Marron, Appellant, and The Cootehill (No. 2) Rural District Council, Respondents

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHouse of Lords (Ireland)
Judgment Date25 March 1915
Date25 March 1915

CHANCERY DIVISION

MARRON,
APPELLANT,

AND THE COOTEHILL (No. 2) RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL,
RESPONDENTS

Condon v. The Mitchelstown District CouncilIR [1915] 1 I. R. 113, 118.

Condon's CaseIR [1914] 1 I. R. 113, 118.

Tevlin v. The Lisnaskea Rural District CouncilIR [1914] 2 I. R. 15.

Local Government —— Labourer's Cottage — Preference on First Letting — Right to Particular Cottage — Discretion of District Council — Letting to Labourer on whose behalf no Representation had been signed ——

216 THE IRISH REPORTS. [1915. Ross J. Applying this view as to the bonus to the present case, the 1915. testator, by his will, gives his property in the county of Limerick HEARD which, he mentions, was being sold to the tenants under the Land V. GABBETT. Law (Ireland) Act, 1903, " and the proceeds thereof " to the trustees upon certain trusts. The words "and the proceeds thereof " do not widen the meaning, nor have the further words used by the testator, " moneys produced by such sale," any widening effect. The bonus, as I have already said, is no part of the lands. Therefore I am of opinion that the bonus does not go with the bequest of the lands and proceeds, but passes under the residuary gift in the will. Solicitor for the plaintiffs: Richard A. Ilfactiamara. Solicitor for Wilhelmina Jane Gabbett : Frederick Hall. Solicitors for Lily A. Gabbett : D. 4. T. Fitzgerald. D. M. S. H. L. 1915. March 3, 4, 25. [HOUSE OF LORDS.] MARRON, APPELLANT, AND THE COOTEHILL (No. 2) RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL, RESPONDENTS (1). Local Government—Labourers (Ireland) Acts—Labourer's Cottage—PreÂference on First letting—Right to Particular Cottage—Discretion of District Council—Letting to Labourer on whose behalf no Representation had been signed—Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1906 (6 Edw. 7, e. 7), s. 29— Effect of Section apart from Regulations made under it. A district council had acquired land under an improvement scheme made under the Labourers (Ireland) Acts, and founded on " representations" made by certain agricultural labourers, of whom the appellant was one. When eight cottages, out of a large number comprised in the scheme, had been built, the council allotted one of them to K., an agricultural labourer, who had not signed any of the representations on which the scheme was founded, but whose needs were more urgent than the appellant's. Prior to the erection of the remaining cottages under the scheme the plaintiff brought an action against (1) Present: VISCOUNT HA.LDANE L.C., LORD DUNEDIN, LORD ATKINSON, LORD PARKER OF WADDING1ON, LORD SUMNER, and Lon PARMOOR. The judgments are printed from a transcript supplied by Messrs. W. 13. Gurney & Sons. VOL. 1.] CHANCERY DIVISION. the council for a declaration that, under sub-s. 2 of s. 29 of the I.abourers (Ireland) Act, 1906 (I), he was entitled to a preference as against K, or any other person on whose behalf no representation was lodged, to be admitted as tenant on the first letting of the cottage, and claiming possession and an injunction and damages. Held, affirming the decision of the Court of Appeal in Ireland, [1914] 1 I. R. 208, that the plaintiff's action was not maintainable. Held, by Viscount Haldane L.C., Lord I unedin, Lord Atkinson, Lord Parker of Warrington, and Lord Parmoor, that the appellant had not a preÂferential right to any particular cottage. Condon v. Mitchelstown Rural District Council, [1914] 1 I. R. 11:3, 118, approved. Held, by Lord Dunedin, Lord Atkinson, Lord Sumner, and Lord Parmoor, that the preference on the first letting of cottages to labourers on whose behalf representations have been made, referred to in s. 29 of the Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1906, is not an absolute preference, but only a preference caeteris paribus. Quaere, per Lord Atkinson, does s. 29, apart from regulations made under it, confer a right of preference ? APPEAL, in forma pauperis, from a decision of the Court of Appeal in Ireland reversing the judgment of the Master of the Rolls (reported [1914] 1 I. R. 201, 208) in an action wherein the appellant was plaintiff and the respondents were defendants. The plaintiff claimed in the action :-1. A declaration that he was entitled, iu preference to Joseph Kennedy or any other person on whose behalf no representation was lodged, to be admitted as tenant to the defendants upon the first letting by the defendants of a certain labourer's plot and cottage, situate in the townland of (1) Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1906, s. 29: " (1) The district council shall make regulations with respect to the letting of cottages and allotments under the Labourers Acts, and for preventing any undue preference in the letting thereof, and generally for carrying the provisions of the said Acts into effect." " (2) Regulations under this section shall provide that, on the first letting of any cottages or allotments comprised in a scheme, preference shall be given to agricultural labourers who have signed on their own behalf the represenÂtation on which the scheme was founded, or on whose behalf that representation was made." " 4) Itegulations under this section shall not be of any force until conÂfirmed by the Local Government Board, in like manner and subject to the like provisions as in the case of by-laws under the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878." 