Republican News · Thursday 8 June 1999

[An Phoblacht]

Ó Caoláin questions Ahern on Ground Rents

The long-running issue of Ground Rents was raised by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin in the Dáil last week, when he questioned the Taoiseach and urged the passage of legislation to abolish what he described as a ``legacy of British landlordism''.

The Sinn Féin TD took the opportunity of the Order of Business, when the Taoiseach answers questions about promised legislation, on 1 June, to ask Bertie Ahern when the promised Ground Rent Bill would be introduced. The Bill would abolish ground rent but has been merely listed as `promised' by this government since they took office.

``Representatives of Fianna Fáil recently stated the Bill will come before the Dáil shortly. What is the position with the proposed Bill which is expected to address the unacceptable situation still applying in several parts of the country, including in the town of Carrickmacross?'' asked Ó Caoláin.

Ahern replied that there were ``constitutional, technical and practical difficulties which have to be dealt with''. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin commented later that the reply was ``totally unsatisfactory and unacceptable''. He said: ``The government has cited these alleged difficulties on numerous occasions. But they have shown no evidence of any effort to overcome them, if they exist at all. Clearly, there is no political will on the part of this government to deal with ground rents, which persist as a legacy of British landlordism and a very real financial burden on many people.''

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