HC Deb 26 February 1885 vol 294 cc1401-3

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Whether his attention has been directed to the Report of the Select Committee on Harbour Accommodation last year, in which, referring to the new method of constructing piers and breakwaters in solid monolithic walls of concrete, they say— They are unanimous in declaring that the new system is far preferable to the older system of rubble or pierre perdue foundation; whether it has been reported to the Treasury by the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland that the foundations of the breakwater now being constructed at Arklow have given way, and the superstructure cracked through in several places; whether the breakwater is being built on the new or the old system; whether the ship and boat owners addressed an unavailing protest to the Board of Works against the plans of the engineer before the contract was entered into; whether it is the case that the Wicklow Breakwater has been constructed on the new system, and is a decided success; what is the sum already expended at Arklow; would it be possible now to finish the work on the new system; and, how is the extra cost caused by the defective plan and construction to be provided for?


The Board of Works now use the monolithic system of construction wherever possible; and this was the case at Wicklow. The nature of the foundation at Arklow, and other circumstances, rendered this system inappropriate there; and a different method of construction was adopted, not, however, that condemned by the Select Committee. The objection of the boat owners was to the general arrangement of the pier and breakwater, and has been fully considered. The two recent severe storms have caused a slight subsidence of some of the concrete blocks, which is of no structural importance, and has been remedied at a trifling cost. The expenditure on the pier, to date, has been £17,534, and no excess is expected on the total amount sanctioned. To change now the method of construction would be costly, and otherwise undesirable.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury, If he will give the House a Return showing the total number of piers and harbours constructed or extended in Ireland for the past ten years, under plans and specifications supplied by the Irish Board of Works; the number which have fallen into disuse owing to the defective manner of construction; piers which have given way in structure, and upon which it has been or is necessary to expend additional sums of money for purposes of repair, and the sources from which such additional sums have been derived?


If the hon. Member will refer to the terms of a Return to be moved for by the hon. Member for Donegal, to which I have assented, he will see that the information he desires will be supplied by it, so far as it can be given.