218 THE IRISH REPORTS. [1915 H. L. Aughnamullen, Electoral Division of Anny, and erected by the 1915. defendants, pursuant to the Labourers (Ireland) Acts, 1883 to 1906, MARRON on the said plot. 2. To be put into possession of the said plot and CuOTERILL cottage as tenant to the defendants, upon signing the usual contract (No. 2) of tenancy. 3. An injunction to restrain the defendants from RURAL 1)IS URICT letting, continuing to let, or attempting to let, the said plot and Counn. cottage to any person other than the plaintiff, or otherwise attempting to defeat the right of the plaintiff to such preference. 4. An injunction to compel the defendants to make a letting of the said premises to the plaintiff, and for this purpose to do all necessary acts for obtaining vacant possession thereof, and for determining all (if any) lettings, or attempted lettings, thereof. 5. Damages. 6. Further or other relief. 7. Costs. The material facts are set out in the report of the case before the Master of the Rolls and in the Court of Appeal, [1914] 1 I. R. 201, 208, and in the judgment of Lord Atkinson, infra. The Master of the Rolls made an order declaring the plaintiff entitled, in preference to Joseph Kennedy or any other person on whose behalf no representation was lodged, to be admitted as tenant to the defendants upon the first letting by the defendants of the plot and cottage in question. He made no order as to possession of the said plot and cottage, or for letting the same to the plaintiff, the said Joseph Kennedy not being a party to the action. He declared the plaintiff entitled to the sum of £30 damages, to be paid by the defendants, and the costs of the action. The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment of the Master of the Rolls, and ordered that the action should be dismissed with costs. The plaintiff appealed in forma pauperis to the House of Lords. Seijeant Sullivan KC., and D. J. 0 Brien K.C. (with them J. T. Donovan), for the appellant. Jellett KC., Gerald Fitzgibbon KC., and E. S. Murphy, for the respondents, were not called on. The House took time for consideration. VOL. I.] CHANC E RY DIVISION. VISCOUNT HALDANE L.C. My Lords, I think that this appeal ought to fail, and I rest this conclusion on reasons which I can express briefly. The Master of the Rolls made a declaration that the appellant was entitled, in preference to Kennedy or any other person on whose behalf no representation was lodged, to be admitted as tenant of the plot and cottage in question, and awarded the appellant £30 as damages. The Court of Appeal reversed this judgment. I have come to the conclusion that the Court of Appeal was right. Section 29 of the Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1906, begins by imposing on the district council the duty of making regulations with respect to the letting of cottages and allotments under the Labourers Acts, and for preventing any undue preference in the letting, and generally for carrying the provisions of these Acts into effect. It then goes on to enact that these regulations shall provide that, on the first letting of any cottages or allotments comprised in a scheme, preference shall be given to agricultural labourers who have made the representation on which the scheme was founded, or on whose behalf the representation was made. My Lords, I can conceive a case in which a labourer, belonging to the class defined, by the making of a representation would be entitled to a mandamus to compel the council to make regulations. It is also possible—it is not necessary to express an opinion on the point—that such a labourer might be entitled to an injunction in a case where the council was so proceeding as to deprive him of all chance of a letting. But I am unable to find in the section language which entitles the labourer to assert title to a specific holding in a case like the present. The scheme here provided for the erection of twenty-five cottages. The right of the appellant is not to any particular cottage, but to a preference over strangers in the carrying out of the scheme as a whole. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that it was wrong to let to Kennedy, in so far as some person in the class entitled would thereby be left unproÂvided for, it does not follow that the appellant was injured. For he had no title to the particular cottage allocated to Kennedy, and his right might have been satisfied by the allocation of some THE IRISH REPORTS. ; 1915_ other cottage. I have read the section as...

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  • McDaid v Milford Rural District Council
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 1 January 1919
    ...216. (1) [1915] A. C. 792; [1915] I. R. 216. (2) [1914] 2 I. R. 15. (1) [1914] 2 I. R. 15. (1) [1914] 2 I. R. 15. (2) [1915] A. C. 792; [1915] 1 I. R. 216. (1) [1915] A. C. 792; [1915] 1 I. R. 216. (2) [1914] 2 I. R. 15. (1) [1915] A. C. 792; [1915] 1 I. R. 216. (2) [1914] 2 I. R. 15. (3) I......

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