HC Deb 04 May 1885 vol 297 cc1489-90

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he has learned of the existence of a dangerous wreck at the entrance to the harbour of Ballyshannon, county Donegal, and whether the wreck, if not soon removed, will block up the entrance, and render navigation impossible; whether, also, a wreck has been lying for some time nearly opposite Mount Charles, Donegal Bay, in the fair way of navigation to Donegal; whether a fishing boat struck the wreck in November last, and the lives of the crew were only saved by assistance from the shore; whether it is the duty of the Board of Irish Lights to inquire into these matters; whether that Board has taken action in regard to them, or made any report with reference to them; and, whether the wrecks in question will be now removed without delay?


I have communicated with the Irish Lights Commissioners, and am informed by them that, although the steamship Rockabill was sunk off the entrance to Ballyshannon Harbour as far back as May 25, 1884, the Commissioners did not become aware of the occurrence till the month of January last, when they at once invited tenders for the removal of the obstruction. Two tenders were duly received—one for £1,980, and the other for £970; but these amounts appearing excessive, and looking to the fact that no application for the removal had been made by those interested in the trade of Ballyshannon, the Commissioners decided to defer consideration of the matter until the Inspecting Committee had visited the locality while on their general tour of inspection during the coming year, and had advised the Committee on the subject. Subsequently, however, the Town Commissioners of Ballyshannon brought the matter under notice by a letter dated April 7 last; but the Com- missioners having been given to understand that steps were being taken to constitute a local harbour authority for that port, they still decided to await a Report from their Inspecting Committee. With reference to the wreck off Mount Charles, Donegal Bay, the Commissioners have no knowledge of the occurrence, it having never been reported to them.