

Freeman’s Journal 27th May 1850  p.3

The quarter acre Photo: EO'D

The quarter acre
Photo: EO’D

At the last meeting of the guardians of the Gort Union (J.A.Joyce Esq., in the chair) a letter was read from the Poor Law Commissioners, in consequence of a memorial which had been addressed to them by certain parties complaining that some families, who were actually starving, had been refused relief in consequence of the father of the family having refused to give up his land, though the other members of the family were anxious that he should do so.
The commissioners informed the board that it was the opinion of eminent counsel that the other members of the family could be legally relieved under such circumstances, although the parent refused to give up his holding. A conversation then ensued on this subject in which it was admitted that such cases of hardship might arise, but that it would be likely to cause great abuses and imposition if the practice of thus giving relief were adopted. The chairman inquired of the relieving officer why he had not taken the application of the family referred to in the memorial – to which he replied that it was because they held land. The chairman informed him that it was his duty to receive all applications made to him and leave it to the board to decide how far they were entitled to relief. If any of them held land he(the relieving officer) should, of course state that as well as all other facts which he knew concerning them to the board.

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