HC Deb 17 June 1881 vol 262 cc767-8

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If his attention has been directed to the backward state of the works for Piers and Harbours detailed in Paper, No. 244, of the present Session; if he can explain why the Pier of Gerrahies Reef in Cork, Bunatruhan in Donegal, and Glenlara in Mayo, to be carried out by the Board of Works, have not yet been commenced; and, whether the contractors for the Piers of Mill Cove in Cork, Malin Beg in Donegal, Oranmore in Galway, and Inishcrone in Sligo, none of which have yet been commenced, will be liable to pay any penalty for non-fulfilment, and whether the Government are prepared to enforce such penalty?


Sir, as this Question concerns the Board of Works, I have to answer it on behalf of the Treasury. The work at Gerrahies Reef was commenced on May 13, subsequent to the date of the Return. It is not a pier, but rock excavation in the tideway, and therefore can only be done in fine, calm weather and under proper conditions of tide. The work at Bunatruhan is a supplementary excavation near a pier previously sanctioned, and cannot be well commenced until the pier is finished, which will be, I hope, in two or three weeks. As to Glenlara, I learn that no suitable tender could be obtained until the 3rd instant, but that the works will be commenced as soon as possible. With regard to the four other piers mentioned, Mill Cove, Malin Beg, and Oranmore were commenced on the 12th of May, 7th of June, and 9th of May respectively, and satisfactory progress is being made; while Inishcrone is more than half finished. All the contract deeds provide for penalties in case the works are not complete at the time contracted for; and these penalties will be enforced as a matter of course, unless sufficient reason is shown for their mitigation. With respect to the charge of general backwardness, I would remind the House that by the provisions of the Fisheries Acts various preliminary steps had to be taken before the works could be commenced. A joint Departmental Committee was appointed last year for the purpose of obviating, as far as possible, all delay. In a certain number of cases, however, the Committee has not succeeded in removing the various obstacles to the early completion of the works.