§ CAPTAIN O'BEIRNE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, If his attention has been directed to a Resolution of the Fermanagh Grand Jury, dated 2nd March 1877, wherein it is stated that 1849 the Ballinamore Canal, between Lough Erne and the River Shannon, has been unfit for commercial use since 1860, the canal being the only connecting link between all the northern and western canals of Ireland, and what course the Government purpose taking relative thereto?
§ SIR MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH
Sir, I have made every inquiry, but am unable to find that any such resolution as that alluded to by the hon. and gallant Member has been forwarded to the Irish Government by the Grand Jury of Fermanagh. I fear, however, that the state of the Ballinamore Canal is by no means satisfactory. It is vested in trustees, whose duty it is to keep it in proper repair. I am informed by the Board of Works that it has fallen into disrepair in consequence of their being no traffic on it, and that its prospects do not appear to them to warrant the outlay of more than £4,000, which, in their opinion, would be necessary to place it in a state of repair. This canal was constructed at a cost of about £282,000, of which more than £224,000 was provided by the Treasury. I do not think any further expenditure upon it could be justified, unless, indeed, those locally interested were prepared to contribute at least a considerable portion of the cost.