Speaker Dr. Chriostóir Mac Cárthaig will speak on the topic of – West Clare and the Royal Commission on Congestion in Ireland. Under the 1891 Act establishing the Congested Districts Board any district electoral division with an average annual rateable valuation per household of less than 30 shillings was eligible for ‘congested’ status, meaning it was entitled to receive substantial State investment in grants, training, infrastructural improvements and other supports. The Board had a second condition: a minimum of one-fifth of the total population of the county must not exceed the rateable valuation of 30 shillings per household. Unfortunately, Clare, with its mix of small holdings and large ‘ranches’ did not satisfy the Board’s strict criteria. So, although the west of the county had particularly large numbers of landless households living in difficult, congested circumstances, they failed to qualify for the reliefs applied to other counties in the west.