Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Office of Public Works

Photo of Jackie CahillJackie Cahill (Tipperary, Fianna Fail)
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284. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a person who has not received compensation from the OPW for the loss of the use of their land can have these works statute barred given that they have been working on the person’s land for five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [62579/21]

Photo of Patrick O'DonovanPatrick O'Donovan (Limerick County, Fine Gael)
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It is assumed that the query relates to a Flood Relief Scheme carried out by the Commissioners.

The Commissioners of Public Works carry out Certain Flood Relief Works under the provisions of the Arterial Drainage Acts, 1945 and 1995. These Acts provide that compensation is payable for net damages arising from compulsory interference and acquisition. Compensation provisions are largely guided by sections 14-17 of the 1945 Act and section 11 of the 1995 Act which apply provisions of the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845 and the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919.

Any landowner who feels they have suffered a loss is entitled to claim compensation. Every comprehensive claim should be made in writing, to which the Commissioners must respond. While there is no provision for declaring works as “statute barred” in default of agreement, the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919 provides for the appointment of a statutory arbitrator to rule on compensation payable. Section 5(2) of the 1919 Act provides more detail on what an arbitrator (and by extension the Commissioners) requires by way of a written claim to which the Commissioners must respond.

Speaking in general terms, it should be noted that compensation addresses both losses to land and disturbance. Whilst losses to land are apparent, disturbance losses (e.g. to business activity) are only knowable by the owner (claimant) and if an owner expects to be compensated for such losses they must declare and justify them in their claim.


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