The Commissioner of Valuation, Appellant; The Very Rev.Patrick O'Connell, Respondent

JudgeK. B. Div.
Judgment Date12 June 1906
CourtKing's Bench Division (Ireland)
Date12 June 1906
The Commissioner of Valuation,
The Very Rev. Patrick O'Connell
Respondent (1).

K. B. Div.











Valuation Acts — Poor rate — Exemption — Hereditaments used exclusively for charitable purposes — Parochial house used as residence for parish priest — Private chapel — Room used for keeping parish registers — 15 & 16 Vict. c. 63, s. 16 — 17 Vict. c. 8, s. 2.

A house built by parishioners for, and used by a Roman Catholic parish priest as, a residence and for parochial purposes, is not exclusively used for charitable purposes so as to be exempt from assessment for poor rate.

Nor is a room in such house, used solely as a private chapel for the occupants of the house, so exempt.

Nor a room used for keeping the parish registers and things connected with the ministration of the office of parish priest, unless exclusively so used.

Case Stated by the Chairman of Quarter Sessions of the county of Cavan pursuant to 23 Vict. c. 4, s. 10.

The material facts as appearing from the case were as follows:

Under the Valuation (Ireland) Act, 1854, the Commissioner of Valuation in the autumn of 1904 caused a revision to be made of certain hereditaments and tenements in the county of Cavan, including the parochial house and premises in the occupation of the respondent, the Very Rev. Patrick O'Connell (hereinafter called Father O'Connell). As the result of the revised valuation, the rateable annual value of the parochial house and premises was fixed at £28 15s., of which the sum of £20 was placed on the buildings.

Father O'Connell, being aggrieved by reason of this valuation, served on the Commissioner of Valuation the notice prescribed by 15 & 16 Vict. c. 63, s. 19. The Commissioner having refused to alter the valuation, Father O'Connell appealed to the Quarter Sessions, the ground of appeal being that the house and premises were exclusively used for charitable purposes, and were therefore exempt from poor rate.

By consent the case was heard at Quarter Sessions by the County Court Judge, sitting alone, who, on the evidence, found the following facts:—

“In May, 1897, Father O'Connell was appointed parish priest of the parish of Drumgoon, and he took a house at a rent in the town of Cootehill, in which he resided till May, 1900, when he went to reside in the parochial house in which he now resides.

“In 1897 and 1898 meetings of the parishioners were held with a view to raise funds to build a parochial house as a residence for the parish priest for the time being, and a sum of about £500 was subscribed for this purpose.

“The parishioners (and Father O'Connell acting with them) selected a site within the parish adjoining the grounds of a Catholic convent (as appears by the map on the lease hereinafter mentioned) beside the town of Cootehill, and they then applied to the owner of this site for a lease under the ‘Leasing Powers Act for Religious Worship in Ireland, 1855,’ and procured it to be made to three trustees for the parishioners.

“The lease, which is dated the 19th of November, 1898, comprises 3a. 3r. 10p., statute measure, at a rent of £4 per annum, for a term of 999 years. It is made by the lessor to three trustees—the Most Rev. Edward Magennis, Bishop of the Diocese in which the parish of Drumgoon is situate; Father O'Connell; and the Rev. John M'Gauran, another priest in said diocese.

“Said lease is set out in schedule ‘E,’ and is to be taken as incorporated in this case.

“A further sum of £400 was then borrowed by the parishioners, in the names of the said trustees, from the Board of Works, repayable by a rentcharge on the leasehold premises of £20, payable by instalments of £10 half-yearly for 35 years.

“The two sums, amounting to about £900, were expended on the erection of the parochial house and offices, and laying out the grounds. The unskilled labour required in the building operations was done by the parishioners, who worked and drew the materials with their horses and carts, voluntarily. The buildings were completed and ready for occupation in May, 1900, when Father O'Connell went to reside in them.

“The house has six rooms, one of which is used solely as a private chapel for the occupants of the house, Mass being celebrated in it. Another room is used for keeping all the parish registers and books, and also things connected with the ministration of the office of parish priest.

“No person has a right to reside in the house except the parish priest and his servant or visitors.

“Besides being a residence, the house is used as the place in which the parishioners are to see the parish priest for all religious purposes, such as attendance to sick calls, and administering the Sacraments, when he is not in the church. Any parishioner is entitled to call on him at any hour of the day or...

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11 cases
  • Ramakrishna Mission v Comptroller of Property Tax and Another
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 15 May 1998
    ...On this question, the leading decision relied upon by the respondents is Commissioner of Valuation v The Very Rev Patrick O`Connell [1906] 2 IR 479. The issue there was whether a house built by parishioners for use by a Roman Catholic priest as a residence and for parochial purposes was use......
  • Maynooth College, Trustees of v Commissioner of Valuation
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 31 July 1958 persons other than the objects of the charity, prevented them from being exclusively so used. Commissioner of Valuationv. O'Connell, [1906] 2 I.R. 479, followed. (H.C.), Maynooth College and Commissioner of Valuation Charitable purposes - St. Patrick's College, Maynooth - National Semina......
  • Ramakrishna Mission v Comptroller of Property Tax and Another
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 7 November 1997 inimical to the fundamental tenets of our faith. 6.Mr Liew referred to Commissioner of Valuation v The Very Rev Patrick O`Connell [1906] 2 IR 479 where Palles CB said at p 485: I desire to be distinctly understood as not deciding that if the main purpose for which a building is used is a......
  • Tearfund Ireland Ltd v Commissioner of Valuation
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 28 July 2021
    ...45 However, the wide definition as given in Pemsel's case was applied by the Irish Courts in O'Connell v. Commissioner of Valuation [1906] 2 IR 479. A similar interpretation was given by the Kings Bench Division in Ireland in Clancy v. Commissioner for Valuation [1911] 2 IR 173, where both ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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