HC Deb 18 July 1878 vol 241 cc1848-9

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether his attention has been called to the paragraphs in the Report of the Inspectors of Irish Fisheries on the Sea and Inland Fisheries of Ireland for 1877, referring to Arklow Harbour, especially to the recommendation therein— That another year may not be allowed to pass without some determined efforts being made to render it safe and easy of access;'' and, whether the Government will take steps, before the season of the year becomes too advanced, to prevent the loss of property and life that has hitherto occurred in rough weather owing to the unsafe character of the harbour?


My attention has been called to the subject, and I am fully alive to the importance of improving the harbour; but I would remind the hon. Member that the execution of improvement works would have been undertaken two years ago if the offer of the Government had been accepted. That offer—which they are prepared to renew—was to contribute one-half the expense by a public grant, and to advance, by way of loan, the remainder, on condition that repayment was guaranteed by the Lord of the Manor, the Wicklow Copper Mining Company, and the town of Wicklow. The Mining Company raised objections, and declined to accede to the terms, and the consequence has been that the Treasury have never been able to proceed with the Bill necessary for the purpose. The Mining Company are now taking the matter up themselves, and are in negotiation with the Public Works Loan Commissioners (England) for a loan of £12,000 or £13,000 under the Harbours and Passing Tolls Act; and if the Commissioners feel justified in granting a loan, though it is improbable that the harbour will be improved to the same extent as if the works had been carried out according to the original scheme, yet it is hoped that some measure of improvement may be effected.