HC Deb 05 April 1883 vol 277 cc1506-7

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the report of Dr. Burke, to the Local Government Board in Ireland, with reference to the sanitary condition of Mountmellick, to the following effect, viz.:— That he entertains no doubt that the inundations caused by the frequent flooding of the River Barrow must exercise an injurious influ- ence upon the health and general sanitary condition of the inhabitants residing permanently in the towns of Mountmellick and Portarlington, and particularly the latter. The Board learn that the main sewers, as well as those from private dwellings, which empty their contents into the river, become blocked up at their mouths during the flooded periods, and that sewage is driven back into the houses, and, in some instances, into the wells, the waters of which, otherwise pure, become thus polluted, and quite unfit for use. Dr. Burke observes that upon the subsidence of the waters of the river after these inundations, large quantities of vegetable matter are deposited and strewed along the banks, as well as in the gardens and dykes contiguous thereto, and that the malaria and evaporation arising, as such matter becomes decomposed and decayed, must tend to generate intermittent and enteric fevers, besides acute catarrhal and rheumatic affections among the inhabitants, more especially should they or any of them be predisposed to such affections, or should any epidemic prevail; and, whether the Government propose to take any, and, if so, what, steps promptly to deal with the matter?


The question of the Barrow drainage has been for some time under consideration. It is not one in which the Irish Government, as a Department, has any direct control; but they have done all in their power to aid those interested in advancing it. The next step must be taken by the local proprietors interested in the scheme.